Universities union condemns lack of action on equality for ethnic minority staff

Colleges and universities are failing to ethnic minority staff get fair and equal treatment, and should work more closely with unions to resolve this, according to the University and College Union (UCU).

It is four years since the Race Relations Amendment Act required college and university employers to monitor and improve their procedures, but the union claims little has been done.

UCU is holding a conference next week where it will launch a campaign to help employers in further and higher education to speed up implementation of the Act.

UCU is currently working with the Commission for Racial Equality to promote good employment practice. A joint project will monitor whether further education colleges are meeting their duty to have the appropriate race equality policies in place and to carry out race equality impact assessments.

The exercise will identify areas of non-compliance and highlight areas of best practice. A report will be produced in January 2007.

Roger Kline, head of equality and employment rights at UCU, said: “How well equality duties are implemented is a good indicator of how well colleges and universities generally treat their staff, but sadly four years since the Act almost no progress has been made in ensuring fair recruitment and promotion.”

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