Employer signs groundbreaking agreement with Unite to promote more tolerant workplace

Unite, the UK and Ireland’s leading union, and Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) will tomorrow (Tuesday 16 June) sign a ground-breaking agreement committing to working together to promote a more tolerant and inclusive place of work, with race equality at its heart.

NCHA becomes the first employer to sign up to Unite’s Unity over Division charter, launched by the union as part of its campaign to tackle racism and the far right in its members’ workplaces and within communities.

The timing of the signing comes as the world has looked on horrified by the death of George Floyd in the US, with mass protests, demands for justice and real change in society dominating our news.   

Black and ethnic minority people are talking openly about their experiences of racism and discrimination. It is hoped that other employers across the UK will follow NCHA and support the charter in order to start to make all our workplaces safe, dignified and respectful places to work, for all. 

Paresh Patel, Regional Secretary of Unite East Midlands, said: “We welcome the signing of the first ever Unity over Division Charter by a major employer within the East Midlands. This charter forms a solid basis to ensure that race equality remains at the heart of our industrial agenda and our work to stamp out racism. I am immensely proud that both Unite and NCHA are together, leading the way to strive for inclusivity and race equality proactively by signing up to the principals contained within this charter.

“I hope that the signing of this charter will shine out as a beacon for other employers to follow suit.” 

Holly Dagnall, NCHA Director of Homes and Wellbeing, commented: “We welcome this proactive approach to promoting a more inclusive place of work. 

“As Chair of NCHA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Panel, I am continuously looking for opportunities not only to support and improve our work to have a more equal and fairer workplace at NCHA, but to actively challenge racism and intolerance in all its forms in our communities. 

“I respect and support the work of Unite to challenge racial discrimination and intolerance.”

Steve Turner, Unite Assistant General Secretary who leads the union’s anti-racism campaign work, said: "This ground-breaking Unity over Division charter shows when employers and trade unions work together real change can be made. I want to congratulate Nottingham City Homes, our representatives and officers involved in this initiative.

“We know that racism and discrimination have no place in our workplaces. But too often the comments and actions of some, often in the guise of 'banter', cause hurt and upset to others. By committing to the charter, Unite and Nottingham City Homes will challenge this culture head-on in our joint efforts to bring about positive change a journey to make all our workplaces safe, dignified and respectful places to work for all, black or white."