Archive for December, 2011

16 Dec 2011

Medical Consultant Awarded 4,5M Pounds in Discrimination Case

No Comments Current News

At a Leeds Employment Tribunal, history has been made. A medical Consultant who was proved to have suffered sex and race discrimination has been awarded compensation in the region of £4.5million. It is believed to be the largest sum awarded in a discrimination case in the UK.

Dr Eva Michalak, an obstetrician of Polish origins, suffered racial harassment and discrimination whilst she was away on maternity leave. The case goes back to 2003 when Dr Michalak was seven months pregnant. She was subjected to a barrage of racist bullying with false accusations of her behaviour towards her colleagues.  She was finally suspended in 2006 and dismissed from her post in 2008. During the course of her treatment, by colleagues at the Pontefract General Infirmary in Leeds, her competency was questioned because of her Polish origins and her medical training in Poland.

The award is said to reflect the fact that her suffering throughout the years has left Dr Michalak with no hope in the future of regaining her confidence to practice medicine. The Tribunal in its report concluded that  “It is right that in this case we are positively outraged at the way this employer has behaved.”

Swansea Bay REC Chief Executive’s views: 

It must be noted by employers, particularly from the public sector, that the provisions of Equality Act 2010 is wholly implemented within each of their organisations and this must be in practical terms not just as a paper exercise. Failure to do so may result in such cases being reported, followed up and awards of compensation such as this, in our area and beyond.

12 Dec 2011

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Praise for an Immigrant

No Comments Current News, World News

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has spoken of his appreciation for an immigrant who helped save his life when the Archbishop was young.

Speaking on a BBC programme, Dr Williams spoke about when he was daignosed with a rare form of meningitis when he lived in Ystradgynlais in 1952. He was then treated by a Polish GP, Dr Wlodzimierz Boldaz. Rowan Williams has taken the step to convey his thanks to Dr Boldaz who is now 101 years young. Dr Williams spoke about his illness which was not being taken seriously by anyone except Dr Boldaz. ” I always remember the name Wlodzimierz Boldaz, as I owe my life to him”, said Dr Williams. Dr Boldaz’ story unfolded on a  BBC documentary which spoke about his involvement in the Polish resistance during the Second World War.

A Hero at home is still a Hero at his adopted home then …

02 Dec 2011

Swansea Bay REC Annual Dinner 2011

2 Comments Awards and Honours, Current News

The Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Cllr Ally Thomas and Cllr Mary Jones of City and County of Swansea received framed pictures depicting the Swansea Bay area to thank them for the respective Council’s support for the Swansea Bay REC (SBREC) over the last year. These pictures were part of the photographic  work of Mr Taha Idris, OBE, JP, the Chief Executive of SBREC .

The gifts were presented by the organisation’s Chair, Mrs Angella Gullam at SBREC’s annual dinner which is held in December of each year. This year the Annual Dinner was held in a Neath restaurant, The Plaza Indian Cuisine, which won the ‘Best Curry Awards’ two years ago. Said Mrs Gullam, “We like to thank everyone who has helped us to achieve our goals during the year in allowing SBREC to tackle a whole host of equality, diversity and discrimination issues. We are grateful for all the help and support that the two local authorities had provided to us even in an extremely challenging financial atmosphere”.

Attendees to the annual dinner include members of staff and members of the Executive Committee. This year the invited guests included some key figures from society including the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress of Neath Port Talbot, Cllr Jeff Dinham and Mrs Brenda Dinham along with the Leader of the Council Cllr Ally Thomas. There was also representation from the Police by Superintendent Joe Ruddy and the Clerk of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Magistrates, Jim Hehir Esq.

An award was also presented to an SBREC employee who, it was felt, had contributed most to the efficient running of the organisation over the year. Abu Miah was singled out for this accolade. He received a cheque which was presented by the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jeff Dinham. Abu had not expected this and his excitement and appreciation showed when he was asked how he felt about it. Abu had this to say, “Wow, never in a million years would I have believed when the award was being announced that my name would be called out to come and receive it. I feel so humbled.”