STUC Black Workers’ Statement on the Merger of the Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office

June 19th 2020

STUC Black Workers’ Statement on the Merger of the Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office

June 19th 2020

The STUC Black Workers Committee is deeply concerned by the announcement made by the UK Government to merge the UK Government’s Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

We recognise the achievements of the Department for International Development since it was first established by the then Labour Government in 1997, namely increasing levels of international aid, fighting poverty, eradicating polio, and improving access to water sanitation.

We also recognise and celebrate the many benefits the existence of the Department for International Development has brought to the United Kingdom including improving diplomacy and global standing through soft diplomacy and granting aid to those most in need.

However, despite these achievements and benefits, the STUC Black Workers Committee is concerned about the impact this merger will have on civil servant staff at home and the millions of vulnerable and poorest people around the world.

We are concerned that there was no prior notification and consultation done with the civil service unions. We are concerned that Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff in both departments already experiencing negative impacts of COVID-19 and institutional racism, will be further marginalised during future workforce planning to implement this proposed merger. People are concerned about their jobs and the lack of clarity of information behind the proposals including the underlying reason behind the decision.

The STUC Black Workers Committee stands in complete solidarity with all those impacted here at home (a significant presence based in East Kilbride) and overseas. We ask the UK Government to think again and provide guarantee of no redundancies and ensure an open and respectful change management process with all those involved. We remind them about our Break The Race Ceiling Campaign to ensure more people from a Black and Minority Ethnic background are recruited, retained, and have the confidence and skills to be able to progress while working within the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and all Government Departments and Agencies.

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