Nurses of Indian origin unhappy in London
By Prasun Sonwalkar
Thousands of nurses from overseas may quit the National Health Service in London because they feel undervalued when compared with their British colleagues, reveals a latest research.
The warning comes after research among the capital'sforeign nurses?estimated to number about 20,000?found that four in 10 want to leave Britain.
There are 3,073 nurses of Indian origin working in London, the research revealed. Polling of 400 foreign nurses was conducted by the King'sFund and the Royal College of Nursing.
If they were all to leave, it would mean a loss of 8,000 nurses, creating a crisis for London'shospitals, which have become heavily dependent on foreign workers to cover their nursing shortages.
The most dissatisfied were Filipino nurses, the largest single group of foreign staff in London hospitals. Seventy per cent said they did not want to stay any further in Britain.
In 2003-04, the most recent year for which the figures exist, 14,122 foreign nurses had registered themselves to seek work in Britain. Since 1999, 55,000 overseas nurses, excluding those from the European Union, have been registered.
A report accompanying the research claims that the London hospitals are ?exploiting? overseas nurses by placing them in poorly paid, low-grade jobs, despite their qualifications and experience. These conditions make them more ready to quit.
The report'sauthor, Prof. James Buchan, said: ?The NHS and independent healthcare sectors rely heavily on overseas nurses?without them, parts of the health service would collapse.?
The report also reveals that the NHS is still recruiting nurses from developing countries, despite orders from the government to end the practice because it deprives these nations of their much needed expertise. But Beverley Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has criticised the Labour government for leaving open a legal loophole, which allows independent healthcare providers to recruit foreign workers. She said: ?This is further compelling evidence of the weakness in the government'scode of practice.?
King'sFund chief executive Niall Dickson said: ?We?ve got to find a better way of treating this vital group. ?Unless we address this issue those nurses thinking of moving to another country are more likely to make the move and that could have serious consequences for the NHS.?
For Indian Railways
A Leicester-based engineering company hopes to win large contracts after making presentations to a representative of the Indian Railways quite recently.
Trelleborg Industrial AVS in Beaumont Leys, Leicester, was visited by A.K. Rao, Director General of India'sRailway Design and Standards Organisation.
Rao inspected the factory and discussed the contribution Trelleborg could make. The company is involved in ? 3 multi-million projects for the network.
Ron Smith, president of Trelleborg, said: ?With such a
large spend, it was very important we showed them what we were capable of here in Leicester. We already have a presence in India supplying many products, as well as a plant in Delhi. We are completing a ?500,000-order for elastomeric pads, which provide better contact for the bogie?a frame with wheels which supports the carriage. Hopefully, we can gain bigger contracts from this visit.
?We operate in the rail, truck and industrial markets in India and we aim to increase this.?
Rao was taken on a tour and given a presentation on the firm and its laboratories.
Rao told the media he was on a tour of Europe to develop partners for future projects. He said: ?We already have a relationship with Trelleborg and we wanted to come along and see the factory. We carry almost 14 million passengers a day and, last year, we carried 600 million tonnes of freight. We are very impressed with the company and are really happy with the visit and what we saw.? Trelleborg Industrial designs and manufactures rubber-to-metal bonded components for anti-vibration applications and suspension systems.
Fears on shipping Lloyds TSB jobs to India
Fears continue to trouble the employees of the Lloyds TSB group over shipping jobs to India. The Lloyds TSB Group Union has now said it fears that up to 10,000 jobs from across the group could be ?offshored?.
Steve Tatlow, who is assistant general secretary, said: ?A question mark continues to hang over the Scunthorpe mortgage centre.?
The Union said an overwhelming majority of staff who took part in a consultative ballot had indicated that they would like the opportunity to vote on industrial action.
It said: ?Many staff have reached the conclusion that they have no alternative but to consider taking industrial action after many years of the bank forcing down pay levels.? It claimed this year up to 27 per cent of the workforce would have received no pay increase whatsoever, and that many of these had received no pay increase for the past three or four years.
And it added: ?Despite the bank earlier this year reporting profits of ?3.49 billion, the Union is aware that many staff members still depend upon State benefits to supplement their low salaries.?
It said 96.1 per cent rejected the bank'spay offer for 2005 and 92.1 per cent wanted the Union to ballot that staff on action. The Union said: ?The bank has admitted 2,500 jobs will be transferred to India by the end of 2005, with the Union fearing this could eventually increase to 10,000 UK job losses.?
The Union has said it was unacceptable that thousands of UK jobs ?are being made redundant merely because the staff in the UK can be replaced by workers in India, paid as little as one-tenth of their salary.? The Union is involving customers in its campaign to put pressure on Lloyds TSB to drop its offshoring strategy and keep jobs in the UK.
It said more than 400,000 of the union'starget of 500,000 customers had so far signed a petition, insisting that their financial arrangements be handled only in the UK.
A spokesperson for Lloyds TSB said they had been honest and open about plans to transfer jobs to India and added: ?We have announced we will have no more than 2,500 jobs in India by the end of 2005.?
(The writer is a UK-based journalist and can be contacted on [email protected])