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Working with trade unions to promote equality, diversity and social justice through public procurement

Posted by Tessa Wright on June 25, 2024

Members of the Buying Social Justice research team are currently working with the TUC and a number of individual trade unions, supporting their endeavours to encourage public sector bodies to include equality, diversity and social justice requirements as well as employment standards in their procurement requirements.   

The work is being undertaken as part of an impact project funded by Queen Mary University of London aimed at supporting trade unions’ use of the Buying Social Justice equality and diversity toolkit and evaluating the ways in which they might subsequently use the toolkit. 

Professor Tessa Wright and Dr Joyce Mamode held a series of meetings with TUC officials, trade union officers, policy and educational specialists to identify opportunities for promoting the toolkit amongst trade unionists.  Presentations have subsequently been made to groups of union officials and public sector workplace representatives with particular interests in influencing the procurement process, and it is intended that the toolkit will become a resource used in union training and guidance.    

It was identified early on in the impact project that a guide to the relevant sections of the toolkit would be a useful additional resource for busy trade union officers and workplace reps.  The resulting document, ‘A trade unionists’ guide to using public procurement to advance equality and social justice’, is now available to download from the main project website’s resources page.  

Joyce and Tessa will present a paper on how trade unionists can affect the procurement process to improve working conditions and equality for members at the British Universities Industrial Relations Association’s annual conference to be held at Queen Mary in July.    

The impact project is funded to run from February until the end of July 2024.  

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