BURY Council and the local health authority have signed a 'historic commitment' to tackle race inequality in the workplace.

Bury CCG, and the local authority are among public sector employers in Greater Manchester to become the first in the country to work together to make the workplace more representative of the community.

Signatories include NHS organisations, local authorities, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police.

An action plan will be drawn up with staff, trade unions and BME staff groups before being launched in the autumn to tackle racial inequality in the workplace.

The initiative, being led by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, follows research which shows that staff from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds experience discrimination, harassment and exclusion in the workplace in the UK.

The "historic commitment" means that for the first time the NHS, local authorities, police and fire service will be working together to take action.

A more representative workforce, and diversity at senior leadership levels results is said to "create a more inclusive, engaged and efficient workforce".

Sir David Dalton, Group Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which includes Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust, and a Chief Executive lead for the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard said:"I am extremely proud that Greater Manchester has made this commitment to be the first in the country to take a coordinated approach to tackling race inequality in the workplace. For years organisations have done their own work on this and made some good progress, but we haven’t got it right. By coming together we can really make a difference to make sure everyone feels welcome in our public services and given the same opportunities to get on.”

"This won’t happen overnight. It will take time to change the culture and processes that have been embedded for decades. But this commitment sends a strong message that enough is enough.

"As a region we should all be proud of the diversity of Greater Manchester, but disappointed that the experience of staff from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in the workplace is getting worse, not better. I’m glad our public services have called time on this and begun the journey to taking real action, across the board."