News and Support from The NASUWT
The Coalition Government’s decision to scrap equalities guidance for schools and colleges will leave teachers vulnerable to discrimination and harassment, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, has argued today.
The NASUWT moved a motion at the TUC Congress in Brighton on the Government’s decision to scrap statutory codes of practice which set out school and colleges’ responsibilities for challenging discrimination under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).
This follows cuts to the budget and remit of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and attacks on workers’ rights which independent evidence shows are having a disproportionate impact on minority and marginalised groups.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“This decision is yet another example of the failure of the Coalition Government to value and protect working people.
“Fairness, social justice and equality are at the heart of a civilised society.
“Scaling back vital provisions which help to prevent discrimination in the workplace will encourage victimisation and unfair treatment.
“The public sector equality duty had only been in place a month when the Coalition announced the review.
“What the Coalition ignores is that these provisions were introduced for a reason. They have produced not one scrap of evidence to justify their removal and have made the decision on the basis of their own irrational prejudices.
“The removal of these provisions will give employers the green light to discriminate.”
Moving the motion, NASUWT President Paula Roe, said:
“Under the Coalition Government, women, young people and black and minority ethnic groups face the highest levels of unemployment for years, the gender pay gap is widening and there is evidence of increased homophobia and racism within our society.
“We must put pressure on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to do everything within their power to make the codes of practice statutory, fight for their role so that it is not further reduced and we should continue to expose this Coalition Government’s weakness in tackling prejudice and discrimination and their blatant lack of care for vulnerable groups.”