Tuesday 2 Nov 2004
Overseas nurses network builds on existing successes to cover
UNISON, Scotland's nursing union, is to expand its successful
Overseas Nursing Network (ONN) in Scotland by setting up regular
meetings for overseas health workers in different cities across
This will start with a meeting in Edinburgh on Thursday 4 November
for overseas nurses based in the Lothians and in Fife. The meeting
will be in the union's Edinburgh office at 60 Belford Road, at 7.30pm.
The union, who started the network two years ago has seen it rapidly
expand until there is now a contact list of 200 health workers from
the Indian sub-continent, China, other parts of Asia, Africa and
recently from Eastern Europe.
Sofi Taylor, UNISONScotland NEC member, and founder of the ONN
said, " It shows what a need there is for an active union taking
up cases for our overseas colleagues. When we started this we attracted
six nurses to our first meeting. Now we regularly get 50 or 60 to
our regular monthly meetings in Glasgow. We are about to start meetings
in Edinburgh, and hope to expand to Aberdeen and beyond in the near
future. It helps overseas workers immensely to be able to get together,
to share experiences and to know there is a union out there that
has shown it is prepared to fight for them."
UNISON has now had experience of some of the problems affecting
this group of staff, and has fought several successful cases on
their behalf. Bridget Hunter, UNISONScotland's Lead Officer for
"We have highlighted scandals such as the 'Cash for jobs" being
charged by recruitment agencies in the Philippines, and an earlier
scam involving excessive rents being charged to overseas staff by
a private company. We have made sure that all these staff are fully
informed about their rights in employment and for welfare. We have
also brought in staff from the NHS and elsewhere to speak to our
members to give them information about employment and training opportunities."
[Notes to the Editor: UNISON's Overseas Nurses Network started
in 2002 in Glasgow. It now has a contact list of over 200 members.
It also has a dedicated mini-site on the union's Scottish website.
Bridget Hunter will be available for interview on Monday 1 Nov.
She will be out of the office on Tuesday 2 Nov]
For Further Information Please Contact: Sofi Taylor (UNISON
NEC) 07970 719 062 (m) Bridget Hunter (Lead Officer for Nursing)
0845 355 0845(w) 0 7968 960 040(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)
for activists: Click here for a poster advertising the event.