Lambeth Council to take action on racial equality among staff

UNISON has repeatedly highlighted the problem in Lambeth with so few Black members of staff in senior management. Currently out of 26 there is only 1 non-white person working in the upper echelons of the council, which does not reflect the vast majority of the workforce.

Thanks to a campaign by UNISON we have made serious progress. Lambeth Council have started a programme of activities to “enhance leadership opportunities for black and minority ethnic staff.”

The first event will be a speech by Althea Loderick, a strategic director from Brent Council, from 1 – 2pm on 31 October in the Lecture Theatre, International House. Council CEO Sean Harriss and Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite will host the event.  We encourage our members to attend and to ask what the practical steps are to address the inequality in structures at Lambeth Council.

For more details please see the council sharepoint site.


Air Quality and the Vehicle Idling Action Days

Currently there is renewed focus on air quality in Lambeth. The Lambeth Air Quality Report 2015 has been published and there is an air quality consultation underway on the draft Air Quality Action Plan 2017-2022. Lambeth has also partnered with 11 other London boroughs to tackle vehicle idling.

There will be action days where volunteers will go to selected air quality hot spots and talk to drivers and pedestrians alike about unnecessary engine idling and its impact on air quality. 

For more Lambeth staff green volunteering opportunities you can email Hanna in the Council’s Sustainability Team

Lambeth UNISON Annual General Meeting details

How You Can Get Involved

In January we will hold the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of our UNISON Branch. This is an important meeting at which we will elect the officers for the coming year and agree our policies.

As we have for the past couple of years we will organise a “rolling” AGM to maximise the opportunities for members to attend, with a main session (for which we will ask the Council for paid time off work) at lunchtime on Thursday 26 January, and two additional sessions in the days beforehand – one at the College and one (aimed particularly at school staff) after work at International House.



Our UNISON Branch has many enthusiastic activists – but we are always looking for more people to get involved and share the work! You can read about the branch officer positions which will be elected at our AGM on the UNISON website

The Branch Committee has agreed a timetable for the AGM and the important dates to note now are;

  • Monday 24 October – publication of notice of the AGM to all members;
  • Tuesday 6 December (5pm) – deadline for nominations;
  • Thursday 26 January 2017 (lunchtime) – AGM at Karibu Centre.


No to immigration checks in our schools!

Are schools a foreign country?

Everyone would say no, but then why are school children being asked to show their passports or fill out details of where they were born?

Under orders from the Department for Education, Lambeth, along side other local authorities, are now asking parents to provide details of their children’s nationality. The entire purpose of this is to find undocumented families. This is part of the growing anti immigrant mood in British politics and is a very worrying development. Schools should have no role in policing people’s backgrounds – their only job is to provide free education to the children that live in their area.

Thankfully the DoE has clarified that passport checks are not a requirement. The school may ask to see documentation but parents should refuse to comply. In which case the administrator will  leave the box empty.

UNISON is opposed to these immigration checks on parents and children.



The Department of Education under the guise of investigating “education tourism” is asking all children in schools in England to bring their passports and birth certificates to prove their nationality and country of birth.

More details can be found on this site:–collectdata–on immigrantchildren–children–from–autumn.

This will only serve to exacerbate concerns for immigrant communities and will be an infringement on the rights of British citizens as it will apply to the general school population. Under this Policy, schools will be required to check on “nationality” status every term.

Nicky Morgan disclosed in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this year that she had ordered civil servants in the Department for Education to investigate the impact of mass migration on state schools.

The impact of this policy will only serve to create anxiety amongst immigrant communities out of genuine fear that the information will end up in the hands of Immigration Enforcement.

This motion seeks to gain the understanding and support of Lambeth UNISON that such a policy is divisive and will only serve to cause harm to children who may be withdrawn from school. The general feedback is that parents are not aware that they can opt out and must do so by the 6th October , this part of the policy has not promoted as much as the need to see proof of nationality.

Concern is also expressed for the emotional wellbeing of those in schools, in these posts, who will be expected to implement this part of the policy.

This branch resolves to

  1. Highlight this policy and make public the relevant information to empower parents of their right to opt out and encourage its members to be active in publicising this policy and more importantly the right to opt out
  2. Obtain clarity as to how this information will be used
  3. Call on Lambeth Council to make a statement pertaining to this divisive and extremely worrying policy.