First report to the University of Birmingham branch of UCU from the new BUCU anti-racism working group

As agreed at our last general members’ meeting, BUCU have now set up an anti-racism working group and we now have two officers sharing our new anti-racism officer role.

The anti-racism working group has met twice since being created. As agreed, we have sought to highlight, through consultation with our members, key issues that BAME staff face and which we will seek to focus our efforts on. These are:

  • Recruitment processes within the University;
  • Support for migrant members;
  • Health and Safety issues arising from Covid-19 that have a disproportionate impact on BAME staff;
  • To draw attention to the lack of racial diversity at the higher levels of the University, particularly at the level of the University senior management;
  • to explore, understand, and mitigate the disproportionate impact of fixed-term contracts on BAME staff (and students). 
  • To ensure our members are fully aware of the key legal rights they can use to challenge discrimination.

We were also asked to make recommendations to the branch on steps forward in improving our support for BAME members. These are:

  • That the branch and the anti-racism working group continue to work on the key issues identified above.
  • That the anti-racism working group continues to meet on a regular basis, led by the branch anti-racism officer(s).
  • That the branch continues to support the new anti-racism reading group that intends to meet at least once every two months.
  • That the branch offers its support to two leading anti-racism campaigns/initiatives that are aligned with our principles of promoting anti-racism within higher education and the university sector, both by promoting their activity and by making a donation, as follows:
  • That branch committee members all take part in a programme of anti-racism training that will be designed in partnership with the UCU Head of Equality officer.


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