Our Black Members Officer is



Roisin Kirby






Important Black Members Survey



The TUC is undertaking a survey of Black workers to inform its work around Health and Safety.  UNISON is very supportive of this work so I would be grateful if you could circulate the information below to your networks and encourage members to complete the survey.





Kind regards Bethan 


Bethan Thomas

Rheolwr Rhanbarthol – Regional Manager



Dear all


A big thanks to those of you who joined us for the roundtable event at the end of 2021. It was a really useful discussion which has fed into our next step: a survey.


We want to know more about the experiences of Black* workers in relation to health and safety at work.


We need as many workers as possible to complete this survey, to give us the best and most reliable information, strong arguments, and informed outcomes.


Please can you help us by encouraging your union’s members to fill it in, and promoting it through any and all channels you have available?


SURVEY: https://greenwichuniversity.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6DWQENMMhDQlnQG


*Black is a term the TUC uses to include all those of African, Asian, Arab, Caribbean heritage – I know other unions use BAME, BME etc.


Please share this survey with your safety reps and members. If you can also ask your Equalities officers to get BAME/Black worker committees sharing this, that would be most appreciated.

The survey will be followed by a series of focus groups, and then a report on the findings, with an aim of producing some new resources for members and reps. I will be in touch about the focus groups once the survey has commenced.


The survey will close on Thursday 3rd March.





One in five BME workers treated unfairly at work during Covid-19 ...
Jul 17, 2020 ... One in five black and minority ethnic (BME) people of those surveyed ... according to a new TUC self-report survey published today (Friday).



The UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us all of what is at stake in the fight against racism

link to the publication about using the term Black: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2017/03/24209.pdf


There’s also something on our website, in the Equalities section: https://www.unison.org.uk/about/what-we-do/fairness-equality/black-members/defining-black/

Black members: new live event
The national Black members' committee is organising a series of virtual events in place of the usual Black members' conference in January 2021  online and live!
Register here









9th October 2020 




Dear Friend & Colleague, 


The Black Members SOG Committee would like to invite you to the forthcoming Annual General Meeting being held at:-


DATE:  Saturday         21st November 2020

VENUE:  Virtual – Team meeting    

COMMENCING:  10.30am    


Although an Annual General Meeting is held every year, the term of office on the Black Members Group Committee is for a period of 2 years.  Therefore, elections will be taking place this year.


It is extremely important to have the input from all areas across Wales and prompt everyone to participate – even if you have little or no experience, as guidance will be provided. 


Thank You!

Kebba Manneh

Cymru/Wales Black Members Self Organised Group – Chair

Our diversity champion
Concluding our Black History Month coverage, we meet Yvonne Green and talk heroes, history, activism and getting more Black people into the boardroom.
Find out more about Yvonne
  Yvonne Green
Black members: This avoidable crisis
National equalities secretary Gloria Mills argues that the Lawrence Review endorses UNISON's view that decades of discrimination have left Black communities over-exposed and under-protected from COVID-19. 
Read the blog

Black Members Conference 2021


Further to consultation with the President , General Secretary and the Chairs of the National Black Members Committee and following the recently updated COVID-19 restrictions, the decision has been taken not to hold UNISON’s physical Black Members Conference 2021. The decision has been taken to support branches, give them certainty in these times and to protect our activist’s health, safety and wellbeing. 


Conference date 2021: 



Conference Dates  

Conference Venue 

Black Members 

Friday 22– Sunday 24 January 2021 

Brighton Centre 



The National Black Members Committee has indicated that they wish to proceed with a virtual event in lieu of conference. The Conference Office with work in conjunction with them to deliver this event in lieu of conference..

Black History Month 

UNISON Cymru Wales’ Kebba Manneh has been profiled by UNISON Centre: Let’s make future Black history a positive one. 




Social care bonus 

Welsh Government "didn''t think #500 care worker bonus through", says social care spokeswomanregional secretary Karen Loughlin quoted, Wrexham.com. This article also appears in the Rhyl Journal and Denbighshire Free Press, as well as Deeside.com (previously circulated). 

The stakes are too high for employers to get this wrong

Survey of Black health and care workers 

A number of UK charity organisations which support Black and migrant workers and communities are undertaking a survey of Black health and care workers.

Black health and care workers have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. UNISON has been providing specific support and campaigning for measures to reduce the risk to these groups.

This survey explores these issues and will help inform campaign work and action to help this groups. Please encourage your Black members to take the survey.

Take the survey
Find out more
Blog: Because Black disabled lives matter
UNISON activists Veronica Price-Job and Peter Daley look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting Black disabled workers
Read the full story
UNISON Centre release below. Although it refers to Public Health England, I'm sure the issue will be of interest to colleagues here.
Subject: Government must act immediately on second PHE BAME report, says UNISON

Tuesday 16 June 2020  

For immediate release


Government must act immediately on second PHE BAME report, says UNISON


Commenting on the second report published today (Tuesday) by Public Health England (PHE) on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black communities, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:


“The government must act now. Words and promises to do something in the future won't cut it any longer. 


“The pandemic has brought home just how many frontline care and health employees are from Black communities. They’ve suffered a heavy toll and need better protecting now, before the almost inevitable second Covid spike.


“The government’s failure to release the PHE data and recommendations together was a huge mistake. It’s caused further mistrust and damage to the Black community at a time when people need reassurance, not dither, delay and excuses.


“More thorough risk assessments, targeted testing and moving vulnerable workers out of reach of the virus are paramount. That means making masks and face coverings mandatory in care homes and schools.


“People will also want to see exactly how structural and institutional racism in all areas of employment, housing, education and every other aspect of life in the UK are to be eradicated.”


Note to editors:

- UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, private and voluntary sectors.  


Media contacts:  
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: 


14 June 2020

Embargoed: 00.01hrs Monday 15 June 2020


Extend free scheme to all frontline care and NHS staff, says UNISON


A government scheme exempting overseas workers from visa fees for one year should be extended to all care staff and NHS employeessays UNISON today (Monday).


The union is backing an amendment brought by MP Yvette Cooper to the Immigration Bill ​that would ensure many more staff – such as social care workers, hospital cleaners, healthcare assistants and porters – would not have to pay up to £3,000 to remain working on the Covid-19 frontline.


A campaign launched by UNISON urging people to write to their MP to get the Bill changed coincides with the publication today (Monday) of a Home Affairs Select Committee report​, which also calls for a visa scheme extension.


Only around 3,000 NHS workers – whose visas were due to expire before 1 October – currently qualify for the free extension announced in April by the Home Office.


UNISON says many more are having to face the costly and stressful process of applying because they are not eligible under the scheme.


They include care support worker Akeem Lawall who has been working up to 60 hours a week looking after vulnerable people throughout the pandemic in a care home.


The 37-year-old earns just £9.50 an hour but will have to pay to replace his visa when it expires in September this year, despite being classed as an essential worker.


Akeem, who came to the UK from Nigeria in 2016 and is married with two children, says: “I want to continue in my job caring for people.


“The visa is a huge cost though that I’ll struggle to pay given my wages – I don’t know how I’ll find the money.”

UNISON is also calling on the government to grant key workers who have been on the Covid-19 frontline indefinite leave to remain.


UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “It’s deeply unjust that thousands of care workers and NHS staff don’t qualify for this free scheme.


“It's a costly process reapplying and one that's stressful at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic.


"Many migrant workers are in a precarious position with their visas up for renewal during the crisis. They're on the frontline looking after us – we must look after them too.​”


Notes to editors:

Click here for more details on UNISON’s campaign for the free visa scheme to be extended to all care and NHS staff.  
- A one-year visa extension costs around £3,000 which includes the basic fee, NHS surcharge and biometric costs. 

- The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination Bill is currently making its way through Parliament.

- UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: 
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk

Read our new blog with members of UNISON Cymru Wales' Black Members Group about #BlackLivesMatter: “Britain has been living in denial of racism”

Good Morning All


I hope you are well and keeping safe.


Please see the attached report from the National Black Members Committee from the Cymru/Wales BMSOG Chair, Kebba Manneh.


The BMSOG would be most grateful if you can circulate this amongst your branch members.


Many thanks in advance.


Lianne Owen

UNISON Area Organiser


02920 729413



Letter from the Chairs latest version Ma[...]
Microsoft Word document [39.0 KB]

Inequalities emerging through the pandemic are chilling evidence to support UNISON’s demands on workplace rights and decent public services.  We need them now


Kebba Manneh speaking at a UNISON Cymru Wales event. Photo credit: Natasha Hirst   There must be an investigation into why Black people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus across Wales, says UNISON today (Thursday). UNISON Cymru Wales says Black health service staff and care workers are dying disproportionately, and the higher number of Black […]

Our Black Members Committee has written a lovely tribute to Donna Campbell on behalf of UNISON Cymru Wales. Special thanks to Kebba Manneh and Denise Thomas for writing this and to UNISON's Velindre regional organiser Darron Dupre for his contribution.

‘I’m just trying to fight injustice’
Portrait of Funmi Ayeni
Reports from Black members’ conference

Funmi Ayeni (above) was “overwhelmed” when she found out that she’d won the first Young Black Members’ Award.

“I didn’t expect to win it,” she told the union’s Black members' conference in Bournemouth at the weekend, “but it was an amazing feeling when I did."

“I’m just trying to fight the injustice that we face,” she said.

President: ‘Our strength comes from you’
Dave Prentis: ‘Now is our time’
How getting involved helped Charmaine Blaze
Read more conference reports

UNISON ‘proud’ to sponsor inaugural health BAME award as it launches Race for Equality campaign

UNISON's IT systems - including the Online Conference System - experienced a significant disruption on 19 September and we know many branches had difficulty uploading motions to National Black Members Conference 2020. Consequently it has been decided to extend the deadline for the submission of motions to September 24th 11:00 am.
Tim Roberts
Secretary to National Black Members Standing Orders Committee

Bridgend social worker, Neelo Farr, won election on the UNISON Cymru Wales Labour Link Committee which helps oversee the union’s political lobbying of Welsh government 

Why racism still needs to be kicked out of football
Show racism the red card event

To mark the 25-year fight against racism in football, we spoke with two former players who experienced racism first hand – but are now helping to educate players and fans alike to accept diversity. 

Read the story

UNISON Cymru/Wales Black Members Self Organised Group (BMSOG) are requesting that all branches actively encourage their black members to participate in the BMSOG.


We are striving to strengthen our group and your help and support would be greatly received, as we all know face to face conversation are the best recruitment tool.  The BMSOG have put together information packs for potential new members to the group which branches can request as and when needed. 


If you require any further information or would like to request information packs please do not hesitate to contact Lianne Owen, UNISON Area Organiser on 07903 853018 or l.owen@unison.co.uk


Many thanks in advance. 


Kebba Manneh

Chair of the Cymru/Wales Black Members SOG