Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. £1,000 pay rise may cost jobsOn 9 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Union demands for a £1,000 flat rate salary increase for local council staff could cost jobs if approved, the president of the Society of Chief Personnel Officers, Terry Gorman, has warned.The demand represents a 6.4 per cent increase on last year’s pay deal and would lift the local government minimum wage by 50p, from £4.61 to £5.11 an hour. It means that poorer paid workers would receive a larger increase than better-paid staff.Gorman, who is also assistant chief executive of Personnel and Corporate Services at Nottinghamshire County Council, said, “The flat rate demand would increase local councils’ wage bills dramatically. In election year I can’t see there being an increase in council tax. So I would assume that services would be creamed off and, ultimately, jobs lost.” Suffolk County Council’s personnel officer, Adrian Pritchard, agreed, “It is difficult to contemplate that level of increase. The grand in the hand is a bridge too far and will cost jobs.”The unions, including Unison, T&G and GMB, admit that the pay claim is big, but feel it is the time to invest in local government workers’ pay and tackle recruitment and retention issues.Earnings have risen by 3 per cent a year since 1996.Unison national secretary and head of local government, Malcolm Wing, said: “A morale-boosting pay increase is the only way to reverse the local government culture of more for less.”The Employers Organisation for Local Government is consulting its members. Talks with the unions will start next month with the negotiated increase coming into force in April.By Paul Nelson
Comments are closed. Air Miles could change its plans to close its Crawley call centre after analternative proposal was put forward by its staff during consultation. The company had proposed to close the call centre at its HQ in Crawley, Sussex,with the loss of up to 240 jobs and double the size of its custom-built callcentre in Warrington in order to increase efficiency and to cut costs. But Air Miles, which had guaranteed jobs to employees who agreed torelocate, invited staff to put forward alternative cost-saving suggestions andcounter proposals during a 12-week consultation period. Drew Thomson, Air Miles’ managing director, said one of the proposals thestaff representative body Viewpoint came up with has a good chance of being adoptedand could result in part of the call centre remaining open. He said, “One of the proposals could change what we plan to do, itcould result in some call centre functions remaining at Crawley. I am quiteexcited about that. “What is the point of having an involving culture if you don’t includeyour staff on a decision of this magnitude?” Air Miles’ HR team set up a series of briefing sessions to inform staff ofits plans to close the Crawley call centre, and also held a workshop in whichmanagement shared all the financial information that had led to the plannedchanges. This week, the new proposal will be put to all staff, who will give theirviews in a questionnaire. Thomson said the results of the questionnaire survey would be revealed atthe Viewpoint meeting later in the week, and this would decide whether thealternative put forward by the staff representative body was adopted. Air Miles will then hold detailed one-to-one discussions with all staff onthe options open to them. By Ben Willmott Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Air Miles’ staff talks bring options instead of closureOn 5 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today
Medicines giant slashes absenteeismOn 7 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article A time management system has cut absenteeism at GlaxoSmithKline’s Horlickssite. The system registers the times employees arrive and leave work. Originally it worked alongside the payroll function, deducting money if anemployee left early. But Martin Swain, HR manager for the site at Slough, said that wasdemoralising for staff and the company adjusted the system which useselectronic tags to let employees in and out of the building. He said, “We’ve seen a decline in the number of ad hoc one-dayabsences. At 4.25pm it was not unusual to see a queue of people waiting inreception for permission to go home.” The system was changed after Deloitte and Touche carried out a study toimprove flexible working at the company using a £30,000 loan from the DTIChallenge Fund. Other work-life balance initiatives are being developed at the site. Aconsolidated week has been introduced to allow staff to vary the hours theywork over five days. Annualised hours are being considered in addition to plansto open a cyber lounge.
Comments are closed. The newly launched National Modern Apprentice Taskforce must address thefunding shortfall companies face if they take on older apprentices, accordingto the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF). Ian Peters, EEF director of external affairs, said it is vital that fundingfor Modern Apprentices aged 19 and above is improved if the taskforce isserious about helping to address skills shortages. At present, employers receive £14,560 in funding for 16-18-year olds tocover part of the £50,000 cost of taking on modern apprentices, but only abouthalf this figure for 16-18-year-olds. There is no funding assistance at all forover 24s. Peters said that this lack of funding curtails the number of over 19-year-oldswho can be supported on Modern Apprenticeships and is a barrier to improvingworkplace skills. He believes the Government’s target of getting 28 per cent of young peoplein an apprenticeship by the age of 22 by 2004 is unattainable, unless fundingarrangements change. “If the taskforce does only one thing, it should be to persuade theGovernment to put funding for Modern Apprenticeships over the age of 19 on anequal footing with those aged between 16 and 18.” he said. “The total number of starters in training on Modern Apprenticesprogrammes is steadily declining at a time when we need to grow the apprenticepopulation from 6,500 starters in England Scotland and Wales to 10,000 by2005,” said Peters. The National Modern Apprenticeship Taskforce, which was launched last monthto promote the industry’s uptake of apprentices, will be led by Sir RoyGardner, chief executive of Centrica and includes individuals from acrossindustry and the education and training sector. www.dfes.gov.ukwww.eef.org.ukBy Ben Willmott Case studyEDS offers fast track to degrees via NVQsModern apprentices who join technology giant Electronic Data Services (EDS)will be able to continue studying gain university degrees. The Degrees for Modern Apprentices initiative is unique within the industryand will enable Modern Apprentices to gain a BSc Honours degree in informationsystems over a period of two-and-a-half to three years, once they havecompleted their National Vocational Qualifications. The learning is being provided in partnership with Thames Valley Universityand will be tutor-directed using workbooks, electronic support and onlinework-groups, all supplemented by existing EDS University materials. Studentswill also take part in monthly face-to-face meetings with tutors and other EDSstudents. The degree is modular and the firm, which employs 20,000 people in the UK,is launching a pilot involving 20 students later this month. Since autumn 1997, the EDS Modern Apprentice programme has recruited youngpeople, typically aged 16-21 years, into EDS UK. Candidates need five GCSEs orequivalent and are interviewed and required to pass an aptitude test beforethey embark on the programme. Bill Thomas, EDS president, UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, said:”We are thrilled to be able to offer our modern apprentices this valuableopportunity. “Not only will this enable access to higher education at no financialcost for the students, but it will also help drive down skills shortages withinthe IT industry and position EDS as the ’employer of choice’ with the bestpeople in the industry.” EEF warns of funds gap for apprenticesOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Appeal decision clarifies discrimination claimsOn 3 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today TheUK’s equality commissions have welcomed a Court of Appeal decision that makesit clear that people who have been discriminated against can claim compensationfor the losses they suffer as a result.Thedecision centred on the case of Yassin Essa, a construction worker who wasracially abused during the allocation of work on the building site of theMillennium Stadium in Cardiff.Essaleft his job and suffered from depression following the incident, but theemployment tribunal’s original decision ruled that he was not entitled tocompensation for psychiatric illness because it was not a foreseeable reaction.TheEqual Opportunities Commission (EOC), Commission for Racial Equality andDisability Rights Commission took the unprecedented step of making a jointapplication to the Court of Appeal to intervene in the case and assist ininterpreting the relevant legislation.Ifthe original decision was upheld, the commissions said, it would have meantthat people who suffered an unusually severe reaction to discrimination wouldonly be able to recover compensation for the injuries that were ‘reasonablyforeseeable’.JulieMellor, chair of the EOC, said: “This decision recognises the damagediscrimination can cause and ensures people will be properly compensated infuture.”DianahWorman, equal opportunities adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment, said the decision had clarified an important issue.
Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. This week’s news in briefRacism rife in UK Racism is still blighting the lives of the UK’s black workers, despite thesuccess of government employment schemes like the New Deal, according to a TUCreport, Moving on: How Britain’s unions are tackling racism. The TUC wants theGovernment to introduce a legal requirement for all employers to promote goodrace relations. www.tuc.org.ukRights for carers Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised to extend the right to requestflexible working to carers of elderly and sick relatives. At a ‘BigConversation’ meeting in Downing Street to discuss work-life balance issues,Blair promised to extend the rights introduced for parents. More than half ofthe nation’s six million carers also have other jobs, according to Carers UK. www.carersonline.org.ukNHS jobs go online NHS online recruitment is being implemented across the UK after a successfultrial. The service allows the public to search and apply for NHS jobs on asingle website. Around 100 NHS organisations across the country have confirmeddates for taking up the service, which has around 500 new jobs displayed eachday. Around 24,000 jobseekers have registered so far. www.nhs.uk/jobs‘Sickie’ stunt outrage Alton Towers theme park is under fire after encouraging people to miss workand visit the park. A survey by the park shows one in three of its midweekadult visitors had lied to their employers to get a day off to visit. TheFederation of Small Businesses is fuming, saying absenteeism costs the UKeconomy £10bn each year, but Alton Towers said it was not its job to cutabsenteeism and has set up an anti-work website. www.ihatework.co.uk Previous Article Next Article …in briefOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today
Although several invertebrates have been introduced by Man into the Antarctic, no holometabolous insects have survived to colonize terrestrial habitats successfully. Data are presented on the survival of populations of a chironomid midge, together with an enchytraeid worm, for 17 years in a maritime Antarctic site at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Both species are thought to have been introduced on plant material transplanted from either South Georgia or the Falkland Islands or both in 1967. Population densities average 25718m-2 for the dipteran larvae and 3243 m-2 for the worms. Successful completion of the midge’s life cycle was indicated by emergence of brachypterous adults and oviposition (the population is parthenogenetic with only females present). Although both taxa are capable of supercooling to between -13 and -26°C, this capacity may not be sufficient in a severe winter to avoid lethal freezing. Four potential cryoprotectants were found in insect extracts, but in concentrations (< 1 % fresh weight) unlikely to influence cold hardiness. Both invertebrates appear to be pre-adapted for survival in much harsher conditions than they normally experience, by the extension of existing physiological mechanisms. It is concluded that the main limitations to invertebrate colonization of suitable Antarctic land areas by soil-dwelling species are geographical.
The emplacement mechanism, geometry, and isotope geochemistry of plutons of the Wiley Glacier complex suggest that new continental crust grew by multiple injection of tonalitic dykes during dextral transtension in the Antarctic Peninsula magmatic are in Early Cretaceous times. The suggested mechanism is analogous to basalt dyke injection during sea-floor spreading. During normal-dextral shear, the Bums Bluff pluton, a sheeted, moderately east-dipping, syn-magmatically sheared tonalite- granodiorite intruded syn-magmatically sheared quartz diorite of the Creswick Gap pluton and 140 +/- 5 Ma homblende gabbro. U-Pb dating of zircon and Ar-Ar dating of hornblende and biotite suggest that both granite s.l. plutons were emplaced between 145 and 140 Ma, but that extensional shearing was active from the time of emplacement until ca. lu Ma. The Bums Bluff pluton is chilled at its margin, and grades through mylonitised, porphyritic tonalite-granodiorite sheets and tonalite-granodiorite sheets with minor chilling, to a kilometre-scale body of coarse-grained, hypidiomorphic tonalite-granodiorite Co-magmatic microdiorite forms dykes and abundant synplutonic mafic enclaves. These dykes opened as echelon veins during episodic dextral shear and were deformed to trains of enclaves during continued normal-dextral shear. Pluton-marginal porphyritic and hypidiomorphic tonalite- granodiorite forms large, fault-hosted sheets emplaced progressively under extension with minor dextral shear. Kinematic indicators from pluton-marginal granite s.l. dykes suggest that early in pluton accretion, intrusive sheets cooled rapidly, with simple shear prior to full crystallisation changing to ductile simple shear during cooling. Kinematic indicators towards the pluton core suggest that as the pluton grew, and cooled more slowly, emplacement switched from sheeting to in situ inflation with simple shear distributed across a broad zone prior to full crystallisation of magma. Cross-cutting relationships with the coeval, syn-extensional, Creswick Gap pluton suggest that the Bums Bluff pluton was emplaced in a steeper, second generation shear structure, like those in normal fault systems. This suggests that the Wiley Glacier complex was emplaced above the base of the brittle- ductile transition zone (15-18 km depth). The Bums Bluff pluton has Nd and Sr isotope values that range from mantle dominated (is an element of Nd-141 = +3.8, Sr-87/Sr-86(141) = 0.70468) to more crustally influenced (is an element of Nd-141 = -1.7, Sr- 87/Sr-86(141) = 0.70652) This range probably represents different degrees of mixing between mantle-derived magma and lower crustal partial melts generated in the garnet-stability zone (40+ km depth). Addition of new crustal material by mafic underplating at the base of the crust and by redistribution of granitic s.l. and mafic, modified, underplated magma to mid- crustal levels along extensional shear zones as the are ‘spread’ were the primary mechanisms of crustal growth.
Continuous sea salt and mineral dust aerosol records have been studied on the two EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) deep ice cores. The joint use of these records from opposite sides of the East Antarctic plateau allows for an estimate of changes in dust transport and emission intensity as well as for the identification of regional differences in the sea salt aerosol source. The mineral dust flux records at both sites show a strong coherency over the last 150 kyr related to dust emission changes in the glacial Patagonian dust source with three times higher dust fluxes in the Atlantic compared to the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean (SO). Using a simple conceptual transport model this indicates that transport can explain only 40% of the atmospheric dust concentration changes in Antarctica, while factor 5–10 changes occurred. Accordingly, the main cause for the strong glacial dust flux changes in Antarctica must lie in environmental changes in Patagonia. Dust emissions, hence environmental conditions in Patagonia, were very similar during the last two glacials and interglacials, respectively, despite 2–4 °C warmer temperatures recorded in Antarctica during the penultimate interglacial than today. 2–3 times higher sea salt fluxes found in both ice cores in the glacial compared to the Holocene are difficult to reconcile with a largely unchanged transport intensity and the distant open ocean source. The substantial glacial enhancements in sea salt aerosol fluxes can be readily explained assuming sea ice formation as the main sea salt aerosol source with a significantly larger expansion of (summer) sea ice in the Weddell Sea than in the Indian Ocean sector. During the penultimate interglacial, our sea salt records point to a 50% reduction of winter sea ice coverage compared to the Holocene both in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean sector of the SO. However, from 20 to 80 ka before present sea salt fluxes show only very subdued millennial changes despite pronounced temperature fluctuations, likely due to the large distance of the sea ice salt source to our drill sites.
We determined growth rates of six coccolithophorid strains (five species) as a function of temperature. We grew four strains (three species: Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, and two strains of Calcidiscus leptoporus) at six temperatures between 6uC and 25uC, Coccolithus braarudii at four temperatures, and Syracosphaera pulchra at two temperatures. The growth rates were to a large extent consistent with the biogeographical distributions of these species. C. braarudii grows relatively fast at low temperatures, the two strains of C. leptoporus have temperature optima of 12uC and 20uC, E. huxleyi has an optimum at 20uC, and the growth rate of G. oceanica (and S. pulchra) increases up to the highest tested temperature of 25uC. This shows that maximum growth rate is an important factor in controlling distribution in the ocean, but it is not the only one.