Saturday, June 09, 2007

Barnet UNISON supporting launch of All Visible Minority Ethnic Group (AVMEG)

Thursday 31 May so the Launch Of Barnet Council's NEW All Visible Minority Ethnic Group (AVMEG) in Partnership with Barnet UNISON.

The event was held at the Emerald Suite, North London Business Park on Thursday 31 May 2007.

The Group is open to all minority ethnic council staff, including staff that are not members of the union.

The Executive Director of Resources, Nick Walkley, spoke positively about the Councils willingness to engage with the group and gave his committment to make sure the group is fully supported and resourced (or else Mary will be chasing him! Editors joke).

Mary Pierre Harvey provided an inspiring and informative speech on her work in Richmond and her work with UNISON. Mary has offered to meet Nick in 6 months time to see what progess has been made!

David Netia followed with an engaging, challenging speech on the power of indivivuals but more importantly the power of groups working/coordinating together.

It was a packed out meeting, clearly demonstrating an eagerness to see what the group can achieve. Questions from the floor clearly reflected the need fo rwork to be done. It is to be hoped that the group will avoid the pitfalls of other such groups and become more than a talking shop. Members of staff clearly want to see tangible change within Barnet Council.

AVMEG will encourage and support the development and career progression of staff within the council. Helping to ensure that the views and perspectives of all minority ethnics groups are reflected in policies, procedures and service delivery. It will build closer links with other minority ethnic staff networks in Barnet and organise social events.

The Launch marks 18 months of discussions with the Executive Director & Barnet UNISON to establish this group. Partnership working is an overused phrase in local government but in this case there has been a sharing in resources. Our branch is committed to seeing an end of discrimination in the workplace and if this group contributes to this goal then our resources and efforts will be more than well spent.

Discussions are taking place next week with regards future resourcing of the group and I hope to hear Mike Omezi report back on the outcome.

For more information please contact Mike Omezi on 020 8359 2199 or email:

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