Branch Secretary :

Unite’s Unity over Division Charter – new sign up

First NHS trust signs charter


While Nottingham Community Housing Association signed the charter in June, Unite reps have found resistance in the management teams of housing associations. For example, Steve Douglas at St Mungo’s felt that the initiative was too political although he welcomed its general principles.


We believe that it is vital to harness the desire for change among staff in housing associations if real change is to be achieved. Management led initiatives have had limited effect in recent years because they fail to address many fundamental problems facing staff as Unite has consistently warned.


Todays announcement that an NHS trust has signed the charter is welcome and Unite will continue to press housing associations to sign up.


Stamp out racism


University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has become the first NHS trust to sign up to Unite the union’s Unity over Division Charter designed to promote tolerance, equality and diversity in the workplace.


Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said the landmark signing of the charter is another step forward in Unite’s fight to stamp out racism and far right activities. The trust employs more than 16,500 staff.



Aloma Onyemah, head of equality diversity and inclusion at Leicester’s hospitals, said: “Signing up to the Unity over Division Charter with Unite is another positive step forward in our commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is embedded across our hospitals.


“EDI is core to our values as a trust and the charter supports our wider ambition to ensure our talented workforce reflects the communities we serve, and our patients receive high quality care and service, regardless of background.”


Unite regional officer Mark Pettifer said: This will be the first NHS trust to have signed up to the charter in the UK and is a significant move which, hopefully, will lead other public sector employers to follow suit. It is a template for tolerance and equality in the workplace.” 


Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands Paresh Patel said: “The signing demonstrates a genuine commitment between Unite and the trust to work together, to educate and tackle racism head on. 


“Given that we have also celebrated Black History Month recently, this charter is a positive move to ensure that Unite continues to tackle racism within the workplace, regardless of the nature of the industry, business or organisation.”


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