Cambridgeshire County Council commits to Anti-Racism Charter

UNISON's Thabang Thacker and Josette Kennington watch Cambridgeshire County Council chief executive Stephen Moir sign the charter

Cambridgeshire County Council has joined in partnership with the trade union, UNISON, to becoming an anti-racist organisation.

It is the first upper tier local authority to sign the charter, committing the Council and its senior management to a range of pledges designed to prevent racial bias being put in place over the next 12 months.

The charter includes championing a racially diverse workforce, having a clear programme of anti-racist initiatives and providing training for employees.

The council already reports on its ethnicity pay gap, which is part of this pledge, and will take steps to monitor disciplinary and grievance processes to ensure that outcomes are fair.

Thabang Thacker, Josette Kennington and Stephen Moir outside New Shire Hall

Stephen Moir, chief executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “By signing up to the Anti-Racism Charter with UNISON, we are recognising that we can and will do more to support our employees and to become a fairer and just organisation.

“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, with respect and with humanity. In this day and age, it isn’t acceptable that our staff can be subjected to racism as they go about their work supporting the people of Cambridgeshire. That needs to change and we will not tolerate or accept racist behaviours from anyone, whether employed by the Council or where we provide services to them.

“We want all our colleagues to have the confidence and know that they also have the support to challenge racism in all its many guises. We will also provide leadership in becoming anti-racist by promoting these commitments with our partners and in our work with our communities.”

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Alex Porter added: “Cambridgeshire County Council should be congratulated for making this commitment to equality.

“This isn’t just about ensuring a better working environment for Black staff at the council. When workplaces are fairer, staff are able to provide better services for people across Cambridgeshire.”