Focused approach needed to address council shortages

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Skills Council would help solve crisis over retention and attract new bloodRecruitment and retention in the public sector has hit the headlines withthe release of the Audit Commission’s latest report (News, 3 September). It isthe perennial crisis story of public employers striving to attract the besttalent. But the real picture is more complex and begs the question: whichcrisis are we dealing with exactly? While the NHS and central government agencies can speak for themselves,local government has its own distinctive characteristics. It has selectiverecruitment and retention problems in the middle ranks of some professions andcertain geographical areas – most notably, the South East. Problems are becoming increasingly severe in some areas, and there is amajor need to confront the age profile of the workforce by recruiting youngerstaff. The Audit Commission suggests a number of proposals for local employers,central government and national bodies, designed to re-invigorate the publicsector ethos and make working for the public sector more rewarding. However, there are specific actions that need to be taken by localauthorities in response that will not be addressed by improved recruitmentstrategies and better working environments. The Employers Organisation intendsto work with the Audit Commission and others to develop policies that will workfor local government. In many professions that are more or less unique to local government –public safety work such as trading standards or building control, for instance– there are problems in bringing new, suitably qualified people into theworkforce. Better co-ordination is needed to develop personal developmentprogrammes and provide training opportunities. It would help if local government had a sector Skills Council to lead thedevelopment of professional qualifications in partnership with relevant prof-essional bodies. We will continue to lobby government to put such anorganisation in place. It also cannot be denied that a clear career path in critical localgovernment professions could be enhanced in some cases by an ability to providemore flexible rewards for the best staff. We are helping local government toconfront this sticky issue of pay. Pay system modernisation, based perhaps onnewly developed competency and appraisal systems, will be a central issue forcouncils during the next few years. Although the resources available are limited, better value for the pay billand suitable rewards for the best performers need to form part of the rewardpattern. Greater flexibilities have already been built into the national paystructure to encourage this, but more work needs to be done. An important focus for this achievement will be the proposed National JointCommission on Local Government Pay and related issues that form part of theAcas-suggested settlement of the recent pay dispute. The unions may strongly believe that recruitment problems in local governmentaffect the lowest paid jobs, but local employers know that this isn’t usuallythe case. Councils need to plan for where the problems really hit them. The Employers Organisation feels that improved recruitment and retentionpolicies must be developed as part of a much more strategic approach to HRmanagement in local government that places people at the heart of the missionto improve services. In our recent publication, Productivity, Performance &Improvement, for example, we have been exploring the relevance of highperformance HRM practices for local government, and developing an eight-pointplan for priority HR interventions. This includes improved recruitment andretention policies linked to proper management development, improved team-basedworking, and sickness absence management. We are glad that the Audit Commission agrees that HR management reallymatters in local government, but the hard work starts with the development of ameaningful set of policy recommendations that can eventually deliver this. By Rob Pinkham, the deputy executive director of the EmployersOrganisation for Local Government Focused approach needed to address council shortagesOn 17 Sep 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Detecting rift basins in the Evans Ice Stream region of West Antarctica using airborne gravity data

first_imgA total of 11,500 line km of aerogravity data have been used to construct an free-air gravity anomaly map for the Antarctic region that may contain the microplate boundary between the Haag Nunataks block and southern Antarctic Peninsula. Along-line free-air gravity anomaly data resolved wavelengths of 9 km or greater with better than 5 mGal accuracy. Coincident radio echo soundings provided data to construct a digital terrain model. The gravity effect of the terrain was calculated by Gauss-Legendre quadrature (GLQ) and spectrally correlated with the free-air gravity data. Terrain-correlated free-air anomalies related to possible isostatic imbalances of the crust were separated from terrain-decorrelated anomalies that may reflect intra-crustal density contrasts. Subtracting terrain-correlated free-air anomalies from the gravity effects of the terrain yielded compensated terrain gravity effects (CTGE) that were used to model the Moho by inversion. The results indicate moderate but significant crustal thinning below the Evans Ice Stream that is consistent with an extensional origin for the deep, wide, steep-sided trough that contains the ice stream as well as the continued elevation of the footwall flank of the basin, Changes along the axis of the rift, both in the gravity anomaly field and the distribution of Moho topography, can be explained by processes associated with continental lithospheric extension. Subsequently, many of the features produced by extension have been modified by glacial erosion and the sub-ice topography and gravity data reflect this.last_img read more

Georgia Tech coach fired over alleged ‘toxic’ culture; coach disputes the dismissal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailJoel Auerbach/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — Georgia Tech dismissed its head women’s basketball coach Tuesday following an investigation over “concerns about player and staff mistreatment,” the school’s athletics department said.Georgia Tech said in a news release that Littler Mendelson P.C. Employment and Labor Law Solutions Worldwide conducted an independent investigation for the school after concerns were brought forward regarding head coach MaChelle Joseph’s conduct with the team. The school said Littler Mendelson was retained on Feb. 25, and Joseph was placed on leave two days later. Athletic Director Todd Stansbury said the report’s findings “left [them] no choice but to dismiss Coach Joseph.” “I am disappointed and saddened to learn that the well-being of our student-athletes was being compromised. The findings of the independent investigation make it clear that the dismissal of Coach Joseph is necessary to restore the well-being of student-athletes as the No. 1 priority within our women’s basketball program,” Stansbury said in a statement.The investigation consisted of 40 interviews with the 13 current members of the team and four former players, as well as Joseph herself, assistant coaches, administrative support staff, parents, consultants, and other individuals involved with the team, as well as a review of documents, according to the investigation summary report. Georgia Tech said Littler Mendelson submitted its report on March 20 and Joseph responded to it on March 25.The report described players who said they had limited relationships or no relationships at all with Joseph, who became head coach of the team in 2003. At least nine players said they could not trust any members of the coaching staff, according to the report.“When asked to describe their general feelings associated with the program and working with Coach Joseph, players described feeling insecure, nervous, anxious, and scared at various points in the season and in their careers. Others described the environment as ‘toxic,’ ‘suffocating,’ ‘draining and miserable,’ and ‘unhealthy,’” the report said, adding that some players said their experiences affected their enjoyment for playing basketball.According to the report, players described sometimes being targeted by Joseph, which could lead to “extreme cursing and yelling” over their mistakes, and claimed she often threw objects like basketballs and clipboards and regularly broke her clipboard. The report also said players had sometimes felt pressured to play despite being injured and were subject to “daily belittlement” and called “derogatory and demeaning names.”“The players described Coach Joseph’s conduct as ‘bullying’ and emotionally, mentally, and verbally ‘abusive,’” the report said.Some staff members also echoed players’ claims and said they had also felt “regularly disrespected” by Joseph, and described her conduct was “different in nature and severity as that exhibited by other collegiate coaches with whom they have interacted.”Lisa Banks, Joseph’s attorney, said in a statement Tuesday that Joseph’s firing was “the culmination of an unlawful campaign of retaliation against her for advocating for gender equity in athletics at Georgia Tech.” She said Joseph had been vocal about “the subpar treatment of the women’s basketball team” and that the athletic department was trying to remove her by “manufacturing allegations” and “manipulating an investigation” while denying the allegations against her. Banks also said Joseph “will continue to fight for equality in women’s athletics and for justice related to the discrimination and retaliation she has suffered at the hands of the Georgia Tech Athletic Department.”In her response to the report, Joseph said the report’s conclusions were “based on vague statements from unidentified players and staff” and also claimed the school was attempting to “silence [her] complaints of gender inequity and retaliation.” Joseph said in her response that she had spoken with the school about disparities between the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the school had “attempted to silence” her and engaged in a “pattern of ongoing retaliation and harassment, baselessly accusing [her] of wrongdoing and attempting to interfere with [her] team and [her] players.”Joseph also said in the response that when she was interviewed, the investigator “did not reveal the specific allegations against [her] and did not provide [her] the opportunity to respond to or rebut any of those allegations,” and that she was only given two business days to respond when the report was given.Joseph also said in the response that though people may call her coaching “tough,” she had never been accused of being abusive. She also clarified or denied statements that the report said that she made to her players and listed text messages and emails with her players and parents that she said the investigator never asked for.“Georgia Tech has been my home for the past 18 years, and the players and the staff have been my family,” Joseph said in a statement after her dismissal. “I have so many great memories of the amazing journey we have been on with this program. I will be forever grateful for all of the young women who took a chance on Tech and on me. They have forever changed this program and my life.”In 16 seasons as head coach of the Yellow Jackets women’s basketball team, Joseph led the team to 11 postseason appearances, including seven NCAA tournaments, and was the winningest coach in program history, according to her biography on the athletic department website.The Yellow Jackets finished the 2018-19 season with a 17-13 overall record.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Beau Lund Written bycenter_img March 27, 2019 /Sports News – National Georgia Tech coach fired over alleged ‘toxic’ culture; coach disputes the dismissallast_img read more

Weekly Market Review: August 10, 2020

first_imgHistory will write that 2020 was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but financial history will write that 2020 was the year of an incredible bounce back in U.S. stocks coupled with historically low interest rates. The S&P 500 suffered through a 34% bear market drop (total return) from 2/19/20 to 3/23/20 but has since rallied +51% (total return) through the close of stock trading last Friday (8/07 /20). The yields on almost all durations of Treasury debt are at record lows or just above them, e.g., the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note closed at 0.514% last Tuesday 8/04/20, within 0.013 percentage points of its all-time record low close of 0.501 %. The demand for U.S. Treasuries has never been greater, fortuitous for the United States as we anticipate issuing $4.5 trillion of Treasury debt during fiscal year 2020 (source: Treasury Department).The federal eviction moratorium that went into effect on 3/27 /20 protected rental tenants for 120 days, i.e., through 7 /25/20. Unless the executive orders from the White House hold up, landlords that own rental properties backed by federally backed mortgages (impacting 12 million households and 30 million people) may give delinquent tenants a 30-day notice to vacate, then followed by an eviction notice (source: CARES Act).The mainstays of summer activity in America – hotels and restaurants – have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a comeback in these industries is taking place. The number of American workers in the “leisure and hospitality” business was 16.9 million as of 2/29/20, dropped to 8.5 million as of 4/30/20, and now has rebounded to 12.5 million as of 7 /31 /20 (source: Department of Labor).Notable Numbers for the Week:COUNTING ALL OF THEM – After peaking at $36.1 trillion on 2/19 /20, the total market capitalization of all U.S. equities fell $12.7 trillion to $23.4 trillion as of 3/23/20 but has since added back $12.4 trillion to close last Friday 8/07 /20 at $35.8 trillion (source: Wilshire).REDUCING YOUR MONTHLY COST – 64% of mortgage applications filed during the week ending Friday7 /31 /20 were current homeowners refinancing existing mortgage debt as opposed to new home purchases (source: Mortgage Bankers Association).GET IT AND SPEND IT – 7 4% of Americans spent their $1,200 per person stimulus payment from the 3/27 /20 CARES Act within four weeks of receipt. 159 million Americans received the one-time nontaxable cash payment (source: Money/Morning Consult survey).MIGHT AS WELL STAY – Only 7% of workers “auto-enrolled” in an employer’s 401 (k) plan elect to “opt-out” of the plan, i.e., 93% of all employees remain in the plan (source: Vanguard Research).Mark R. Reimet, CFP®CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™Jodie BoothFinancial Advisorlast_img read more

News story: Committee on Radioactive Waste Management tour of the Dalton Cumbrian Facility

first_imgThe committee visited the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF) on 19 June. This is a £20 million facility which opened in September 2013 and was jointly funded by the University of Manchester and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It is a state-of-the-art ion beam and gamma irradiation facility for nuclear research and development and is part of the National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF), the National Ion Beam Centre and Royce Institute for Advanced materials.The committee was given a tour around the facility, including visits to the ion accelerators and beamlines, gamma irradiator and materials characterisation laboratory. These facilities allow scientists to assess radiation damage in a short period, that would normally occur over longer timescales. The committee gained insight into the cutting-edge research going on at DCF exploring radiation damage in different materials key to the nuclear industry. A large portion of the research activities is dedicated to decommissioning and the safe management and disposal of radioactive waste.last_img read more

Second Brazil wave strains hospitals in Sao Paulo’s interior

first_imgJAU, Brazil (AP) — Just as Brazil has a glimpse of hope with the start of vaccination, it faces a dizzying second COVID-19 wave that is straining facilities ability to treat patients. Intensive-care units in public hospitals have been maxxed out in several states and municipalities across the country, including two state capitals in the remote Amazon and even some cities like Jau in Sao Paulo, the nation’s wealthiest state.  Each day, several patients like turn up to the doors of the Santa Casa de Jau hospital door, hoping to get treatment or to be hospitalized. But the facility, which also attends COVID-19 patients from 11 nearby municipalities, reached full capacity on Jan. 18.last_img

Doctoral student launches reader at bookstore

first_imgThe strong intellectual connection between Medieval theologian Duns Scotus and 19th century thinker Cardinal John Henry Newman has major ramifications for Catholic thought, according to Fr. Edward Ondrako.A doctoral student of theology, Ondrako presented on his recently-released book “The Newman-Scotus Reader: Contexts and Commonalities” in the Hammes Bookstore on Friday afternoon. Along with Ondrako, theology professor Cyril O’Regan and doctoral student Jay Martin spoke about the importance of the work.O’Regan said it is important to think of Scotus as part of the Franciscan tradition that produced many other deeply influential theologians and philosophers including St. Bonaventure.“The Franciscan school continues to be, philosophically and theologically, relevant today as seen in how it played a role in Vatican II,” O’Regan said.Scotus’s thought, much like Newman’s, challenges Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment philosophy, O’Regan said, because of its focus on grounding in metaphysics.“In modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant and all the way on, they dispense with metaphysical realism and present their thought in solipsistic self-reflection,” O’Regan said.O’Regan said part of this contrast can be attributed to the secularization, or the lack of Christian doctrine in modern philosophies,“The Franciscan tradition sees revelation as a gift and this makes it the antithesis of the Kant-Hegel axis of modern philosophy,” he said.Speaking about Ondrako’s background, O’Regan said his previous work prepared him well to create “The Newman-Scotus Reader.”“Father Ondrako is a well-known Newman scholar, and he is aware of the way Cardinal John Henry Newman saw liberalism as a challenge,” O’Regan said.Following O’Regan, Martin spoke about his role indexing the book.“As the indexer, I may have the dubious distinction of having read this book more than anyone else,” Martin said,Much like O’Regan, Martin said the personal and spiritual qualities of Ondrako are present in his work.“This book is a decanting of the sort of spiritual life that Father Ed exemplifies to his fellow classmates and to the faithful he serves,” Martin said.Martin said this means the book can be read for both the intellectual arguments and comprehensive scholarship it embodies as well as the more practical and spiritual message it contains.“I would encourage you as you read this text to allow Father Ed’s vision of the holistic religious life that isn’t always terribly neatly compartmentalized, to be challenged by the theology of it, but also the insistence that the theological arguments in their own detail and specificity have certain spiritual importance,” Martin said.Ondrako spoke after Martin, explaining his motivations for creating the book and the significance of its content.“This book argues in detail that Newman was overall sympathetic to many of the major themes characteristic of Duns Scotus’s metaphysics,” Ondrako said.This has large implications for Catholicism’s philosophical and theological stances in the the modern era, Ondrako said, particularly as it relates to the connection between reason and faith or spirituality.“This is what Pope John Paul II was so upset when he wrote ‘Fides et Ratio’’, that there is a decline in understanding the importance of metaphysics and clear-headed thinking,” Ondrako said.The Newman-Scotus Readers sheds light on these kinds of issues by offering complementary perspectives that work together towards the same goal, Ondrako said.“The metaphysical approach of Duns Scotus uncovers the foundations of Newman’s thought, while the phenomenological style of New helps the reader grasp the realism and profound spirituality lying behind the more abstract presentation of Scotus,” Ondrako said.While the content can be quite rich and complex, Ondrako said he always kept his audience in mind.“‘My friends have asked me, ‘Can I read this book?’, ‘Will it confuse me?’, ‘Will I get bogged down in the terminology and language that you theologians throw around?’,” Ondrako said. Ondrako said he was careful to write and edit the book for undergraduates and people interested in major concepts in theology and philosophy, hoping that the larger non-academic audience will appreciate the work.Tags: Cardinal John Henry Newman, Duns Scotus, The Newman-Scotus Reader: Contexts and Commonalitieslast_img read more

James Corden Leads Production of Phantom …On a Crosswalk

first_img Related Shows Remaining in the role of Fop 2 didn’t last long for this Tony winner and ultimate Phan. In pursuit of his life-long dream to play the Phantom, The Late Late Show’s James Corden got the touring cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera together to assemble the first production of the tuner on an actual Los Angeles crosswalk. You read that right, open up your mind here. Watch below for full-blown costumes (including the all important different “Masquerade” mask), a silent candelabra and a boat. Yes, a boat. On a crosswalk. It has to be seen to be believed. from $29.00 View Comments The Phantom of the Operalast_img

Martian soil

first_img“We were working on thermal property sensors then to measure heat capacity of soil,” said Campbell, now retired from WSU. “Before, people used a sensor with a single needle having a heater and temperature sensor inside, and measuring the change in temperature over time. We made a dual needle device with a heater in one needle and a temperature sensor in the other.”Building on the concept “They expect to find a lot of water in the polar region of Mars, but it’s believed to be in the form of ice,” he said. “When the robot arm scoops away a thin layer of dust, there should be icy soil below. The sensor will make measurements that confirm that it’s icy soil.” So why do we need to know how much moisture is in Mars’ soil? Campbell continued to improve the device. It and other similar models are now developed and sold by Campbell’s company, Decagon, which manufactures measurement devices used by the food and pharmaceutical industries and for agricultural research. “When it lands it plops down in one spot and a little scoop or shovel on the end of a robot arm will take a sample from the soil on Mars,” Campbell said. “Our sensor is mounted on the scoop and the robot arm pokes it into soil for a measurement.” Phoenix is a lander, not a rover. The year was 1987 and Williams was on sabbatical working with a Washington State University research team led by Gaylon Campbell. The Phoenix Mars Mission landed on the Red Planet May 25. In its tool kit is an advanced version of Williams’ moisture probe. Scientists on the Mars mission believe the planet used to be covered with water and are determined to find out where the water went.center_img The device worked for Williams’ peanut research. The research team published their findings. During the American Geophysical Union Meeting in 2004, the sensor device attracted the attention of a scientist working with NASA. “A scientist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (at the California Institute of Technology) stopped by our exhibit and said ‘That’s exactly what I need to send on the Mars lander,’” Campbell said. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaA device borne from the need to test soil moisture around peanut plants is now being used to help test the soil on Mars. “We designed the device to measure the water content around peanut pods,” said Williams, an agronomist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “At the time, there was no way to measure without disturbing the soil and destroying the pod.” NASA’s version of the moisture probe is called the Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe. It will test how heat and electricity move through the soil. Ice in the soil can make a big difference in how well the soil conducts heat. The probe is a humidity sensor, too, when held in the air. And that is where the device is today. Testing icy soil on MarsPhoenix’s mission is to study the history of the water now frozen into the Mars permafrost and to check for carbon-containing chemicals that are essential ingredients for life. For the first time, it will also monitor weather at the plant’s polar region from a surface perspective.last_img read more

Go green grants

first_img“The Campus Sustainability Grants program provides students valuable experience in grant-writing and an opportunity for hands-on implementation of sustainable practices,” he said. “We enjoy working with students to take their ideas from concept to completion.” Twenty-one grant proposals were submitted in December and evaluated by a selection committee composed of UGA students, faculty and staff. Each winning proposal addressed priorities outlined in UGA’s 2020 Strategic Plan to conserve resources, educate the campus community about environmental issues and provide research to further sustainability at the university.JoHannah Biang, a master’s student in horticulture, will construct a living wall planted with seasonal herbs and vegetables. The project will research and demonstrate the effectiveness of vertical gardening. The wall will be installed at UGArden, UGA’s campus community garden, in Athens and will be maintained by student volunteers. The produce will be harvested by Campus Kitchens and distributed at the Northeast Georgia Food Bank. Kevin Kirsche, director of the UGA Office of Sustainability, said the grant program is a great way for students to get involved and make a real, noticeable difference on campus. Three University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences students are among six whom were recently awarded grants from the UGA Office of Sustainability. The grants, which come from the student-paid green fee, will fund projects aimed at advancing campus sustainability. Katie Shepard, a master’s student in the department of crop and soil sciences in Athens, will monitor the effectiveness of a UGA East Campus rain garden at filtering pollutants from storm water runoff. Shepard will take soil moisture and water quality measurements to determine how well the rain garden does its job. Her findings will help ensure that other current and future rain gardens on campus continue to act as effective storm water filters. The project will be monitored by students in CAES, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the College of Environment and Design. For more information on the UGA Office of Sustainability, visit the website Brandi Bishop, a senior agricultural education major at the UGA campus in Tifton, Ga., will develop a recycling program at the extended campus. She plans to install 60 waste reduction stations in 15 of the busiest buildings on the campus. The stations will make it easier and more convenient to recycle, and will save items from landfills. Bishop will also implement a public relations campaign to encourage university and community members to reduce waste.last_img read more