This Personnel Today news roundup includes:
- Ethnic minority police officers still face discrimination at work
- GPs demand extra cash to administer flu vaccinations
- Protesters at turbine factory ‘being starved out’
- Teachers in England are the least qualified in the developed world
- 2,500 jobs at risk after Ryanair cuts flights
- Law passed to clean up MPs’ expenses scandal
Ethnic minority police officers still face discrimination at work
Black and ethnic minority police officers continue to face discrimination in the workplace, a Commons home affairs select committee report has revealed.
The report found black and ethnic minority officers still struggle to secure promotions within the police force, while they were also more likely to face disciplinary proceedings.
The committee expressed its disappointment that the police were still failing to meet their target of employing 7% of officers from minority ethnic communities by 2009.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the committee, said: “We are particularly concerned at the discrimination that apparently persists within the force, in recruitment and promotion of black and minority ethnic officers.
“The Police Service must now focus its efforts on tackling these issues within its own workforce.”
Vaz added the disproportionate representation of ethnic minority people in the justice system would continue to damage community relations.
GPs demand extra cash to administer flu vaccinations
GPs have called on the NHS to provide surgeries with thousands of pounds in return for administering the swine-flu vaccination, expected in September.
The British Medical Association, representing the GPs, has also urged the government to confirm that doctors will not lose out on performance-related pay if they are forced to cancel routine check-ups to help deal with the swine-flu outbreak.
One possibility for reimbursing GPs for the extra workload would be to pay them per swine-flu jab. Doctors currently get £7.73 per patient vaccinated against seasonal flu, and if the same price is agreed for swine flu, a doctor with an average practice list could receive more than £10,000. Otherwise, practices could be given a lump sum to cover additional costs, including supporting staff overtime.
Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Daily Mail: “GPs are trying to have it both ways: if they are cutting other work to treat swine flu, they can’t expect to be paid more.
“Vaccinating patients against illness is a core part of GPs’ duties, and they should be getting their heads down and tackling the epidemic, instead of obsessing about their pay packets.”
Meanwhile, the chief medical officer Liam Donaldson has said the swine-flu outbreak presents NHS staff with the “biggest challenge for a generation”, and GPs may have to be moved around the country to deal with flu hotspots.
Protesters at turbine factory ‘being starved out’
Workers staging a sit-in protest at a wind turbine factory to prevent it being shut have accused managers of trying to block their food supply.
Up to 30 workers at the Vestas factory in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, occupied the plant on Monday night following announcements that production would stop on 30 July and 625 people would be made redundant.
The news of the factory’s closure came hours before the government announced its Low Carbon Industrial Strategy last week, which included plans to build 10,000 new wind turbines by 2020.
One of the protesters told the Times that Vestas managers had prevented workers outside the plant from delivering food.
He said: “They seem to think they can starve us out but we are determined to stay as long as it takes.
“We want Vestas to come and talk to us about the redundancy package they have offered. But most importantly we want the government to nationalise the factory and save our jobs.
“Ministers keep saying they want to create more green jobs but they are not lifting a finger to save our green jobs.”
The factory has now been closed and police in riot gear have entered the building.
Teachers are the least qualified in the developed world
A new report has revealed teachers in England are the least qualified in the developed world.
Research by the Politeia think-tank found entry requirements for primary and secondary teacher training courses in England were lower than six other countries including the US, France and Germany.
In England, all teachers must have a degree and at least a C-grade in maths and English. Primary school teachers also need a C-grade GCSE in science. Other countries investigated by the think-tank required A-level standard qualifications in a range of different subjects.
Teachers in England were also found to be less likely than other nations to have undertaken in-depth studies at a degree level, with many having taken broad education degrees rather than studying specific disciplines.
Difficulties recruiting teachers for subjects including maths, science and languages meant schools were frequently using staff whose degree was only tenuously linked to the subject.
2,500 jobs at risk after Ryanair cuts flights
Ryanair will cut the number of flights it runs out of Stansted airport by 30% – putting 2,500 jobs at risk.
The budget airline said Stansted was one of the most expense airports to operate out of, but also blamed the increase in air passenger duty for its decision.
Ryanair said it will operate 24 planes out of Stansted from October, compared with 28 last winter. The airline said this move could cost 2,500 jobs at the airport, including those from its own staff as well as other workers, such as baggage handlers.
Law passed to clean up MPs’ expenses scandal
The Parliamentary Standards Bill, aimed at bringing transparency to MPs’ expenses claims, has become law after receiving Royal Assent.
The Bill, which will create an independent body to authorise MPs’ expenses, was rushed through parliament after ministers said it was vital it became law before the summer recess, which starts today.
For the Bill to be passed, the legally binding code of conduct for MPs, and a clause outlining how the law would also eventually apply to peers, were both dropped.