BME (Black & Minority Ethnic)

What do we mean by ‘black’?

UCU uses the term ‘black’ in a political sense to refer to people who are descended, through one or both parents, from Africa, the Caribbean, Asia (the middle-East to China) and Latin America.  It refers to those from a visible minority who have a shared experience of oppression. The word is used to foster a sense of solidarity and empowerment.


Black members

There are number of ways in which black members can raise their concerns, keep informed on new developments and be involved in shaping UCU policy.  The UCU national website click here has useful information including editions of ‘Black Members News’

The UCU is proud of its commitment towards its members and equality structures.

There are specialist officers within the Equality Unit to progress the work of the different equality strands – Black, Women, Disabled and LGBT members and their separate national committees as well as the all-embracing Equality Committee which reports directly to the UCU National Executive Committee.

The NEC is keen to see and to encourage active participation at all levels of the UCU structures. 8 It is a democratic union that is govern by the lay membership. Any member can participate at all levels within the democratic structure.

Further details are available via our Equality web page or, if you would like to receive updates on black member’s issues, send an email to to join the Black Members’ Network.

Jim Thakoordin, NEC and Vice Chair, BMSC


Event as part of UCU’s day of action against workplace racism, February 2018



Combatting racist abuse in the workplace : A TUC guide, September 2016

A TUC guide to protecting migrant and Black and. Minority Ethnic workers from violence, harassment and abuse.



Tackling workplace racism : A UCU bargaining guide for branches, July 2016

UCU branches have a role in challenging structures and processes within the workplace that disadvantage black workers. This guide will help UCU branches to be active in identifying and tackling issues that affect black workers in general. It is clear that this is best done by raising the themes in this guide with your employers as an integral part of the collective bargaining agenda.

UCU tackling workplace racism bargaining guide



Regional BME Members’ Network Meetings

The UCU is keen to increase and support involvement of BME members within union activity and organisation.

UCU Northern Region holds BME members’ network meetings.  If you would like to become involved please use the ‘Contact us’ link at the top left of this page.  Your message will be passed to the Chair of the network.

Some of the objectives of the network are:

1) To combat racism and  eliminate racial discrimination from institutions

2) To identify racism and covert Institutional racism

3) To support BME / black UCU members in work places on issues affecting them

4) To involve BME UCU members within branches

5) To encourage participation at regional & national levels


October 2016


Read the report at


Previous meetings:

February 2015


UCU Northern Region Black Members’ Network Meeting, February 2015, Teesside


Meeting Agenda :  UCU BME Feb 2015 Meeting Agenda

Before the network meeting started there was a speaker from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust:

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October 2014

Meeting Agenda:  Agenda BME 11th October 2014

The meeting includes a Black History Month celebration:UCU BME flyer Chi Onwurah 11th October 2014

Further information on how the Northern Region celebrated Black History Month 2014 can be found in the region’s equality newsletter:


January 2014