South Tyneside has pledged its commitment to eliminate racial discrimination by signing an anti-racism charter.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon and Chief Executive Jonathan Tew signed the document and were joined by Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, Councillor Paul Dean and Cllr Joanne Bell, Lead Member for Governance, Finance and Corporate Services.
By signing the charter, the Council pledges to make a number of commitments over the next three years. These include championing a racially diverse workforce, challenging racism wherever it is seen and providing training for all staff. The pledges will help the Council to identify and remove barriers and promote opportunity in recruitment, promotions, training and development opportunities, in disciplinary procedures and in pay.
Councillor Dixon said: “By signing this charter we are putting anti-racist policies at the heart of everything we do as a local authority.
“South Tyneside has a long and proud history of welcoming people of different ethnicities but there remains a tiny minority who still think that racist behaviour is acceptable.
“To tackle this, we must lead from the front. We are committed to making South Tyneside a safe and supportive place for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or any other protected characteristic. By signing this charter we are sending a clear signal that racist behaviour will not be tolerated anywhere in the Borough.”
UNISON Northern regional secretary Clare Williams said: “By signing our Anti-Racism Charter, South Tyneside Council is setting an example about the way employers should value all their staff.
“The Charter makes meaningful commitments to supporting Black staff and I am proud of the work the union has done, working in partnership with South Tyneside Council.
“We will be working with other organisations across the region to encourage them to sign up to the charter too.”