Letter of the WeekIt is vital to track absence record Of course absence and illness reasons should be treatedconfidentially and staff concerned be assured that this will be so.Quite apart from the issues raised on the front page ofPersonnel Today, “Data rules could curb staff absence records” (16 January) andthe fact that employers pay staff to come to work and to actually be at work,if employers are not able to keep records of absence then they couldunwittingly be discriminating.How are they to distinguish between pregnancy-related andnon-pregnancy related absence, for example, or, say, a disability-relatedillness?Also, any employer worth its salt will want to tracksickness absence to ensure that all its employees are fit to be at work –absence reasons, if carefully studied, often highlight underlying problemswhich any responsible employer will want to ensure are tackled, or at least tobe able to offer help to the employee. Someone who has a series of “nebulous” sickness reasons, forinstance, with perhaps a pattern to the absences may be suffering from stresswhich may or may not be work-related.Employers need to be able to pick up these indicators andreview the apparent problem with the employee.Employers are not collecting the information just for thesake of it or because they are nosy. Employers have much better things to do with their time (and that oftheir staff) and money. Any responsible employer needs to know not only when and howoften the absence is occurring but for what reason(s) for good, practicalreasons.Susan Austin-BurrHR manager, Human Resources& Quality DepartmentIrwin Mitchell Solicitors I do not feel that employers should require consent fromtheir staff to keep sickness records.The records are needed for: Calculation of SSP/SMP etcCalculation of Company Sick Pay entitlement.It is also needed to alert senior staff of any developingproblem that may need Occupational Health support.Janice PartridgePersonnel officerSolihull Sixth Form College Related posts:No related photos. So Manchester Business School has moved into horsewhispering “Forget taming stallions…(News, 16 January).My simplistic understanding of horse whispering is that itplays on the herd instinct, with the whisperer feigning rejection of therecalcitrant animal from the herd. Fear of being left out of the action thendrives the horse into meek compliance in order to become or remain part of thegroup. Has MBS hit on the next big idea in HR management?Robert ClarkeDirector of Human ResourcesKeighley College Might it be an idea for Personnel Today to introduce a“Pseuds Corner” and might I propose the first quote from the article abouthorse whispering, I would suggest the following is a prime example of somemeaningless flannel.“The metaphor is that managers have to think less in termsof taming wild stallions and more in terms of seeing the horse as a vulnerablecreature that can be calmed by good leadership and gentle persuasion,” statedProfessor Tudor Rickards.Really, does he think we are all mad? I’m not sure where theadded value is in introducing and teaching this metaphor. Amanda PerryEuropean HR managerVia e-mail Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Letters of the week: horsing around with herd instinctOn 23 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today There should be time limit on filesI think the proposal that employers should have to getconsent from staff to record sickness absence is a real step forward in theData Protection Act. Working for a public sector company which recently became aPlc, details of absence are recorded on file, including all sickness absence,funerals, industrial action and any other reasons – marital problems forexample. I have written to my personnel department requesting a copyof my personnel file but am still waiting for it four months on.I feel this type of information should not be held on filefor an indefinite period of time and that all employers should ask for thewritten consent of employeesas to what is recorded on their file.Nick PriceVia e-mail
As a new mother, Houghton Library cataloger Christina Linklater knew how important breastfeeding is to mothers’ and infants’ health. But as she prepared to return to work, she wondered where she would be able to express milk. She didn’t have a private office, and the closest lactation room was a 15-minute walk. So she contacted Anna Anctil of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Human Resources and asked whether a new lactation room could be created right in Harvard Yard.“I saw a new lactation room as a small but real thing I could do to soften the experience of leaving an infant to come back to work — for myself and other new moms,” said Linklater.Anctil took on the task of finding space. “I felt it was important to respond to the needs of new mothers,” she said. “I wanted to find space that would provide them with a comfortable, private area that would allow them to continue breastfeeding.” The new room in Widener Library opened in January.Harvard has had lactation rooms on both the Cambridge and Harvard Longwood campuses for more than a decade, but over the past few years, the number has grown.“We have developed two new mothers’ rooms, and we have upgraded three others,” said Nina Dickerman, work/life program manager for the Harvard Longwood campus. “Of course moms can use private offices if they have them, but many open-plan workspaces do not allow for privacy.”The number of rooms equipped with a pump has also increased. Since 2008, the Office of Work/Life has placed eight hospital-grade pumps in mothers’ rooms from the Harvard Kennedy School to the School of Public Health to the Observatory to the Harvard Forest.There’s no cost to use them, but individuals must provide their own auxiliary kit, available at pharmacies, specialty stores, and online.Such efforts have gotten a boost from recent changes in federal law. In 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) updated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with a requirement that employers make available an appropriate space for mothers to express milk. (The act specifically rules out bathrooms.)The Office of Work/Life works with Harvard Schools and departments to help them understand the requirements, and the office provides guidelines for the creation of lactation rooms. “We’re always looking for partners to develop mothers’ rooms,” said Beth Faria, of the Office of Work/Life. “And we’ve provided guidelines to Campus Services, so that they can proactively integrate space into new and renovated buildings.”The FLSA also requires employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks, so Harvard recently formalized its guidelines for nursing mothers, which emphasize a “common-sense framework” for meeting breastfeeding women’s needs while also meeting business-unit goals. “The guidelines call on both supervisor and employee to be reasonable and creative when setting up these breaks,” said Nancy Costikyan, director of the Office of Work/Life.PPACA also contains a provision that requires insurance companies to cover the costs of purchasing or renting a breast pump and of receiving support from a lactation consultant as part of babies’ basic preventive care. With most insurers, a mother needs a prescription and must obtain the pump from a list of vendors.With so much energy surrounding support for breastfeeding, a new partnership between Harvard and Isis Parenting, a provider of childbirth and early parenting education, is timely, according the Office of Work/Life.“Isis Parenting offers Harvard employees access to education and guidance, from prenatal education to postpartum support,” said Faria. “Perhaps as important is access to a community of new mothers through classes, events, and drop-in support groups.” Harvard ID holders receive a 50 percent discount on a one-year membership. (Visit Isis Parenting and enter code: HARVARD12 at checkout, or visit an Isis location and show your Harvard ID.)“Recent improvements are good news for mothers and infants, and good news for the workplace,” said Costikyan. “Harvard wants all of these talented people to be able to meet their families’ needs while they continue to give Harvard their best work.”For a list of lactation rooms on campus and for more information.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Liesl Eichler Clark for the Lansing (Mich.) Journal:When we think of American manufacturing, the first place that should come to mind is Michigan. This is a state that knows how to get things done; Detroit helped create America as we know it by ushering the era of the automobile, and Michiganders know how to build the goods the rest of the country needs.That still holds true for the products of the 21st century. Today, Michigan is a leader in building the parts needed for America’s fastest growing electricity source: wind energy. In 2015, wind was the largest source of new electric generating capacity in the U.S. and the cheapest, cheaper than natural gas and coal.With 32 factories in the state that build wind-related parts, among the most in the country, Michigan is once again playing a big role in America’s move toward a better future.In turn, this is helping people across the state. Wind energy supports up to 2,000 well-paying jobs in Michigan, and it has driven $3 billion of capital investments into the economy.Wind power is also strengthening communities. Up to $5 million in lease payments are paid every year to landowners who host wind turbines on their property.Wind farms also grow the tax base where they’re located, providing new revenue for schools, roads, public safety, libraries and services for seniors and veterans. By 2020, this revenue could surpass $11.6 million every year.Wind power provides these benefits while keeping more money in the pockets of Michigan’s families and businesses. Through 2050, it could save almost $3.6 billion on electricity bills, on top of $10.9 billion in savings from protection against conventional fuel price spikes.A specific policy helped create a lot of this good news.In 2008, Michigan lawmakers passed a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) calling for 10 percent of retail electricity sales to come from renewable energy sources by 2015. Not only did the state achieve this target, it did so at considerably lower costs than projected. Because the law required a 50/50 split of projects—half to be built by utilities and half in a competitive market by independent power producers – prices were driven down even more.Now, Michigan’s lawmakers once again have the opportunity to create more good jobs and savings for the state’s residents.They can amend legislation currently under consideration to increase the state renewable requirements while maintaining the 50/50 project split.State renewable requirements are smart policy with long track records of success. The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found renewable energy projects developed to meet state RPSs created $7.5 billion in annual environmental benefits from reduced air emissions, $1.3 billion to $4.9 billion in reduced consumer energy prices and 200,000 American jobs through 2013.Millions in consumer savings, thousands of good jobs and new resources for communities across the state- passing new legislation to further grow these benefits should be a slam dunk.Full item: Strengthen future with renewable energy standards Op-Ed: One Way to Harness Michigan’s Industrial Might? Wind-Turbine Manufacturing
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Chinese wind turbine maker Ming Yang Smart Energy (MYSE) has signed an agreement with local government to build a 1.3GW renewable-battery hybrid plant near the city of Tong Liao in China’s Inner Mongolia province, local newspaper Tong Liao Daily said.The project targets to eventually build up to 1000MW in wind power and 300MW solar, linked to a 320MW lithium-ion battery storage system, for which the company has pledged to invest ¥9Bn ($1.29bn).Construction of the project is scheduled to kick off in August 2020, with a plan to grid connect 300MW-500MW in four months and complete the full project by the end of 2021, deputy general manager of MYSE International Zhang Jian said on LinkedIn.The hybrid plan is the most recent of mega wind projects announced in the northern province of China, where local government in 2019 was allowed to approve large wind power projects again after a temporary ban on them by the central government in Beijing. Including Ming Yang’s hybrid plan, at least 11 other mega renewable projects with a combined wind capacity of 21.4GW (plus 1.5GW in solar capacity) have secured approval this year, Recharge understands from various project announcements.Ten of these projects are planned to be larger than 1GW each. Among them is a wind complex with 6GW of capacity being developed by State Power Investment Corp (SPIC), which will be the largest onshore wind farm in the world.Inner Mongolia is China’s largest wind power producing region, with 28.99GW in completed installations by the end of September that account for 15% of China’s total wind capacity.[Yuki Yu]More: Ming Yang unveils 1.3GW wind-solar-battery hybrid plan China developer planning 1.3GW wind, solar, battery storage hybrid plant
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kyiv Post:Chinese company PowerChina and Ukrainian WindFarm have signed a contract on building a wind power station with a capacity of 800 megawatt[s] in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Oblast, near towns Manhush and Nikolske.It will become the biggest wind farm in Europe if offshore wind farms aren’t counted, reads the WindFarm’s statement published on Oct. 30. The project will cost at least $1 billion.When built, the wind farm will sell its power for the market price, meaning that, unlike all other renewable power producers, PowerChina and WindFarm won’t be selling their electricity to the state for above-market prices — through the country’s green tariff, WindFarm deputy director Aleksandr Charun told the Kyiv Post. Currently, Ukraine has the highest tariff for renewable power in Europe.According to Charun, WindFarm does all the paperwork, while PowerChina is in charge of constructing the wind farm. At the moment, the WindFarm is submitting the documents for the project. Once the paperwork is done, the company will sign an agreement with state-run power company Ukrenergo and connect to its networks.Renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power and excluding hydropower, secure only 8.1% of the total electricity generated in Ukraine, according to the Energy Ministry of Ukraine.[Liza Semko]More: Chinese firm to build $1 billion wind farm in Ukraine PowerChina, WindFarm move forward with 800MW, $1 billion wind project in Ukraine
The U.S. Forest Service is planning to intentionally burn sections of the Linville Gorge Wilderness to reduce fuel loads and prevent more catastrophic fires in the future. If allowed, the burns would occur in four or more separate areas at different times and be repeated every three to five years.Should prescribed burns be conducted in the Linville Gorge Wilderness?YESThe Linville Gorge Wilderness is a unique and magnificent landscape. The fact that it is designated as wilderness means that we are obligated to do what we can to protect its natural character and preserve its unique plant and animal communities. One of the ways we can do that is by reintroducing fire to the Gorge.Linville Gorge is a fire-adapted ecosystem, unique to our region, with several fire-dependent species and plant communities. These plant communities are in decline and two species are federally listed as “threatened”. This means that fire has played a natural role and has shaped the Gorge throughout its history.For the last half century, fire has been kept out of the Gorge and every fire that ignites, whether by careless people or lighting strike, has been put out. Not allowing fires to burn has caused significant damage to the wilderness character and the ecology of the area. Without fire, the gorge has unnaturally built up heavy fuel loads of underbrush, and species that inhabit wetter areas have moved in, outcompeting the more native vegetation characterized by mixed hardwood and pine forests.These fuel loads of underbrush have also left the gorge susceptible to catastrophic wildfires which could devastate human settlements. The intensity of these fires would likely be outside of the natural range causing negative impacts to the forest communities. And, with a changing climate, we are likely to experience extended droughts and warmer temperatures, increasing the risk of catastrophic fire.Prescribed fires are those set intentionally by professionals under strict conditions that allow fire to burn under control. This approach is necessary to reduce heavy fuel loads of underbrush, thereby reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires. By reducing fuel loads, we will be able to allow wild fires to burn naturally without human intervention. This is the best thing for the ecosystem and for wilderness.If we want to protect wilderness character, maintain the integrity of ecosystems, restore threatened species, prevent catastrophic wildfires, and protect local communities, we need to reintroduce and allow fire to once again play its important role in the Linville Gorge.Ben Prater is associate executive director for Wild South.NOThe proposed burning of the Linville Gorge Wilderness is not in the name of preservation. What is going to happen to our aquatic wildlife in the Linville River and its feeder creeks when the loose soil and soot erodes into it? As the Forest Service’s own manual on fire states, “On steep terrain, if post-fire storms deliver large amounts of precipitation, accelerated erosion and runoff can occur, even after a carefully planned prescribed fire.” With the Linville Gorge Wilderness receiving an annual rainfall of 67 inches or more, heavy erosion is sure to happen.What about our hemlock population? It takes hemlocks 450 years to completely mature to good cone production. With most of the old growth already decimated by adelgid infestation, prescribed burns will kill the hemlocks trying to make a recovery—the same trees that the Forest Service spent thousands in taxpayer dollars to protect less than 10 years ago.Exposure to relatively low smoke concentrations over many years can contribute to respiratory problems and cancer. In the name of profit, they are going to endanger our health.Linville Gorge’s rugged terrain – the toughest terrain east of the Rockies – will make it extremely difficult to control fires and will put more firefighters’ lives in jeopardy. Our local businesses stand to lose much needed tourist income. And they are violating the spirit and the letter of the Wilderness Act by manipulating the wilderness with prescribed burns.At the very least, the Forest Service should conduct an environmental impact study, as required by law, before proceeding. The Linville Gorge Wilderness is a world-class gem. There is no bringing it back once destroyed. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.”Phil Phelan recently hiked 160 miles through the Linville Gorge in five days to raise awareness about the proposed prescribed burns.
3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Six financial services organizations have joined the CUNA-created “Stop the Data Breaches” campaign in light of merchants’ efforts to combat CUNA-backed data security legislation. The campaign, at www.stopthedatabreaches.org, utilizes geo-targeted digital and print ads to encourage support for the Data Security Act of 2015 (S. 961/H.R. 2205).The Data Security Act of 2015, which has strong bipartisan support, would require a national data protection standard for all entities handling sensitive consumer information, as well as enact a notification standard in the event of a breach.Specifically, the bill would:Build on existing federal data protection and consumer notice standards already in place for financial institutions under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by extending similar, scalable standards to all businesses that handle sensitive personal and financial data;Create uniform, nationwide consumer protections and replace the current patchwork of inconsistent state data security and breach notification laws with a clearly defined, uniform set of standards that ensures every U.S. citizen enjoys the same level of protection regardless of where they live; and continue reading »
106SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jill Nowacki Jill Nowacki started her career with credit unions in 2001. She has taken on leadership roles at credit unions and state and national trade associations. Now, she uses her experience … Web: www.humanidei.com Details I wish we had been more tolerant of Mitt Romney’s binders full of women. This summer, a colleague proudly shared the agenda of a conference he hosted. I scanned the speaker roster and fired back an email, asking why he had not engaged women. I worried he may feel attacked and respond with defensiveness. Instead, he asked for help: Could I refer more inspiring female speakers for him to draw from in the future? I began working on a document that I entitled (as a joke to myself, because maintaining a sense of humor matters) “Binder Full of Women,” and my mind wandered. If someone I know to be a strong male ally needs support on his path toward inclusion, how many others do, too? How common is uncertainty about what to do, even in people who know something must be done? How often is that lack of awareness criticized rather than handled constructively? When Romney acknowledged the limitations that prevented him from knowing the most capable female candidates for cabinet positions, people mocked him. He indicated he was willing to work toward gender balance and he was shunned: Why did he have to work toward it? Why didn’t he have the wisdom already? Why did he need a binder full of resumes gathered by people who worked for him instead of drawing from his own, already-established diverse network that represented this country’s people? We laughed him off as a man who was out of touch with more than half of our country.While one could argue that (at least historically), a candidate for our nation’s highest office should have been held to higher sensitivity around gender issues, we taught men the wrong lesson. We should have demonstrated a willingness to support men in their growth, sending a message that it is okay to be where they are now, as long as they are willing to move forward.Ruth Bader Ginsburg recognized the need to offer this support when she was appointed to the Supreme Court. She accepted that her role was not to force a feminist agenda on the other justices, but to educate them about the ways inequality created challenges for both men and women. She did not resent them for their ignorance; she provided appropriate tools to help expand their understanding. When a person lives their entire life exposed only to one world, it does not matter if there is a realm beyond that. They cannot know what else is out there. It is like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. (Quick Philosophy 101: Prisoners lived their lives chained to a wall inside a dark cave. They were only exposed to shadows, so that became their reality.) The prisoners should not be faulted for not knowing about the objects that cast the shadows or the sun that creates the light to make this possible. It was the only world they had known. The test comes when people are exposed to a world beyond what they have known: Do they marvel in the new world? Do they deny that it is reality? Do they acknowledge that this world does exist, but prefer the shadows and the security of the world they have always known?There is a heightened awareness today about gender balance: I am more likely to notice a speaker docket full of men at a conference, a Board of Directors that is more than 75% male, an Executive Team that boasts only one token female, and I have begun asking why. Sometimes, the answer makes me shake my head… If someone tells me women aren’t qualified to serve, I move on from those conversations. They represent the prisoners who may see a world outside the cave, but refuse to believe it may be reality. Investing in their awareness is unlikely to change their views.Most of the men I engage in conversations about gender balance want to learn more, though. They are shocked to hear about the subtle and not-so-subtle ways women remain subordinated: The actions women feel they must take on a daily basis to avoid being sexually assaulted or harassed; that women still get asked in job interviews about plans for babies and childcare; that a declining number of women are CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. They want to live in a world where inequality is not a reality, but do not necessarily know their role. These are the Romney’s of the world. They are the prisoners who left the cave and believe in the new reality, but do not yet know how to become part of this new world. They will benefit from grace, instruction, and support in their growth. Over the past several months, I have heard an increasing amount of references to the declining popularity of the middle-aged white man. I listen with apprehension. I have not seen men’s lives ruined in the pursuit of equality. It brings to mind a Sarah Grimke quote popularized by the aforementioned RBG: I ask no favor for my sex; all I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks. While we continue to seek male allies to help create equality, we can also be female allies who enthusiastically encourage and support the growth of men who are open to learning more, regardless of where they stand in their journey today.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The arrest of a 14-year-old Muslim high school student in Texas for bringing a homemade clock to class has sparked a national uproar about Islamophobia.Mohamed Ahmed, an eighth grader at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, has an affinity for building electronic gadgets in his bedroom. He rose to fame overnight as social media erupted over his controversial arrest on Monday. By Wednesday afternoon, he’d been invited to meet President Obama at the White House–with the clock in hand.Ahmed’s whirlwind ordeal began when he decided to bring it to school to impress his teachers. One science teacher complimented Ahmed but warned him not to show it to anyone else. Acting on his teacher’s advice, Ahmed left it in his schoolbag. But the clock’s alarm sounded during his sixth-period English class, prompting that teacher to notify the principal and confiscate the clock, which Ahmed had built at his home in 20 minutes.“It looks like a bomb,” the teacher purportedly told Ahmed, according to the Dallas Morning News.“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me,’” Ahmed replied.Ahmed was eventually led into the principal’s office with a police escort. He was handcuffed despite vehemently explaining that the presumed “bomb” was indeed a working clock, according to news reports.“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” said Irving Police spokesperson James McLellan, according to the Dallas Morning News. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”Following his arrest, a photo of Ahmed in handcuffs surfaced on social media. The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter Wednesday morning, featuring a bevy of support and Tweets lampooning police and school officials for what many considered an overreaction and an example of blatant American Islamophobia. President Obama showed his support by inviting Ahmed—and his clock—to the White House. Dr. Hussein Rashid, an adjunct assistant professor of religion at Hofstra University and founder of the consultancy group islamicate, L3C, which focuses on religious literacy and cultural competency, began laughing when he was asked about Ahmed’s arrest.“I’m utterly flabbergasted,” said Rashid. “You got to think about the multiple failures that had to happen here, right? A student who wants to prove he’s good in science goes to his teacher and says, ‘I am a good student.’”Rashid criticized the teacher and school administration in Texas for involving law enforcement.“It’s a perfect storm of social factors,” continued Rashid. “There’s a culture of Islamophobia, where your first thought anytime you see a brown person acting smart is that they must be a terrorist because we’ve got this long history of racism where people of color are inherently stupid. And then, so a brown, smart person is a terrorist.”When it was first revealed that the NYPD was spying on Muslim communities on Long Island, the five boroughs and in New Jersey, Muslim groups said such tactics would discourage members of the community to speak their mind, and in some cases pray at their mosque, out of fear that something they say or do could make them a target of law enforcement.“This has a real impact beyond getting eighth graders arrested for trying to impress the teacher,” Rashid added. “This has a very casual [message]: we’re all being surveyed right now.”Dr. Isma Chaudhry, president of Westbury’s Islamic Center of Long Island, was mystified when a Press reporter informed her of Ahmed’s arrest in Texas.“For how long will ethnic minorities walk on eggshells?” she asked. “That is not right. It’s counterproductive to everything, every belief, that we as Americans have. It doesn’t have to be a religious belief, but a belief in freedom of an individual living a peaceful life. Ethnic minorities have to constantly prove themselves because of a certain name or because of a skin color or because of hair color or eye color.”MacArthur High School in Irving released a statement following Ahmed’s arrest, noting that the Irving Police Department had responded to a “suspicious looking item on campus.”“We are pleased to report that after the police department’s assessment, the item discovered at school did not pose a threat to your child’s safety,” said the statement.Irving police said Wednesday that Ahmed would not face criminal charges.Ahmed, who has been bombarded with interview requests, thanked his supporters on Twitter.
The department says they will take information such as serial numbers model, color and markings. OWEGO (WBNG) — The Owego Police Department is alerting residents about several bicycle thefts that have occurred in the area. The police department asks individuals to register all bicycles. Individuals may register their bicycle at the Owego Police Department at 90 Temple St. Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those with questions are asked to call the Owego Police Department at 607-687-2234.