East of England Probation Service makes commitment to stamp out racism

A group of UNISON reps and probation workers hold up anti-racism pledge cards

The East of England Probation Service has become the first government body to sign a new charter aimed at combatting racism in the public sector, UNISON announces today.

UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter commits the organisation and its leaders to a range of pledges designed to prevent racial bias.

It includes championing a racially diverse workforce, having a clear programme of anti-racist initiatives and providing equality training for all staff.

The charter builds on the existing work of the Probation Service in the region which has rolled out a range of initiatives, including leadership training for staff from ethnic minorities, setting up local equalities boards and improving applications processes to support a more diverse range of applicants.

The regional service will also be expected to report on their ethnicity pay gaps and monitor disciplinary and grievance processes to ensure outcomes are fair.

Steve and Elisa sign the charter

Welcoming the news, UNISON Eastern regional secretary Tim Roberts said: “It’s fantastic that this region of the Probation Service is making a firm commitment to tackling discrimination in all its forms.

“This won’t only improve the experiences of Black staff, but lead to fairer and better workplaces, helping improve the quality of service in the east of England.”

East of England regional probation director Steve Johnson-Proctor said: “It’s really important that we are clear and transparent about our commitment to anti-racism and give our staff the confidence that we are going to proactively combat discrimination.

“By signing UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter we’re making sure we’re held accountable for our progress on anti-racism and making sure staff are properly involved in improving our cultures.”