‘I am a young, Black, thriving woman. And my mental health matters’

                                                                                                             Fummi Ayani. Image: Rod Lyon

Mental health, especially for young people, was one of the major themes of this year’s national Black members’ conference, in Brighton at the weekend.

The motion on young Black members and mental health, proposed by the national committee, noted that, according to the NHS, more than three million people had contact with mental health services during 2021/22, almost 6% of the population.

The Mental Health Foundation says that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14, 75% by age 24. And yet, many young people do not receive appropriate interventions.

Further, the motion stated, it is commonly known that those in Black communities are more likely to experience mental health difficulties, due to racism and discrimination, social and economic inequalities, and difficulties accessing appropriate support and interventions.

Fummi Ayani, a delegate for the young members’ forum (above), told conference: “We have to be present, and know that it’s OK not to be OK. Being labelled as aggressive is not who I am. I am a young, Black, thriving woman. And my mental health matters, which UNISON have helped me to see.”

The conference agreed to:

  • Signpost young Black workers towards available mental health services and other support
  • Highlight constructive steps employers can take to support staff with mental health problems
  • Campaign against the stigma surrounding mental health
  • Support branches to review how many employers are monitoring the mental health of young Black workers in workplaces.

Ms Ayani’s comments chimed with another motion on the issue. ‘Destigmatising Black workers’ mental health illness’, from UNISON Northern Ireland, noted the barriers faced by Black people when accessing information and treatment for mental health care, and the fact that Black communities are more likely to experience stigma and shame due to negative stereotyping.

Mental health illness is often misunderstood and mislabelled as being aggressive in minorities. And the motion called for the national Black members’ committee to run media and social media campaigns that flag the issues members are facing at work, and campaign for change.

The committee will also develop a toolkit for activists and members to equip them with the understanding of the cultural barriers faced by Black workers, and work with Learning and Organising Services to develop packages to support the mental health and wellbeing of activists.

In 2002, a leaked NHS report noted that Black children and adults were continuing to be failed by mental health services, with higher rates of detention and lower access to support services.

Speaking on the motion, ‘Black children’s mental health’, Faith Jangara of the national Black members’ committee (above) said it was important “to ensure that understanding and appropriate support is offered to our Black children with mental health problems.

“Black children deserve to be seen and have understanding when it comes to their mental well-being.”

Conference called on the committee to:

  • continue to promote awareness of mental health issues of Black communities in the workplace 
  • encourage branches to support services providers to create services for Black members experiencing this issue 
  • promote tolerance of Black mental health issues in the workplace amongst employees and the wider community. 

Reflecting the mood in the hall, first-time delegate Salqa Naz, of Sheffield Community health branch, said: “ I am very passionate about my work, and want to help drive forward this campaign.”

The article ‘I am a young, Black, thriving woman. And my mental health matters’ first appeared on the UNISON National site.

‘I am a young, Black, thriving woman. And my mental health matters’

                                                                                                             Fummi Ayani. Image: Rod Leon

Mental health, especially for young people, was one of the major themes of this year’s national Black members’ conference, in Brighton at the weekend.

The motion on young Black members and mental health, proposed by the national committee, noted that, according to the NHS, more than three million people had contact with mental health services during 2021/22, almost 6% of the population.

The Mental Health Foundation says that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14, 75% by age 24. And yet, many young people do not receive appropriate interventions.

Further, the motion stated, it is commonly known that those in Black communities are more likely to experience mental health difficulties, due to racism and discrimination, social and economic inequalities, and difficulties accessing appropriate support and interventions.

Fummi Ayani, a delegate for the young members’ forum (above), told conference: “We have to be present, and know that it’s OK not to be OK. Being labelled as aggressive is not who I am. I am a young, Black, thriving woman. And my mental health matters, which UNISON have helped me to see.”

The conference agreed to:

  • Signpost young Black workers towards available mental health services and other support
  • Highlight constructive steps employers can take to support staff with mental health problems
  • Campaign against the stigma surrounding mental health
  • Support branches to review how many employers are monitoring the mental health of young Black workers in workplaces.

Ms Ayani’s comments chimed with another motion on the issue. ‘Destigmatising Black workers’ mental health illness’, from UNISON Northern Ireland, noted the barriers faced by Black people when accessing information and treatment for mental health care, and the fact that Black communities are more likely to experience stigma and shame due to negative stereotyping.

Mental health illness is often misunderstood and mislabelled as being aggressive in minorities. And the motion called for the national Black members’ committee to run media and social media campaigns that flag the issues members are facing at work, and campaign for change.

The committee will also develop a toolkit for activists and members to equip them with the understanding of the cultural barriers faced by Black workers, and work with Learning and Organising Services to develop packages to support the mental health and wellbeing of activists.

                                                                                                          Faith Jangara. Image: Rod Leon

In 2002, a leaked NHS report noted that Black children and adults were continuing to be failed by mental health services, with higher rates of detention and lower access to support services.

Speaking on the motion, ‘Black children’s mental health’, Faith Jangara of the national Black members’ committee (above) said it was important “to ensure that understanding and appropriate support is offered to our Black children with mental health problems.

“Black children deserve to be seen and have understanding when it comes to their mental well-being.”

Conference called on the committee to:

  • continue to promote awareness of mental health issues of Black communities in the workplace 
  • encourage branches to support services providers to create services for Black members experiencing this issue 
  • promote understanding of Black mental health issues in the workplace amongst employees and the wider community. 

Reflecting the mood in the hall, first-time delegate Salqa Naz, of Sheffield Community health branch, said: “ I am very passionate about my work, and want to help drive forward this campaign.”

The article ‘I am a young, Black, thriving woman. And my mental health matters’ first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Black members’ conference vows to continue the legacy of the Year of Black Workers

                                                                                                                     Photo: Rod Leon

Delegates convened in Brighton at the weekend for UNISON’s national Black members’ conference, passing motions that will underpin the achievements of 2023’s Year of Black Workers.

These included motions on the mental health of young Black members and children, the fight against microaggressions in the workplace and the appropriate treatment of Black patients and service users.

Much of the agenda’s importance comes in the light of continued government belligerence against migrant workers.

Christina McAnea speaking at conference

In addressing delegates, UNISON president Christina McAnea (above) told them that the union had been given the go-ahead to join a legal challenge of former home secretary Suella Braverman’s decision to renege on three key recommendations made by the Windrush scandal inquiry.

“The Windrush generation haven’t had justice yet. Suella Braverman might have gone, but the Home Office is as unaccountable and cruel in its policies as ever,” she said.

“UNISON branches are busy organising and supporting our migrant worker members, who are still facing a hostile environment, especially in social care. These are members who get treated like second-class citizens in this country, even as they help prop up health and social care services.”

Ms McAnea added: “With each passing day – whether it’s harsh immigration rules, lack of justice for the victims of Windrush, or the Rwanda plan – this government is writing a new chapter in the history of racism in the UK.

“And that’s why building on UNISON’s legacy of Year of Black Workers is so important.”

Lola Oyewusi speaking at conference

Moving the motion on securing that legacy, on behalf of the national Black members’ committee, Lady Lola Oyewusi (left) told delegates: “We must keep the fire burning.”

The motion noted that 2023 saw “a renewed and focussed approach” to challenging racism in the workplace and improving the experiences of Black workers both in the workplace and wider society.

And Lady Oyewusi said: “We cannot forget to acknowledge our national officers, equality secretaries, regional officers and branches for the hard work done to make 2023 a successful Year Of Black Workers.”

She raised a number of aims, including the continued need to ensure that the structures of representation within UNISON are “truly inclusive” and to enlist more allies in workplaces, communities and political platforms to help end the issues of the ethnicity pay and pension gaps.

Conference further called on the national committee to:

  • Work with regional Black members’ self-organised groups to evaluate the success of the 2023 Year of Black Workers
  • Work with regional Black members to establish a programme of continued activity to build on the achievement of the Year of Black Workers
  • Engage with the regional groups and the national Labour Link committee to secure the mandatory reporting on ethnicity pay gaps across employment sectors
  • Publicise ongoing work, campaigns, and achievements of regional Black member’s groups, via social media and the UNISON website, disseminated across the union.

Delegates were presented with a Year of Black Workers memorabilia booklet, charting many of the events that took place during the year.

Caring for Black patients and service users

A composite motion, submitted by Bath health branch and the national Black women’s committee, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had underlined the lack of appropriate personal care for Black patients and service users across health and social care.

It was noticeable that health and social care staff avoided black hair or skin, as they didn’t understand how to care for it and didn’t feel they could ask.

Alvina Ware speaking at conference

The Bath health branch has successfully worked with the employer to train staff to be more aware of the needs of Black patients and how to care for them in a way appropriate to their own personal care regimes.

Conference heard that the branch initially provided appropriate products to the wards and departments, but these are now being provided by the trust. Equality of care has become “the norm”.

Alvina Ware, of Bath health (above), who instigated that work, told her fellow delegates: “I was a child of care and lived in a children’s home. Whilst there I wasn’t caring for my hair because of the lack of hair and cream products. I petitioned social services for funds to help me maintain my dignity. They agreed and gave me £30 a month for my hair and skin.

“My project started when I was a child. So this needs to change now.”

Conference agreed actions that will ensure consideration for all patients’ and service users’ physical care, taking into account their diverse cultural needs and personal care regimes.

Fight against microaggressions

In 2022, the TUC highlighted that within work ‘microaggressions’ come in the form of insecure work, such as zero-hours contracts, little or no career progression and lack of training opportunities.

Its research showed that that nearly one in six Black male workers experience insecure work; Black women are twice as likely to be on zero-hour contracts as white men; and the total annual cost of pay penalties experienced by Black, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women was estimated at £3.2 billion per year.

Sandra Okwara of the national Black members’ committee, said: ‘Whether it is intentional or not, this type of behaviour can be hostile, derogatory, with negative attitudes towards people from different cultural groups.

“UNISON has been running training courses around this issue and we hope to develop this further, to help equip our activists to represent members who may be experiencing his type of behaviour in the workplace.”

Conference called on the committee to:

  • Work with Learning and Organising Services (LAOS) to produce training materials to help Black members identify and challenge microaggressions in the workplace
  • Work with LAOS to produce microaggressions training for activists
  • Work with the bargaining and negotiating team to produce guidance for activists, supporting them in negotiating robust policies which focus on zero tolerance of microaggression.

The Year of LGBT+ Workers

Having celebrated the success of the Year of Black Workers, delegates voiced their support for UNISON’s decision to make 2024 the Year of LGBT+ Workers.

The conference heard that, since the Stonewall riots in 1969, Black people have always been at the centre of the LGBT+ liberation movement. And it agreed that 2024 was “UNISON’s opportunity to promote Black activists and the contributions that they have made to challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in society.”

Christina McAnea, Bev Miller (LGBT+ rep), Annette Heslop (co-deputy chair of national Black members' committee) and Jennie Antonio (LGBT+ rep). Image: Rod Leon
Pictured left to right: Christina McAnea, Bev Miller (LGBT+ rep), Annette Heslop (co-deputy chair of national Black members’ committee) and Jennie Antonio (LGBT+ rep). Image: Rod Leon

The article Black members’ conference vows to continue the legacy of the Year of Black Workers first appeared on the UNISON National site.

Black members’ conference vows to continue the legacy of the Year of Black Workers

                                                                                                                           Image: Rod Leon

Delegates convened in Brighton at the weekend for UNISON’s national Black members’ conference, passing motions that will underpin the achievements of 2023’s Year of Black Workers.

These included motions on the mental health of young Black members and children, the fight against microaggressions in the workplace and the appropriate treatment of Black patients and service users.

Much of the agenda’s importance comes in the light of continued government belligerence against migrant workers.

Christina McAnea speaking at conference
                                                                                                                    Image: Rod Leon

In addressing delegates, UNISON president Christina McAnea (above) told them that the union had been given the go-ahead to join a legal challenge of former home secretary Suella Braverman’s decision to renege on three key recommendations made by the Windrush scandal inquiry.

“The Windrush generation haven’t had justice yet. Suella Braverman might have gone, but the Home Office is as unaccountable and cruel in its policies as ever,” she said.

“UNISON branches are busy organising and supporting our migrant worker members, who are still facing a hostile environment, especially in social care. These are members who get treated like second-class citizens in this country, even as they help prop up health and social care services.”

Ms McAnea added: “With each passing day – whether it’s harsh immigration rules, lack of justice for the victims of Windrush, or the Rwanda plan – this government is writing a new chapter in the history of racism in the UK.

“And that’s why building on UNISON’s legacy of Year of Black Workers is so important.”

Lola Oyewusi speaking at conference

Moving the motion on securing that legacy, on behalf of the national Black members’ committee, Lady Lola Oyewusi (left) told delegates: “We must keep the fire burning.”

The motion noted that 2023 saw “a renewed and focussed approach” to challenging racism in the workplace and improving the experiences of Black workers both in the workplace and wider society.

And Lady Oyewusi said: “We cannot forget to acknowledge our national officers, equality secretaries, regional officers and branches for the hard work done to make 2023 a successful Year of Black Workers.”

She raised a number of aims, including the continued need to ensure that the structures of representation within UNISON are “truly inclusive” and to enlist more allies in workplaces, communities and political platforms to help end the issues of the ethnicity pay and pension gaps.

Conference further called on the national committee to:

  • Work with regional Black members’ self-organised groups to evaluate the success of the 2023 Year of Black Workers
  • Work with regional Black members to establish a programme of continued activity to build on the achievement of the Year of Black Workers
  • Engage with the regional groups and the national Labour Link committee to secure the mandatory reporting on ethnicity pay gaps across employment sectors
  • Publicise ongoing work, campaigns, and achievements of regional Black member’s groups, via social media and the UNISON website, disseminated across the union.

Delegates were presented with a Year of Black Workers memorabilia booklet, charting many of the events that took place during the year.

Caring for Black patients and service users

A composite motion, submitted by Bath health branch and the national Black women’s committee, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had underlined the lack of appropriate personal care for Black patients and service users across health and social care.

It was noticeable that health and social care staff avoided black hair or skin, as they didn’t understand how to care for it and didn’t feel they could ask.

Alvina Ware speaking at conference
                                                                                                                    Image: Rod Leon

The Bath health branch has successfully worked with the employer to train staff to be more aware of the needs of Black patients and how to care for them in a way appropriate to their own personal care regimes.

Conference heard that the branch initially provided appropriate products to the wards and departments, but these are now being provided by the trust. Equality of care has become “the norm”.

Alvina Ware, of Bath health (above), who instigated that work, told her fellow delegates: “I was a child of care and lived in a children’s home. Whilst there I wasn’t caring for my hair because of the lack of hair and cream products. I petitioned social services for funds to help me maintain my dignity. They agreed and gave me £30 a month for my hair and skin.

“My project started when I was a child. So this needs to change now.”

Conference agreed actions that will ensure consideration for all patients’ and service users’ physical care, taking into account their diverse cultural needs and personal care regimes.

Fight against microaggressions

In 2022, the TUC highlighted that within work ‘microaggressions’ come in the form of insecure work, such as zero-hours contracts, little or no career progression and lack of training opportunities.

Its research showed that nearly one in six Black male workers experience insecure work; Black women are twice as likely to be on zero-hour contracts as white men; and the total annual cost of pay penalties experienced by Black, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women was estimated at £3.2 billion per year.

Sandra Okwara of the national Black members’ committee, said: ‘Whether it is intentional or not, this type of behaviour can be hostile, derogatory, with negative attitudes towards people from different cultural groups.

“UNISON has been running training courses around this issue and we hope to develop this further, to help equip our activists to represent members who may be experiencing his type of behaviour in the workplace.”

Conference called on the committee to:

  • Work with Learning and Organising Services (LAOS) to produce training materials to help Black members identify and challenge microaggressions in the workplace
  • Work with LAOS to produce microaggressions training for activists
  • Work with the bargaining and negotiating team to produce guidance for activists, supporting them in negotiating robust policies which focus on zero tolerance of microaggression.

The Year of LGBT+ Workers

Having celebrated the success of the Year of Black Workers, delegates voiced their support for UNISON’s decision to make 2024 the Year of LGBT+ Workers.

The conference heard that, since the Stonewall riots in 1969, Black people have always been at the centre of the LGBT+ liberation movement. And it agreed that 2024 was “UNISON’s opportunity to promote Black activists and the contributions that they have made to challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in society.”

Christina McAnea, Bev Miller (LGBT+ rep), Annette Heslop (co-deputy chair of national Black members' committee) and Jennie Antonio (LGBT+ rep). Image: Rod Leon
Pictured left to right: Christina McAnea, Bev Miller (LGBT+ rep), Annette Heslop (co-deputy chair of national Black members’ committee) and Jennie Antonio (LGBT+ rep). Image: Rod Leon

The article Black members’ conference vows to continue the legacy of the Year of Black Workers first appeared on the UNISON National site.

UNISON given go-ahead to join judicial review of government inaction over Windrush

UNISON has been given the go-ahead to join a legal challenge of former home secretary Suella Braverman’s decision to renege on three key recommendations made by the Windrush scandal inquiry.

In December, a High Court judge granted a private individual, Trevor Donald, permission to lodge a judicial review of Ms Braverman’s actions, in a hearing that is likely be heard some time between March and May this year.

At the same time, both UNISON and civil rights group the Black Equity Organisation (BEO) were granted permission to ‘intervene’, or join the case. Each will be able to give evidence and argue their position when the matter comes to court.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today: “This is a landmark case to tackle a dreadful injustice caused by this grim period of recent history. Hundreds of lives and relationships have been torn apart by this government’s cruel and catastrophic decisions.

“Prior to and since the Windrush scandal broke, UNISON has worked actively to represent people who have been similarly affected by the “hostile environment”, through no fault of their own. It’s important for the union to be part of this case, to ensure all those affected have the best chance to rebuild what they’ve lost.”

The Windrush scandal came to light in 2018, when it was revealed that members of the Windrush generation were being declared “immigration offenders” and denied access to public services, housing and jobs. At least 83 people were wrongly deported despite having the right to live and work in the UK.

‘Ignorance and thoughtlessness’

Led by Wendy Williams, the inquiry published its findings, the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, in March 2020. It concluded that the Home Office had shown “ignorance and thoughtlessness” on race throughout the scandal, that immigration regulations were tightened “with complete disregard for the Windrush generation” and officials had made “irrational” demands for multiple documents to establish residency rights.

Ms Williams made 30 recommendations to avoid a repeat of the scandal, and the then-home secretary Priti Patel confirmed an action plan to implement them. Key among these was a commitment to create the post of a migrants’ commissioner, who would be responsible for speaking up for migrants and identifying systemic problems within the UK immigration system.

However, in January 2023 the new home secretary, Ms Braverman, decided to abandon the commitment to the commissioner role alongside the commitment to strengthen the powers of the immigration watchdog and to run reconciliation events with Windrush families.

UNISON litigation

UNISON launched its litigation in June 2023, during the Year of the Black Worker. The union believes that both the migrants’ commissioner and a strengthened watchdog would help to protect against a future ‘Windrush scandal’, allowing for greater protections for migrant workers and act as a break on yet more inhumane policies towards refugees.

The claimant in the judicial review, Mr Donald, is a member of the Windrush generation who arrived in the UK in 1967, aged 12, and was granted indefinite leave to remain in 1971.

Yet, when he visited Jamaica in 2010, to attend his mother’s funeral, he was prevented from returning to the UK and, effectively, exiled for nine years – until the scandal of which he was one of many victims finally came to light.

UNISON’s application to the High Court was supported by evidence  from UNISON member Michael Braithwaite, a London teaching assistant, working in particular with children with special educational needs, who lost his job due to the Windrush scandal, “a total nightmare that destroyed my life.”

When he learned of Ms Braverman’s reversal of the government commitment, Mr Braithwaite’s view was that, “It felt like we were being treated as if we didn’t matter again, as if no one really cared about what had happened… What scares me is that the hostile environment is still with us.”

Surviving the Windrush scandal

 

The article UNISON given go-ahead to join judicial review of government inaction over Windrush first appeared on the UNISON National site.

UNISON given go-ahead to join judicial review of government inaction over Windrush

UNISON has been given the go-ahead to join a legal challenge of former home secretary Suella Braverman’s decision to renege on three key recommendations made by the Windrush scandal inquiry.

In December, a High Court judge granted a private individual, Trevor Donald, permission to lodge a judicial review of Ms Braverman’s actions, in a hearing that is likely be heard some time between March and May this year.

At the same time, both UNISON and civil rights group the Black Equity Organisation (BEO) were granted permission to ‘intervene’, or join the case. Each will be able to give evidence and argue their position when the matter comes to court.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today: “This is a landmark case to tackle a dreadful injustice caused by this grim period of recent history. Hundreds of lives and relationships have been torn apart by this government’s cruel and catastrophic decisions.

“Prior to and since the Windrush scandal broke, UNISON has worked actively to represent people who have been similarly affected by the “hostile environment”, through no fault of their own. It’s important for the union to be part of this case, to ensure all those affected have the best chance to rebuild what they’ve lost.”

The Windrush scandal came to light in 2018, when it was revealed that members of the Windrush generation were being declared “immigration offenders” and denied access to public services, housing and jobs. At least 83 people were wrongly deported despite having the right to live and work in the UK.

‘Ignorance and thoughtlessness’

Led by Wendy Williams, the inquiry published its findings, the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, in March 2020. It concluded that the Home Office had shown “ignorance and thoughtlessness” on race throughout the scandal, that immigration regulations were tightened “with complete disregard for the Windrush generation” and officials had made “irrational” demands for multiple documents to establish residency rights.

Ms Williams made 30 recommendations to avoid a repeat of the scandal, and the then-home secretary Priti Patel confirmed an action plan to implement them. Key among these was a commitment to create the post of a migrants’ commissioner, who would be responsible for speaking up for migrants and identifying systemic problems within the UK immigration system.

However, in January 2023 the new home secretary, Ms Braverman, decided to abandon the commitment to the commissioner role alongside the commitment to strengthen the powers of the immigration watchdog and to run reconciliation events with Windrush families.

UNISON litigation

UNISON launched its litigation in June 2023, during the Year of the Black Worker. The union believes that both the migrants’ commissioner and a strengthened watchdog would help to protect against a future ‘Windrush scandal’, allowing for greater protections for migrant workers and act as a break on yet more inhumane policies towards refugees.

The claimant in the judicial review, Mr Donald, is a member of the Windrush generation who arrived in the UK in 1967, aged 12, and was granted indefinite leave to remain in 1971.

Yet, when he visited Jamaica in 2010, to attend his mother’s funeral, he was prevented from returning to the UK and, effectively, exiled for nine years – until the scandal of which he was one of many victims finally came to light.

UNISON’s application to the High Court was supported by evidence  from UNISON member Michael Braithwaite, a London teaching assistant, working in particular with children with special educational needs, who lost his job due to the Windrush scandal, “a total nightmare that destroyed my life.”

When he learned of Ms Braverman’s reversal of the government commitment, Mr Braithwaite’s view was that, “It felt like we were being treated as if we didn’t matter again, as if no one really cared about what had happened… What scares me is that the hostile environment is still with us.”

Surviving the Windrush scandal

 

The article UNISON given go-ahead to join judicial review of government inaction over Windrush first appeared on the UNISON National site.

UNISON announces 2024 Nelson Mandela award winner

UNISON is delighted to announce that Ameen Hadi (above) has won the 2024 Nelson Mandela award.

The award is given to those who exemplify Nelson Mandela’s values of ‘determination, a desire for unity, and strength in the face of injustice’.

In gratitude to a great man who was an honorary member of UNISON, the National Black Members’ Committee continue to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s legacy and champion those who live by his standards.

About Ameen

Ameen is a passionate and dedicated anti-racist and advocate for equality, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Within Salford, Ameen has been pivotal to the recruitment and organisation of Black members and activists and has been integral in building our work in social care and significantly increasing Black member representation at all levels of our branch.

He has challenged employers, including Salford City Council on their lack of action in tackling racism and oppression through a combination of offering joint working on training and providing solidarity, but also delivering clear and direct criticism when appropriate.

Beyond Salford, Ameen has utilised his role on the North West Black members committee further develop and support Black members and activists, to campaign on a huge variety of issues and develop links with external organisations like Show Racism the Red Card and Hope Not Hate.

UNISON national equality officer Margaret Greer said:”Ameen’s contribution to UNISON and to tackling racism in the workplace has been immense and is well worthy of this award.”

The article UNISON announces 2024 Nelson Mandela award winner first appeared on the UNISON National site.

UNISON announces 2024 Nelson Mandela Award winner

UNISON is delighted to announce that Ameen Hadi (pictured) has won the 2024 Nelson Mandela Award.

The award is given to those who exemplify Nelson Mandela’s values of ‘determination, a desire for unity, and strength in the face of injustice’.

In gratitude to a great man who was an honorary member of UNISON, the national Black members’ committee continues to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s legacy and to champion those who live by his standards.

About Ameen

Ameen is a passionate and dedicated anti-racist and advocate for equality, equity, diversity and inclusion.

In Salford, Ameen has been pivotal to the recruitment and organisation of Black members and activists, and integral in building the union’s work in social care and significantly increasing Black member representation at all levels of the branch.

He has challenged employers – including Salford City Council – on its lack of action in tackling racism and oppression, through a combination of offering joint working on training and providing solidarity, but also delivering clear and direct criticism when appropriate.

Beyond Salford, Ameen has utilised his role on the North West Black members’ committee to help develop and support Black members and activists, to campaign on a huge variety of issues, and develop links with external organisations, including Show Racism the Red Card and Unite against Fascism.

UNISON national equality officer Margaret Greer said: “Ameen’s contribution to UNISON and to tackling racism in the workplace has been immense and is well worthy of this award.”

The article UNISON announces 2024 Nelson Mandela Award winner first appeared on the UNISON National site.

UNISON at Notting Hill Carnival

UNISON have had a significant presence at the Notting Hill Carnival for several years. As UNISON celebrate 30 years, we were delighted that a delegation of UNISON volunteers, banner, flags and t-shirts where present to reflect UNISON’s current campaign priorities including the Year of Black Workers, Ethnicity Pay Gap and Compensation for the Windrush Generation.

The key messages and target for UNISON campaigns to build on our strong links with community groups.

While the huge numbers of people attending are an obvious target to help raise UNISON’s profile, UNISON also network with the organisations and community groups taking part in the Carnival.

We have featured a community organiser from the Carnival as a legacy profile in our Black History Month brochure and use these networks to circulate UNISON campaigns and relevant activities throughout the year. We will also showcase UNISON’s Year of Black Workers merchandise.

The Carnival attracts thousands of young people from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom will be supporters of community cohesion. UNISON recognise with their involvement in this event it is an opportunity to demonstrate our shared values to attract new members interested in all aspects of equality.

Over the two days we were able to promote UNISON’s campaigning activity, including inviting people to join UNISON, Love Music, Hate Racism, Stand Up to Racism and National Education Union around the parade, as well as promote the equality strategy and UNISON’s Year of Black Workers mission statement ‘Establishing Legacy to Generate Change’.

The article UNISON at Notting Hill Carnival first appeared on the UNISON National site.

UNISON at Notting Hill Carnival

UNISON have had a significant presence at the Notting Hill Carnival for several years. As UNISON celebrate 30 years, we were delighted that a delegation of UNISON volunteers, banner, flags and t-shirts where present to reflect UNISON’s current campaign priorities including the Year of Black Workers, Ethnicity Pay Gap and Compensation for the Windrush Generation.

The key messages and target for UNISON campaigns to build on our strong links with community groups.

While the huge numbers of people attending are an obvious target to help raise UNISON’s profile, UNISON also network with the organisations and community groups taking part in the Carnival.

We have featured a community organiser from the Carnival as a legacy profile in our Black History Month brochure and use these networks to circulate UNISON campaigns and relevant activities throughout the year. We will also showcase UNISON’s Year of Black Workers merchandise.

The Carnival attracts thousands of young people from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom will be supporters of community cohesion. UNISON recognise with their involvement in this event it is an opportunity to demonstrate our shared values to attract new members interested in all aspects of equality.

Over the two days we were able to promote UNISON’s campaigning activity, including inviting people to join UNISON, Love Music, Hate Racism, Stand Up to Racism and National Education Union around the parade, as well as promote the equality strategy and UNISON’s Year of Black Workers mission statement ‘Establishing Legacy to Generate Change’.

The article UNISON at Notting Hill Carnival first appeared on the UNISON National site.