Union claims first victory against alleged discriminatory monitoring practices by the NCT

Union members have claimed their first victory in the battle to end what it called discriminatory monitoring processes at the new-parent support charity NCT

A petition calling for the charity to change its feedback processes, started by the charity workers' branch of the trade union the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, has gathered more than 500 signatures in just over a week. 

The union alleged that practitioners, nearly all of whom are women, are being bullied and intimidated using client feedback

While this affects all practitioners, the union said that discriminatory client reviews of black and brown workers were being used by the charity to unfairly target practitioners of colour over months and even years, leaving some feeling suicidal.

The charity previously said it did not discriminate or target specific groups in its evaluation process, and the mental health and wellbeing of its practitioners were of the utmost importance.

But over the weekend the union tweeted that “all ongoing monitoring has been dropped for a practitioner, so that she can work without harassment”, following the petition.

The practitioner told the union: “My aim was simple. I wanted to teach without fear. I wanted them [the charity] to stop monitoring me without the ‘quality assurance process’, which severely compromised my mental health.”

A statement from the union’s charity workers branch said: “The IWGB had a meeting with executive members of NCT. 

“This meeting was to discuss the case of a particular member who has been critically impacted by these racially biased processes. 

“The NCT agreed to drop all excessive monitoring of this practitioner as well as the threats to her job, so that she is free to work without harassment. “

IWGB said that while this was a huge win for the practitioner in this case, the fight was not over.

“The processes that have led to practitioners contemplating suicide, and which enshrine racial bias into official procedures, are still in place,” said the union.

“The NCT has a long way to go, especially when there is no guarantee that it will follow through with its promises as it refuses to officially recognise the union. 

“We plan to keep applying pressure to ensure that all practitioners are free to work without harassment or discrimination."

In a statement, the charity said it was committed to being an open, transparent and progressive organisation. 

A spokesperson said: “We always welcome learning and feedback, and are committed to continual improvement to ensure high-quality services for parents and holistic support for our practitioners.

“The wellbeing of our practitioners is of the utmost importance and we’re not able to discuss or comment on ongoing cases or situations relating to individuals. 

“When there are conclusions and recommendations these will be implemented as appropriate.”

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