BLACK workers have condemned the “disgraceful” levels of in-work poverty that ethnic minority workers face compared with their white colleagues.
A motion unanimously carried at the TUC Black Workers Conference on Saturday stated that, although the number of BME in employment has grown by 3.2 per cent since 2010, the work has often not been financially worthwhile and high levels of workplace inequality persists.
Though millions of people suffer from in-work poverty in general, the problem is magnified with black workers. Research produced by the TUC last year shows that black workers earn 10 per cent less than their white colleagues.
Delegates warned that this is taking its toll on black workers and called on the trade union movement to take action to tackle racial and financial inequality.
Camilla De Mayo, a delegate representing the National Education Union (NEU), spoke of her concerns about black teachers exiting the profession.
She said:“For some of you, there must be an irony that black teachers suffering from in-work poverty can be supporting children working on the poverty line. They still do it.
“Young black teachers talk about their struggle to make ends meet in a graduate profession. This is a disgrace.
“I teach because I want to make a difference in the lives of young people. When I hear about black teachers leaving, I fear for the future of the profession and the future of our movement.”
Tracy Hill of public service union PCS criticised the fact that “too many black workers are overqualified and underpaid,” while “working alongside managers who are underqualified and overpaid.”
Black workers with A-levels typically earn £1.20 an hour less than their white colleagues, according to TUC 2017 research.
The pay gap for black workers is the widest for those with degrees, at 14 per cent, and higher education certs and diplomas, at 20 per cent, suggesting that the gap often increases for black people with more qualifications.
Black school leavers with GCSEs earn 12 per cent less and those with no qualifications face a 5 per cent pay gap.
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