- Breaking News
- Today's Paper
- Text Only
- Family Notices
Saturday, July 21, 2012
More than one in four civil service staff have witnessed their colleagues make racist remarks about clients or customers in the last year, a survey of racist attitudes in the service has found.
The Public Service Executive Union, which represents executive grades within the civil service, decided to carry out the survey in order to assess the level of workplace training in anti-racism and interculturalism their members are given.
The PSEU received 491 replies to the survey.
As well as revealing the extent of the training, the survey also revealed a number of statistics on racist incidents within the civil service.
The survey discovered that:
* 26% said they witnessed racist remarks being made by colleagues about clients or customers in the past year;
* 7% report witnessing a client or customer being subjected to racist remarks or behaviour in the past year;
* 4.5% reported witnessing a colleague being the subject of discrimination in the workplace based on race in the past year;
* 3.5% reported being the subject of discrimination based on race in the workplace in the past year.
Furthermore, the union surveyed both departments and individual workers on the existence of anti-racism training.
Of the 16 departments which responded, all admitted that their department did not have a specific anti-racism and intercultural policy, but 10 of the 16 said they had an equality policy with a specific anti-racism component.
Half said a training plan had been drawn up which included specific anti-racism and intercultural training, and nine said their staff had received anti-racism training.
However, of the staff surveyed, 61% said they did not know if their employer had an equality policy with a specific anti-racism component, and 60% said they did not know if their department offered training which dealt with anti-racism or intercultural issues.
Only 20% said they had been offered training dealing with anti-racism or intercultural issues.
The PSEU’s deputy general secretary, Billy Hannigan, said the dichotomy between the departments’ response and that of the staff needs to be addressed.
He also said that while the nature of the survey meant it could not be determined whether a number of respondents may have been referring to the same incidences of racism, "it is still an indication that there is an issue which needs to be addressed".
He said the union would now forward the results of the survey to diversity section of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, as well a number of key stakeholders, including the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Equality Authority, and the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter.
© Irish Examiner Ltd, City Quarter, Lapps Quay, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523712.