Topic

equality

89 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Sarah Newton MP, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Adam McVey

Let Us In - make changes so that wheelchair users can be part of society

Wheelchair users are being discriminated against every day, in all walks of life - education, work, homebuilding and social life. They are being denied access to buildings, venues and premises that other people in our society enjoy.This is happening because business owners don’t provide wheelchair access, which could be as simple as providing a ramp, temporary or, if possible, permanent.Non-wheelchair users are often unaware of the obstacles wheelchair users face. Wheelchair users may want to join in with things but are being denied the opportunity to. The world puts up so many barriers and you don’t realise it until you’re in that world. And it is a very different world.For instance, going to the theatre is an experience enjoyed and cherished by many families, especially during the festive season. However, like many other activities, theatres and shows often fail to be wheelchair accessible.Although the accessibility of venues has improved, wheelchair access is often forgotten, or indeed never thought about.I acquired my disability in 2010, and was plunged into a World that I didn’t know existed. I found that I couldn’t go here, couldn’t go there, couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that. It’s torture.The Equality Act describes disability as a ‘protected characteristic’. However, the Act is neither monitored nor enforced. If I think someone is in breach of the Act, it is up to me personally to raise a court action. As the majority of wheelchair users will be surviving on DLA/PIP, this means that this is outwith the realms of affordability for most of us. Is it deliberately cost prohibitive? This Act is nothing more than lip service – a façade to wrongly give the impression that the Government gives a damn.I was concerned about the number of premises which appeared to be inaccessible in the City Centre of my home town of Edinburgh, so I undertook my own accessibility survey. The results revealed some gobsmacking figures. I surveyed 130 properties on Lothian Road/Bread Street/Grassmarket on the West side of the City Centre. A massive 95 (72%) are NOT wheelchair accessible. This is Edinburgh, home of the Edinburgh International Festival and World famous Hogmanay celebrations and Scotland’s capital city, in the 21st Century. It’s appalling. This means that I would have to raise 95 court actions! Everyone who asked what I was doing during the survey made the same comment – “I thought everywhere was/had to be accessible now/these days”.I am not niaive to believe that this situation is confined to one City. The issue exists in every village, town and City, UK-wide.Wheelchair access needs to be a pre-requisite of planning permission for old AND new buildings. Inaccessible premises change ownership, undergo extensive refurbishment and re-open as ‘newly opened’ businesses, and are still inaccessible! How is this being allowed to happen?I came across a BBC News article, dated October 2004, talking about how proprietors of buildings would adapt to incorporate changes which meant that buildings had to be wheelchair accessible from that date. Some business owners have spoken to me about funding, to help meet the cost of adaptations. This was available initially, but has been withdrawn.Please join with me by signing this Petition and asking Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work and Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Scottish Minister for Social Security, to make Councils responsible for enforcing wheelchair accessibility for all public buildings in their ward. I also include in the recipients of this petition, Adam McVey, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, in the hope that he will adopt a totally wheelchair accessible Edinburgh and share best practice with Councils across the UK.  #LetUsIn

Shirley Todd
1,730 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Justin Trudeau, Hon. Lisa M Thompson, Doug Ford

End Discriminatory Funding for Catholic, Public and Independent Schools in Ontario

The current school funding system in Ontario provides full funding for the public system and one private group and no funding for other independent schools. These other schools meet the same provincial requirements (and in many cases exceed them), and reduce the number of students in the public system. Catholics have the option of paying taxes and educating their children in the system of their choice at no additional cost. There is no reason to give that option to one group, at the exclusion of others. The result of this is that many families (including mine), pay their taxes and pay additionally for their children to attend an independent school. Many of these families, and the schools they attend, are not wealthy at all. This petition is not asking for funding for elite, private schools for the wealthy - simply to end an unjust funding practice. Many of these families take on debt and make significant financial sacrifices for their children to get the education they are seeking, while schools may also operate on a very tight budget. Many independent schools in other provinces receive some provincial funding.* However, Ontario has instead opted to give full funding to one group, at the expense of all others. The UN declared this is discriminatory in 1999,** and it needs to change.   Please equalize funding for all schools effective immediately, along with any possible back pay to make up for the many years of imbalance. As long as the Catholics receive any funding, all other schools that meet provincial requirements must receive the same (up to a certain, reasonable cap, based on public school spending/capita and other relevant criterion). If Catholic school funding is adjusted, the other schools must match accordingly. If no other private schools receive funding, then all funding should be removed from the Catholic board. Why is this important? * http://www.ourkids.net/school/provincial-funding-for-private-schools * https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/private-schools-are-not-subsidized ** http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/un-says-funding-of-catholic-schools-discriminatory-1.175008

Stephanie Janzen-Martin
2,438 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to University of Southampton

University of Southampton to improve access & participation for asylum seekers & refugees

Dear University of Southampton Access and Participation (APP) committee,   We, the undersigned, politely ask that you include a strategic plan to ensure the access and participation of asylum seekers and refugees, in your APP report that will be sent to the Office for Students (OfS) by 24th May. The Office for Students states in its “New approach to regulating access and participation in English higher education” published in December 2018 that future generations should have equal opportunities to access and succeed in higher education and achieve successful and rewarding careers. We understand that the OfS has particular concern for students who share the following characteristics; those who live in areas of low higher education participation, low household income and low socioeconomic status groups, those from BAME groups, mature students, those with disability status and care leavers and expect each University to present what they will do to ensure these groups are supported in APP. However, we believe that the University of Southampton should additionally support asylum seekers and refugees who have extremely unequal access and participation in higher education (see attached information document). The city of Southampton is one of the only dispersal centres for asylum seekers in the South of England, with 150 accommodation places, and many people once they have refugee status continue to live their lives in Southampton. Solent University offer an APP scheme for asylum seekers and refugees but the University of Southampton currently does not, despite the OfS call to higher education institutions to eliminate the gap in entry rates at higher-tariff providers between the most and least represented groups (Participation of Local Areas (POLAR)). Isabella Camilleri, Vice- President Welfare at the University of Southampton Students’ Union, presented a proposal to the University of Southampton Student Experience Directorate (see attached document) which after consideration was not supported due to predictions that supporting one asylum seeker through such a programme would cost upwards of £100,000. Therefore, we would like the University to make a commitment to reviewing this and reevaluating what they can do to help by including a plan for asylum seekers and refugees in their APP proposal to the OfS, due on the 24th May. We ask that you include a commitment to: 1.       Introduce a scholarship scheme 2.       Advertise that UoS supports asylum seekers and refugees 3.       Offer peer support and tutoring pre-entry Failing this, we would like the above to be included in the internal University APP plan and this plan to then be presented to students by January 2020. Additionally, we ask that the University works with the STAR Equal Access campaign, local organisations and SUSU student societies in order to examine how other Russell Group, higher-tariff higher education institutions ensure access and participations of asylum seekers and refugees in order to present a more informed plan that incorporates others’ best practise. Yours sincerely,

Isabella Camilleri
22 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Mike Viggers

Reinstate Vivienne

Reinstate Dr Vivienne Lyfar-Cissé Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust Sacks Race Equality Whistleblower New Trust Board uses unlawful process to dismiss race equality lead, who highlighted race equality issues to the Care Quality Commission We call upon the Trust Board to reinstate Dr Lyfar-Cissé with immediate effect #reinstateVivienne Background Dr Vivienne Lyfar-Cissé Dr Lyfar-Cissé has been employed by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) since 1983. She worked for many years as a Principal Clinical Biochemist. In 2007, she won an Employment Tribunal (ET) against the Trust for racial discrimination. A second ET in 2008  for racial discrimination and victimisation, arose from the behaviour of the Trust after the first ET outcome and was settled out of court. Following this, the Chief Executive at the time apologised publicly to Dr Lyfar-Cissé and acknowledged that the Trust was institutionally racist. Dr Lyfar-Cissé was then invited by the Chief Executive to lead the race equality agenda at BSUH, which she has done ever since, most recently in the role of Associate Director of Transformation, leading race equality strategies for staff and patients. She is also the Chair of the BME Network at BSUH and of the national NHS BME Network. As Chair of the BME Network, Dr-Lyfar-Cissé has regularly brought to the attention of the Care Quality Commission (CQC, the regulator of hospitals), the race issues within the Trust. This resulted in strong criticism of the Trust by CQC in their August 2016 Inspection Report  and contributed to the Trust being placed in special measures. On 28 June 2017 Dr Lyfar-Cissé was dismissed from her role, by an unjust process which would prevent her from continuing to highlight the institutional racism in the organisation and which is a clear case of victimisation.   Actions of the New Trust Board The Trust Board for Western Sussex Hospitals (WSH) NHS Foundation Trust (referred to here as the new Trust Board) began an agreement from 1 April 2017 whereby they would lead BSUH Trust for a minimum of three years. One of the first actions of the new Trust Board upon taking up leadership at BSUH was to inform Dr Lyfar-Cissé that she was being investigated under the Fit and Proper Person Regulations (FPPR) in line with the Health and Social Care Act 2008. This is despite the fact that the FPPR do not apply to her as she is neither an executive director; a non-executive director; an associate director who is a member of the Trust Board; nor does she perform functions equivalent of similar to the functions of a director. Dr. Lyfar-Cissé is not in attendance at Board meetings or any Board Committees. BSUH's policy and processes concerning the FPPR, which makes clear the regulation only applies to executive and non-executive directors has been found to be compliant by CQC. Despite this fact the new Trust Board do not feel that BSUH's approach is compliant and have placed on record that things should be done in the way it is done at WSH whereby the regulation applies to everyone with director in their job title. The difference in the interpretation of the regulation has never been tested by law as Dr Lyfar-Cissé is the first person ever to be dismissed since the FPPR was introduced in the NHS in November 2014 following the mid-Staffordshire enquiry. The new Trust Board's reason for invoking the regulation is that Dr Lyfar-Cissé had been found guilty of serious misconduct following a number of false allegations against her over a period of three years, many of which were never upheld at the disciplinary stage. The Allegations and Unjust Findings are that Dr Lyfar-Cissé: Sent an email to BME Network members in 2014 regarding a grievance raised against her by a BME member. Although she had made the CEO and HR aware that she planned to send the email and did not name the person involved she was found guilty of bullying, harassment and victimisation. Refused to take part in a second investigation by a QC, which cost the Trust over £21,000 of public money, because her evidence concerning grievances raised by the BME member above had already been made available by way of a first investigation and an appeal at that stage. However, she was found guilty of failing to comply with a reasonable management instruction. Told a white British senior manager that she despaired of working with white British senior managers; this was taken out of context as it had followed on from a conversation between them about a previous white British director's comments that the treatment she had received previously from the Trust was not just racist but the actions of a white supremacist Trust Board. Despite this she was found guilty of discrimination and harassment because she had referred to the manager's colour and she was told she could criticise the managers, but could not mention their colour or race. Although the investigations had found her guilty of a further 12 charges related to the two individuals mentioned above she was found not guilty of any of these charges at a disciplinary hearing. A disciplinary outcome concerning  all the matters above was made available on 11 November 2016 and the sanction was a final written warning for 12 months. An appeal did not change the outcome and the internal process was concluded on 4 January 2017. Dr Lyfar-Cissé is currently pursuing the above matters via Employment Tribunal. In addition another ET claim for victimisation, which was upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, will be reheard by the ET later this year.

BME Network BSUH
1,164 supporters