Pav Akhtar (born United Kingdom) is an official within the international trade union movement.
Akhtar is presently the Director for Professional and Managerial staff at UNI Global Union. Akhtar leads various international campaigns to negotiate rights-based contracts for workers in global blue chip companies. He also sits on the Council of Global Unions' committee on labour migration and is involved in developing both green economy and youth employment policies for the global context.
Akhtar is a current member of the British Labour Party which he served between 2006-2010 as a local authority councillor, representing Stockwell ward in the South London Borough of Lambeth. He, additionally, remains a director of UK Black Pride, the community-led organization, which has staged major events with artists including Ms Dynamite, Jessie J and Beverley Knight. Akhtar maintains an involvement in the British trade union movement where he serves on PCS union's Proud and Black members' committees, as well as on the TUC Race Relations Committee.
Akhtar is an openly gay Muslim politician and is a regular speaker at anti-racist and anti-fascist events, as well as at employment, equality and human rights conferences. Akhtar received the British Diversity Award's gold medal in 2000; was awarded the national accolade of Ethnic Student of the Year in 2001; was ranked among the 50 most influential LGBT people in British politics by Pink News in 2007; a Pink Paper Readers' Award In 2011; the Stonewall Community Award in 2011, and the Trinity College Dublin award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights in 2011.
Akhtar has appeared on a number of television and radio shows including the BBC 2's Big Question; Channel 4's 4-thought, Relocation, Relocation, and in documentaries screened at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. In 2009 Akhtar worked directly with the media in his capacity as the chair of the LGBT Muslim rights group, Imaan. Imaan were consulted by BBC during the development of the romantic gay Muslim storyline for the character Syed Masood in their flagship show EastEnders.
He was Head of Communications (2010–2011) at Education International, the global union for 30 million education professionals  and his appointment between 2006-2009 as the United Kingdom's National Officer for Race Equality at UNISON, Britain's largest public sector workers' union. Pav has additionally worked as a member of the central London division of the Employment Tribunals Service hearing cases of workplace dispute and he has served as an LGB rights advisor to the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.
In 2006 Akhtar sought election as President of the National Union of Students running against Gemma Tumelty as an independent candidate. Akhtar was the first Muslim to run for this position, but was defeated, by 27 votes. Akhtar's campaign did not receive the support of the nationally controlled 'Federation of Student Islamic Societies'. Allegedly, this was because of his record as a defender of lesbian and gay human rights  After The Guardian newspaper reported that Akhtar is gay, some users of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee forum voiced contempt towards him. Akhtar told PinkNews, “both Islamophobia and homophobia played a part in the election campaign.”
Prior to these events, Akhtar was elected to serve the maximum of two terms (2004–2006) as the NUS' National Black Students' Officer and Anti-Racism Convenor. He simultaneously served the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights when elected to the party's national LGBT executive. During this period he ran a number of campaigns to improve representation and equality and he published the NUS Black Students' Handbook.
Among his other roles, Akhtar has worked as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph newspaper; as a development advisor to the UN and UK Government Department for International Development, as well as a civil servant within the Department for Education.
Akhtar was educated at Runshaw College, Leyland. He then attended Homerton College, University of Cambridge where he read English. At both institutions, he was elected to serve as president of the students' union. In oparticular, he became the first non-white president of the Cambridge University Students Union. His work on The Little Black Book, a guide to Cambridge for ethnic minority students, won praise from the government.
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