Zita Holbourne

The coronavirus pandemic has disproportionate impacts on those who already face discrimination at work and in wider society. I have been involved in negotiations and campaigning to protect workers from being placed at risk and to ensure equality impacts are addressed. Equality must be at the heart of recovery going forward.

I am a current National Vice President  and my roles include Chair of the National Equality Co-ordinating Committee, Chair of the Women’s Forum and Chair of the International Committee in addition to being a member of a number of other committees including black members, campaigns and outsourced workers.  I am also part of the national trade union side with a focus on equality and have been involved in talks with regards discrimination, equality, harassment and bullying and disproportionately impacts of coronavirus on equality grounds.

I am active at group and branch level where I am BEIS Group Vice President and group Personal Case Officer and branch secretary of BEIS London North and East of England. I am also part of negotiation teams with the employer, including on equality, terms and conditions, estates, jobs and impacts of covid. I specialise in handling complex cases and advise reps across the group.

I am elected to the TUC Race Relations Committee and the TUC Women’s Committee.  I represent PCS on the European Public Services Union (EPSU) NEA committee and am coordinator of the EPSU Black workers’ network. I am also a member of the Public Services International (PSI) Education and Culture network group. 

Outside of PCS I am a grassroots and human rights campaigner and the co-founder and National Chair of BARAC UK and founding member of BAME Lawyers for Justice, campaigning against the ‘hostile environment’, deportations and Windrush injustice.  I am part of an International pan-African Justice for George Floyd campaign group and support a number of family justice campaigns. For the past 8 years I have coordinated regular humanitarian aid missions supporting those displaced due to persecution and climate injustice. During the pandemic I have continued to support both refugees and people in the UK with no recourse to public funds through regular aid, providing essentials, baby supplies, food and toys and books for children at Christmas time.

Both in and out of PCS I have been involved in highlighting the impacts of coronavirus in terms of those at high risk of contracting and dying due to precarious and frontline jobs, equality impacts and deprivation and in calling for safety and protection but also in relation to the ongoing economic impacts. I am part of the Zero Covid Coalition, initiated by Diane Abbott MP. I have also been involved in organising PCS black and women mbers events to campaign on the disproportionate impacts of covid and against discrimination and injustice.

In December 2019 I was proud to be awarded by the Legacy Awards a lifetime achievement award for Equality Champion which acknowledged both my trade union and community work on equality.

In January 2021 the Big Issue named BARAC UK on their list of 100 top changemakers, listed as number 3 under the heading of human rights and direct action.

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Full Democracy Alliance nomination list

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