Black Teachers’ Consultation Conference

Internal practice

Duration

Annual event

Reason it was developed

The annual Black Teachers’ Consultation Conference was developed to ensure that the voices and experiences of Black teachers and headteachers/Principles are central to the NASUWT work on campaigning, bargaining as well as its policies and practices. Black teachers report incidences of everyday racism in the workplace and this was becoming a growing problem for many Black members. These annual consultation conferences for Black members have been running for many years and are now a key feature in the Union’s programme of work. It also provides a network and ‘safe space’ for Black teachers to come together to discuss their experiences, learn from each other and the Union and to work together on solution to securing racial justice. These are part of the equality consultation conference programme for members from marginalised groups within the Union.

Activities

The annual Black Teachers Conference provides a space for Black* Teachers and headteachers within the NASUWT to contribute to the policies, procedures and campaigning/bargaining agenda of the Union and ensuring that racial justice is mainstreamed within all of these activities. The Union uses these conferences to shine a light on its internal practices to ensure there are no barriers to participation from Black members and that they are empowered to take up activist roles in the Union. High profile Keynote speakers and politicians are invited to engage with the Black members at the consultation conferences so that they can hear first hand about their experiences of institutional racism and their solutions to tackling systemic racial injustices. As with the other consultation conferences, these events provide an opportunity to shine a light on any internal practices that act as a barrier tparticipation within the Union. In 2016 the Union launched its Act for Racial Justice campaign which now sits alongside the trade union wide campaign on racial justice. At each event the Union runs a live poll survey to capture information from Black members on their experience and views on racial justice in the workplace, which then informs our campaigning, bargaining and lobbying activities. *Note the term ‘Black’ is an inclusive term for all self-identified Black and Minority Ethnic people who have a shared legacy of racism and racialised oppression. It includes people from Black Caribbean, African and Asian backgrounds

Results

Again during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic these events were moved to virtual conferences. This had not had a negative impact on participation. Once again almost 500 Black members attended the Conference this year in its virtual form. Previously the Union was concerned that there were few Black members in senior activist roles within the NASUWT and particularly at National Executive level. This picture has changed as more people have taken up senior roles. In 2020 the Union appointed its first ever Black male General Secretary (currently the only Black General Secretary within the UK TUC bodies) and also elected its first Black Woman National President. This was a sea change for the NASUWT and the UK trade union movement as a whole.

Funding

These Conferences are solely funded by the NASUWT

Links

United Kingdom
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