Organisations ignore threats of strike action at their peril

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Organisations ignore threats of strike action at their perilOn 5 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. With the apparent resurgence of industrial action battles, HR professionalsneed to ensure their negotiation skills are up to scratchThe grizzled veterans of the unions’ seemingly non-stop battle against thebosses in the late 1970s and early 80s must be feeling a warm glow right now:are the ‘good times’ returning? Left-leaning Derek Simpson is the new general secretary of Amicus-AEEU; theRMT’s Bob Crow and ASLEF’s Mick Rix are head-to-head with London Underground;and the Fire Brigade’s union boss, Andy Gilchrist, while hardly a classwarrior, is challenging the Government to dust off its Green Goddesses. Inshort, the unions are on a roll. The rights and wrongs of the current crop of labour disputes are for othersto argue. But what no one would deny is that the unions are taking centre stageafter a long period of comparative silence. And this resurgence requires anappropriate response from employers. By response, I don’t mean the old ‘them against us’ confrontation – today’sunion leaders are constrained by legislation which has effectively killed offthe ‘Red Robbo’ approach to solving labour disputes. For the past 15 years, the huge majority of organisations have not requiredthe strong negotiation skills of an industrial relations (IR) specialist withintheir HR division. But all that is changing. Individuals with IR expertise arenow very much in demand. The worry is that today’s HR professionals don’t havethe experience of negotiating with unions, while many unions, including Amicusand CWU, have developed training colleges for their officials and representativesand improved their skills. If the threat of industrial action does mature, the credibility of HR couldbe called into question if the skills needed to tackle strike action aremissing. HR should not take its responsibility lightly – a breakdown innegotiations can be devastating for an organisation, both in financial terms,but also in respect of the resentment. The skills necessary for IR can be learned or developed. HR professionalscan attend negotiation-training workshops and learn about IR at a variety ofacademic institutions, but there is nothing like real-life negotiationexperience – the experience that was honed by HR professionals during the 70sand early 80s. Many of those HR professionals with experience of tough bargaining duringthe 80s are now in senior positions, often board level HR roles. The experienceand training they developed has stood them in good stead for their career. Many unions now offer joint training for HR professionals and unionofficials on how to avoid confrontation around a boardroom table. However, areal relationship should extend far beyond this. Late-night manoeuvres in smoke-filled rooms should be the stuff of history.To be truly effective, HR professionals need to develop a strong and trustingrelationships. They should be able to pick up the phone at any time to discussproposals rather than wait for the ‘crunch’ meeting. These relationships should extend beyond the office environs. Historically,much of the relationship building with the union officials is not done duringoffice hours but socially. During recent interviews to recruit industrialrelations and employee relations experts, Penna Consulting interviewed manyprofessionals who placed great value in a pint down the pub to build betterrelationships. A new militancy could develop with a younger generation of radical unionleaders coming through, who are not afraid to speak up, when necessary, tothose in authority. They have few memories of the 1979 Winter of Discontentthat ushered in the Thatcher years. If this translates into the hard threat of strike action, IR expertise willbe critical and companies that ignore it will suffer. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

A new software suite for NO2 vertical profile retrieval from ground-based zenith-sky spectrometers

first_imgHere we present an operational method to improve accuracy and information content of ground-based measurements of stratospheric NO2. The motive is to improve the investigation of trends in NO2, and is important because the current trend in NO2 appears to contradict the trend in its source, suggesting that the stratospheric circulation has changed. To do so, a new software package for retrieving NO2 vertical profiles from slant columns measured by zenith-sky spectrometers has been created. It uses a Rodgers optimal linear inverse method coupled with a radiative transfer model for calculations of transfer functions between profiles and columns, and a chemical box model for taking into account the NO2 variations during twilight and during the day. Each model has parameters that vary according to season and location. Forerunners of each model have been previously validated. The scheme maps random errors in the measurements and systematic errors in the models and their parameters on to the retrieved profiles. Initialisation for models is derived from well-established climatologies. The software has been tested by comparing retrieved profiles to simultaneous balloon-borne profiles at mid-latitudes in spring.last_img read more

Grand Valley State Routs Dixie State In Non-Conference Tilt

first_img Written by October 6, 2018 /Sports News – Local Grand Valley State Routs Dixie State In Non-Conference Tilt FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailALLENDALE, Mich.-Bart Williams completed 16 of 28 passes for 237 yards, three touchdowns and one interception as the #2 Grand Valley State Lakers routed Dixie State 35-14 Saturday in non-conference Division II football action.The loss for the Trailblazers dropped them to 4-2 on the season and snapped their 4-game winning streak.However, as this was not a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game for Dixie State, the loss does not hurt them in their hopes of winning a league title and possibly earning a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs.The Lakers’ star receiver, Austin Paritee, hauled in 6 grabs for 121 yards and three scores, helping Grand Valley State improve to 6-0 on the season.In defeat, Easton Smith completed 7 of 12 passes for 103 yards and two scores for the Trailblazers, while Xavier Smith hauled in five grabs for 72 yards to pace Dixie State.Dixie State returns home and to RMAC play October 13 as they host the Western State Mountaineers of Gunnison, Colo. in a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. Tags: Austin Paritee/Dixie State Football/Easton Smith/Grand Valley State/RMAC/Western State Mountaineers/Xavier Smith Brad Jameslast_img read more

Professional Research Assistant

first_imgA Master’s or Ph.D. degree in Physics, Mechanical Engineeringor a related field.Previous experience with cryogenic science; experience withcryogenic systems working at 50K or below is preferred. During the application process, you will need to enter contactinformation for one reference and we will request a letter ofrecommendation from them immediately upon application.Review of applications will begin immediately and will continueuntil the position is filled.Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. Forconsideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.Posting Contact InformationPosting Contact Name: Lisa ValenciaPosting Contact Email: [email protected] What We Can OfferThe salary range is $61,000 – $81,000. A relocation package may beconsidered for this position based on locationBenefitsThe University of Colorado offers excellent benefits , including medical, dental,retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. TheUniversity of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers inBoulder County and offers an inspiring higher educationenvironment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder .Be StatementsBe Impactful. Be Innovative. Be Boulder.What We Require Perform research on advanced cryogenics to improve performancecharacteristics such as size, efficiency, operating temperature,and cooling power. Examples of advanced cryogenics includemechanical cryocoolers and refrigeration systems based on liquidhelium.Build cryogenic systems and subsystems and characterizes theirperformance in terms of physical quantities such as temperature,pressure, mass transport, and energy flow.Use thermodynamic principles to understand the operation ofcryogenic systems. Use analytical calculations and numericalsimulations to describe and predict the behavior of cryogenicsystems.Perform research on material properties relevant to theperformance of cryogenic systems.center_img Job SummaryThe Cryogenics Project within the Quantum Sensors Group in theQuantum Electromagnetics Division of the NIST Physical MeasurementLaboratory seeks a researcher to develop advanced cryogenic systemsand understand their underlying thermodynamics. Cryogenics play acrucial enabling role in the dissemination of quantum electronicsand NIST seeks to improve the size, efficiency, and overallperformance of cryogenic systems.The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building aculturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and studentsdedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. Weare an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans andindividuals with disabilities.Who We AreThe Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) is a specialpartnership between the National Institute of Standards andTechnology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder. PREPprovides research opportunities to CU undergraduate and graduatestudents, as well as researchers with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, orPh.D. in NIST labs to gain research experience alongside NISTscientists.The particular group that needs a researcher is the Quantum SensorsGroup under the Quantum Electromagnetics Division at NIST.What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be Special InstructionsTo apply, please submit the following materials:Resume/CVCover Letterlast_img read more

Asda bakery shake-up: the industry reacts

first_imgChris Young, Real Bread Campaign coordinator“This is such disappointing news. The company has confirmed a rising demand for a greater diversity of real bread but rather than using this as an opportunity to increase the number and skill levels of jobs for people in the local communities their stores serve, they seem poised to axe perhaps more than a thousand. I hope the company will also be ditching the word ‘bakery’ and any ‘freshly baked’ types claims from its stores accordingly.” Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer “Asda’s plans to scrap baking their products from scratch on site and replace them with part-baked products from mass producers is not good for the consumer. Over 1,000 skilled bakers are now at risk of losing their jobs. GMB calls on Asda to retain these valuable skilled employees and continue to offer the customer truly fresh produce baked by professional bakers.” Source: AsdaAsda unveiled plans last week to scrap in-store scratch baking and move to an ambient baking model with pre-baked goods delivered to stores from a centralised bakery each day.The move, which the retailer said follows a ‘notable shift’ in customer buying behaviours, could put 1,200 jobs at risk across 341 stores. However, Asda said redundancy was ‘the last option’ and confirmed no bakeries would be closed as part of the proposed plans.Here’s how the industry has reacted: Brian Clarke, director, European Food Consultants“The analysis will show there are significant cost savings in direct production and labour costs, energy saving and benefits in the utilisation of floor space for sales of higher value consumer goods. Sadly, the effect on the workforce will be felt.“Do I think this will have an effect on product quality? No. I believe the use of a central supply bakery will improve quality and consistency of product. The statement by Asda and data from other sources will show the shift from standard breads to sourdough and artisan varieties is well underway. A point to note on manufacture in store – it would be difficult to control sourdough production in this area, and also take up considerably more floor area.“As demonstrated by Lidl, Tesco and Sainsbury’s retailers have to change to meet customer tastes and the switch is well underway. M&S has been very successful by taking the bake-off concept from the start and this is well demonstrated in-store and accepted by consumers.“Do I think Morrisons will adopt the same approach? They appear to be the only retailer not taking the step so far. This could because the Market Street approach they adopt is entrenched in their DNA. But time will tell.“Some will say removing the scratch concept from the bakery will reduce the differential between the retailers. I question this. A company I was previously director of was the major suppliers of bake off to all the retailers mentioned. Product concepts are tailored to the individual retailer and no two recipes tend to be the same. Shape, recipe and product concepts are taken into account at time of development to meet the individual retailers’ needs. The retailers are able to differentiate products at time of development/product acceptance and final sign off.” John Want, sales, marketing and R&D director, Rich’s“We appreciate the need for retailers to continually review their in-store bakery (ISB) operations and respond to shopper demands. It is clear that consumers are keen to have fresh bread available in ISBs and are more relaxed about the ‘bought in’ nature of other products such as sweet treats.“We look to support all our customers as they consider the future of their retail offer. Our extensive thaw & serve and retail-ready formats have been developed to help retailers simplify operations, whilst delighting their shoppers with a perfect range of high quality sweet baked goods.”last_img read more

Breaking down ‘Bad’

first_imgSpoiler alert: Walter White could have lived.That’s right — not even “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan was certain of the fate of his antihero, played by Bryan Cranston, when it came time to draft last fall’s season finale.“Everything was on the table,” Gilligan told a Farkas Hall crowd Thursday in a conversation that proved illuminating but also nail-biting for hundreds of fans seeking a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a show whose five-season run has been hailed as one of the best in TV history.But before the audience had their say, Gilligan broke down “Bad” with Harvard President Drew Faust, who admitted that she, like others in attendance, was a big fan after having “binge-watched” the series on Netflix.Her first question: “Where did the preposterous premise come from?”Gilligan giggled.The Richmond, Va., native explained that the idea came during a phone call from a fellow “X-Files” writer. With that show over, “he joked that we should buy an RV and start a meth lab, and as he said that the idea was one of those eureka moments,” said Gilligan. “The idea that I was about to turn 40, and we were a couple of plain-Jane, law-abiding citizens” created the foundation for a character that was “kind of like me, except with chemistry and scientific knowledge.”That character turned out to be White, a meek chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, N.M., who “breaks bad” after a cancer diagnosis and, in an effort to provide for his family, begins cooking an unadulterated form of methamphetamine with the help of former student Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul.“I knew what the central spine of the show was going to be,” said Gilligan, who wrote the pilot episode on his own before a team of writers signed on. “I wanted to create a show where the protagonist metamorphoses into the antagonist. Historically you haven’t seen that on TV.”Faust supplemented her interview with scenes from the show, among them Episode 12 from Season Two, in which White lets Pinkman’s girlfriend Jane choke on her own vomit, instigated by heroin and meth use, instead of saving her.“This was the one time the studio thought killing off Jesse’s girlfriend was turning Walt into Scarface too quickly,” said Gilligan.Gilligan praised his fellow writers throughout the talk. Stepping back from the writing process was actually a joy and relief, he told Faust, who pointed out his meticulous attention to symbolism and detail, or “granularity” — right down to choosing a character’s shoes.“I’m more microscopic than macroscopic,” he said. “All that production stuff is more fun than writing.”That granularity lit up the blogosphere throughout the show’s run. “Color is important, wardrobe changes are important,” said Gilligan. “The layered look Jesse had started to go away” as the series progressed, he said, and Jesse’s shaved head mimicked White’s chemo-induced baldness when Jesse still admired White.Other revelations?Teasers for Season Two depicted strange, catastrophic scenes whose link to a plane crash over Albuquerque was eventually revealed. But Gilligan said four episodes from that season were titled to be clues of the plane’s fate: “Seven Thirty-Seven,” “Down,” “Over,” “ABQ.”Oh, and Jesse was doomed — initially.“My general thought was that we’d get rid of Jesse — he’d die in some horrible way,” Gilligan said. “Very quickly I just knew there was no way we’d want to kill this guy.”Gilligan told the crowd that his favorite episode was “Fly,” which he said viewers either loved or hated. The episode centered on White and Pinkman in an underground lab, with White going temporarily insane trying to kill a fly that has contaminated their workspace.Calling it a “bottle episode” written “because we were drastically over budget,” Gilligan said that filming in one location saved a lot of money and that the action was brilliantly directed by Rian Johnson.In a question from the audience about the relationship between his life and his art, Gilligan admitted that, like White, “I’m not as nice as I appear.”“When I’m happier, I’m nicer. I think everyone has a darkness, but I’m not a particularly interesting person,” he said. “I do ask myself things like why I never backpacked through Europe when I was younger … Walter White does terrible things, and he does them out of fear. He says, ‘Before cancer, I’d worry about everything.’ After cancer, he says, ‘I sleep like a baby.’ I don’t want cancer, but I want the fear to go away.”Those who have seen “Breaking Bad” know that White’s fear does go away — and that Jesse is salvaged.“We discussed every possible ending,” Gilligan said. “There’s a version where everybody dies; there’s a version where nobody dies. We didn’t have the ending figured out even weeks in advance.”Gilligan is now at work on a spinoff featuring Saul Goodman, the show’s slippery but lovable attorney, called “Better Call Saul.”“We tried to be novelistic, we tried to write ourselves into inescapable corners,” said Gilligan. “And I love that this show belongs to you folks now, that people interpret it the way they see fit.”last_img read more

Beware of yellow jackets

first_imgBy Mike IsbellUniversity of GeorgiaIt should have been a usual “doing what dogs do” day for Lucky, aneighboring dog that pays a daily visit to Sid, our cockerspaniel.Lucky was sniffing around in my liriope bed trying to findsomething of interest. Suddenly, Lucky flipped around, tucked hertail between her legs, and quickly ran away, snapping at flyingtormentors on both sides of her.When she finally outran what was after her, she stopped andlooked back at the liriope bed with a “what was that?” look onher face.Lucky may not have known what she’d gotten into, but I knew. Shemust have found a yellow jacket nest. I’m glad she was the one tofind it instead of me. Hidden beneath the groundThe nest was belowground, as most nests are. They’re found aroundrotten stumps or on the sides of terraces, gullies and ditches.Recently the principal at one of the area high schools called mewith some concern about the large number of yellow jackets aroundthe school grounds. The yellow jackets are attracted to the sugarin the soft drink cans tossed in the garbage cans around theschool. They may come from some distance to get the sugar.Yellow jackets aren’t the only stinging insects in large numbersthis year. Hornets are out in large numbers, too.I guess everyone is familiar with the bald-faced, or white-faced,hornet. Surely you’ve seen a hornet’s nest, shaped like a bloatedfootball, high up in a tree or under the eve of a building.The hornet that causes the most concern is the giant Europeanhornet. The size of it alone is enough to scare folks. It canbe more an inch long. Unlike the bald-faced hornet, it’s morebrown than black. The only yellow markings are on the abdomen.It’s attracted to lights at night.Hornets and yellow jackets are very aggressive if they believetheir nests are threatened. And they can sting repeatedly.If you’re smart, you’ll wait to control these insects until theevening, when they’re in their nests and are at rest. You’ll beless likely to get stung. What to doSevin is deadly on bees. Just apply it in and around the yellowjacket nests in the evening. Pyrethroids(permethrin, resmethrin,and others) are available in aerosols, some of which produce ajet stream so you can stay a safe distance away. Aim at the nestopening in trees, bushes, ground cracks and crevices. You mayhave to retreat for total control.Don’t be like poor Lucky. She got too close and found out thepainful way just how aggressive yellow jackets can be.last_img read more

Grass-fed milk

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaWhen Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Ga., was consideringadding milk to its successful goat and cow cheese business, Desiree Wehner contactedthe University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.The family-owned dairy wanted to know the best way to markettheir milk. Their answer wasn’t exactly what either they or the center wereexpecting.Before interviewing 674 respondents in the Atlanta andTallahassee area about their personal milk preferences, “we figured their top pick wouldprobably be organic,” said CAED economist Kent Wolfe. The other two choices werelocally produced milk and grass-fed milk.Instead, consumers responded that they were more interested inbuying grass-fed milk than either organic or locally produced products. They alsoconsidered the grass-fed milk more unique.Wolfe thinks it has something to do with the mental image of”happy cows.””Grass-fed milk conjured up the image of happy cows, that thesecows have a better quality of life,” he said. “I think that’s what people think.”That, he said, and many people are taking more interest in health issues.Sweet Grass Dairy, which operates both a cow and a goat dairy,reflects this growing trend. Before changing to grass-fed milk and starting cheeseproduction, they ran a conventional dairy.Now, the family says they’ve completely changed the way theircows and goats live. Instead of spending their days inside or receiving hormones orstimulants, the animals “live outdoors, get exercise and enjoy grazing. Ourphilosophy is carried over to our goat herd as well.”In the past, this was reflected through the organic food label.”Different factors are important to various consumer groups,”Wolfe said. “Natural and other production characteristics can be more important to aconsumer than true organic production. We found that even the locally produced milkis more important to this sample of Atlanta and Tallahassee consumers than the(U.S. Department of Agriculture) organic stamp.”Differences between the markets that CAED surveyed do exist. TheTallahassee respondents were much more interested in grass-fed milk thantheir Atlanta counterparts, who leaned more toward locally produced milk. Butoverall, the tendency was toward grass-fed.On average, women were more interested in grass-fed milk thantheir male counterparts. Other items CAED asked about were willingness to pay, willingnessto pay a premium and uniqueness of the products. They also questionedparticipants about different kinds of cheese and fortified yogurt.The Tallahassee and Atlanta areas were chosen because of theirproximity to the Thomasville dairy, which is located in southwest Georgia.As for Sweet Grass Dairy, the grass-fed title they plan to attachto their milk “is kind of unique,” Wolfe said. “They’re probably the only one in thestate going under that label.”A secondary result of the study, he said, was that the dairydecided to put in a facility to process their grass-fed milk on the farm.last_img read more

Modest Investments Needed to Build Security Network

first_imgBy Jim Garamone/DoD News, Defense Media Activity February 27, 2018 U.S. Navy Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, commander of Southern Command, discussed the efforts of competitors to exploit the perception that the United States is disengaging from the Americas.last_img

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 3

first_imgStudents need more help fighting hunger Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMore border security is better than a wallDemocrats want border security. “Wall” defenders cite prisons or the White House as examples of walls working. Of course, the White House has a fence, not a wall. That’s so they can see who’s outside. Walls don’t provide that visual advantage. Prisons do have walls. Prison staff doesn’t care who’s outside. They have guards stationed to monitor the inside. If we want a border wall to work like a prison wall, we need to spread our agents along the entire length. Trouble is, there are few cities or towns near the border. There are few houses for rent or for sale, no schools for their kids, no shopping, no place for their spouse to work. Wonder why we have 2,000 unfilled Border Patrol Agent job openings? However, with a few well-located military-style bases, listening devices, cameras, helicopters, aircraft, boats, drones, ATVs and SUVs, we can monitor the border and respond as needed. That arrangement solves the no-place- to-live issue that makes staffing a wall solution problematic. While we’re imagining a fence around the White House or a wall around a prison is somehow the equivalent of a wall on the border, ask yourself how many illegal immigrants arrive at the White House or prison by air. That is how 46 percent of illegal immigrants arrive in the United States. Even a perfect solution on the southern border only solves about half of our problem. We need border security, not a wall.Glenn GraySchenectady A recent Gazette article highlighted the efforts of Jessica Brennan, a social worker at Rosendale Elementary School, to reach out to meet the food needs of students who need a little extra help. Niskayuna is a relatively affluent community, but still has 13 percent of its students living under the poverty level.Jessica runs “Nisky NOW,” which is a backpack program that provides backpacks full of food to kids in need each weekend. Deliveries by volunteer drivers are made to the kids’ homes on Thursdays or Fridays. She recently organized “Hoops for Hunger,” which was a successful food drive that helped stock the program’s pantry.Earlier this year, when my husband and I visited the school board meeting to inquire as to why our district had not become involved in the Backpack Program, we were told by district Superintendent Dr. Casimo Tangorra that there was not a need here. Hopefully, now all recognize that such a need exists. Only through efforts of people like Jessica has the district implemented the Backpack Program.” This season has again seen many teachers and school staff reaching out to provide assistance to families in their schools. We should be proud of these teachers who are contributing in spite of the fact that they are working currently without a contract. Thank God for people who care for those less fortunate.Dorothy HorstkotteNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccinelast_img read more