20 April 2021

Statement on the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report

PCS rejects the report of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities.

PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka, has signed the TUC’s letter to prime minister Boris Johnson on behalf of PCS and fully endorses the criticisms it contains that the commission has not recognised the institutional and structural racism that exists in the UK, in both the labour market and wider society.

Evidence for such institutional and structural racism has been ignored. For example, it is beyond doubt that black people – PCS uses the term black in the political context to apply to people from African and Asian diasporas, including people of dual heritage have been more likely to die from Covid-19. They have been shown to be carrying out more insecure and low paid front line work, and are over-represented in the criminal justice system.

The report supports the use of stop and search by the police, and distorts academic studies to support its position, when the disproportionate targeting of young black men and boys for stop and search is a clear and proven example of institutional racism.

The report fails to acknowledge the lived experience of black communities, including the impacts of such events as the Windrush scandal and the Grenfell tragedy.

Within the civil service more than 80 Black PCS members in the Cabinet Office, at the heart of government itself, have raised concerns of racism and bullying. Black people working for private companies delivering civil service contracts, particularly facilities management staff, and in the culture sector are being disproportionately affected by Covid-related issues and redundancies.

PCS stands with our black members in the struggle for real change.

Mohammed Shafiq

Chair of PCS National Black Members’ Committee

 

Zita Holbourne

PCS Vice President

 

Fran Heathcote

PCS President

 

Mark Serwotka

PCS General Secretary