Vice chancellor calls for calm as new pensions deal proposed

first_imgA new deal has been proposed by Universities UK (UUK) in an aim to solve the ongoing pensions dispute, potentially bringing widespread industrial action to a halt.Under the proposed agreement, the current defined benefit pension scheme will remain in place until at least April 2019. According to the University and College Union (UCU), it will also ensure that a full switch to a defined contribution scheme is entirely off the table.It follows vice chancellor Louise Richardson sending an email to all staff this afternoon, outlining her hope that the “University can come together in recognition of the concerns of many of our staff”.Following further negotiations this week, the UUK board met this afternoon and agreed a proposal aimed at resolving the pension dispute. That proposal has now been sent to UCU members, with branch representatives due to deliver feedback on Wednesday.#UCU confirm that proposed pension switch to DC taken off the table as part of today’s revised offer from #UUK.— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) March 23, 2018Alongside a commitment to maintaining the current pension system until 2019, the deal also proposes a “Joint Expert Panel”, comprised of actuarial and academic experts nominated in equal numbers from both UCU and UUK.It is hoped the panel will agree to the key principles which will underpin the future joint approach of UUK and UCU to the valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme  (USS) fund. The valuation of the scheme has been a serious source of contention throughout the dispute, with UCU consistently criticising the methodology used to calculate the USS’s supposed £6.1 billion deficit.According to UCU Secretary Sally Hunt, the work of the group will also “reflect the clear wish of staff to have a guaranteed pension comparable with current provision whilst meeting the affordability challenges for all parties, within the current regulatory framework.”Oxford University said in an online statement that the proposed deal “would be very good news for our students, preventing further disruption to their studies.”Earlier this afternoon, vice chancellor Louise Richardson sent an email to all staff where she bemoaned how “the collegiality of our community has been undermined” by the ongoing pensions dispute.She said: “We face a shared problem: a pension scheme to which both employers and employees contribute which has been assessed as having a substantial deficit. We have a shared interest in finding a solution that offers the best possible affordable pension now and into the future.“Like other employers and employees we have signed on to collective bargaining and are bound by it. I know that this is frustrating for many of us who would like to find our own solution right away, but we can’t. I can personally commit, however, to accepting any solution agreed at the Joint Negotiating Committee by UCU and UUK.“Much of the disagreement arises over the validity of the estimate of the deficit (£6.1 billion). I know we would all be delighted to learn that the current estimate exaggerates the deficit. I very much hope that the proposals for an independent panel of experts, with membership agreed by UCU and UUK and working transparently, will be accepted, will start work immediately, and will command confidence in their conclusions.“Congregation will be convening on April 24 to discuss the issue and to solicit proposals that can be fed into our Pensions Working Party for analysis. I hope that this can be a moment when the University can come together in recognition of the concerns of many of our staff and in collective pursuit of a solution to the shared problem we face.”Last week, it was confirmed that Oxford had excluded USS members from the University’s Pension Working Party on conflict of interest grounds. This position has now been formally reversed, and there will be a greater input from USS members going forward.Meanwhile, the identity of four of the six Oxford colleges who pushed for the controversial pension scheme changes remains unknown. Only Hertford and Pembroke have revealed that they responded to a 2017 UUK survey with a desire for “less risk”, but leaked documents suggest that four other colleges did the same.Oxford UCU has been contacted for comment.last_img read more

Cake Brands names Rachel Clark accounts manager

first_imgBaked goods supplier Cake Brands has appointed Rachel Clark as national accounts manager for its Sussex-based More Food business.Clark has 20 years’ experience in the baking sector, said the company, and formerly worked at Handmade Speciality Products, where her role included production and buying.Established in 2003, Chichester-based More Food entered administration last September, and was immediately sold as part of a going concern to Sussex Bakes, part of the Cake Brands business.Clark joined the firm just ahead of the launch of More Foodservice, a new brand and website to enable online ordering of wholesale cakes for next-day delivery.“I have joined More Food to help with the growth of sales,” said Clark. “In a short space of time, I have made many contacts, and things are looking promising.”Cake Brands explained that its commitment to innovation, and increasing demand from customers, led it to look for an addition to the team who would fit the ethos of “innovation and exceptional service”.“Cake Brands are confident Rachel will play a key role in providing and implementing a high-quality service for their customers,” stated the company.last_img read more

Fruition Shares Exciting New Music Video For ‘Labor Of Love’ From Forthcoming Album

first_imgPortland-based folk quartet Fruition is having a great year! The band is gearing up for their newest album, Labor Of Love, to be released on April 22nd on Randm Records. In celebration, the band recently debuted a live video of the album’s title track, “Labor Of Love,” exclusively via L4LM. You can read all about the album and the track here.Today, the band is doubling down on “Labor Of Love,” premiering an official music video for the soulful song. Watch below:last_img

Jenkins: No decision yet on Trump as Commencement speaker

first_imgThree weeks ago, students crowded around TV screens, watching as votes trickled in from around the country.Some cheered. Some cried. Across campus, emotions ran high as one of the most divisive election seasons in American history drew to a close.Now, the country is starting to look forward and examine the implications of Donald Trump’s victory — and for University President Fr. John Jenkins, that means pondering what the election means for Notre Dame.Joseph Han, Chris Collins In an interview with The Observer on Thursday, Jenkins said he is considering inviting the President-elect to speak at this year’s Commencement ceremony.“I do think the elected leader of the nation should be listened to. And it would be good to have that person on the campus — whoever they are, whatever their views,” he said. “At the same time, the 2009 Commencement was a bit of a political circus, and I think I’m conscious that that day is for graduates and their parents — and I don’t want to make the focus something else.”Traditionally, the University has invited presidents to speak at graduation during their first year in White House. In 2009, President Barack Obama was the sixth president to deliver the Commencement address, following in the steps of Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.Jenkins said he plans to select a Commencement speaker sometime during the spring semester. Right now, he’s still weighing the different factors involved.“My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus,” he said. This election spurred levels political acrimony higher than Jenkins said he remembers in the past.“I think it’s fair to say the election reveals deep divides in this nation — divides on political views, on economic prospects, educational differences, differences in opportunities,” he said. “And they run deep in the country.”During this time, Jenkins said Notre Dame has a role as an educational institution to be a place of discussion that brings people together.“I think being president of Notre Dame gives me a certain soapbox. You can say things that people will pay attention to what you say because of that. I take that seriously,” he said. “I try to use that soapbox that I have as well as I can to serve those ideas and not kind of advance a personal agenda.”In a prayer service hosted six days after the election, Jenkins told undocumented students that the University would continue to support them, even if Trump were to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, as he promised to do during his campaign.The DACA Program was the result of an executive order issued by Obama and allows some undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to gain work authorization and, in many cases, financial aid to attend universities. Last week, Jenkins signed a public statement in support of DACA, joining more than 400 other college and university presidents.“These people were brought here as minors and are highly talented people, are valuable to this country,” Jenkins said. “So, if an administration would make changes, I would think trying to deport these talented young people would be among the most ill-advised moves they could make.”“If there should be an effort to do that, we would do everything we can to fight that, whatever way we can,” he added. “Not only for these young people who are Notre Dame students, but for the good of the nation.”In the past, the University has refused to give information on the immigration status of its students when asked by the state of Indiana. As a general policy, Notre Dame is guarded about giving any information about individual students to government agencies or other organizations, Jenkins said.But it’s difficult to plan for the future at this point in time, he added, because no one can do more than speculate what policies the Trump administration will institute after the inauguration ceremony in January.“I think it’s important at this stage to wait and to see and to listen,” he said.Jenkins said, in the past, elections and other current events have created divisions within the campus political environment. But he called the demonstrations in the days following Trump’s victory the largest he’s seen during his time as University president.“I think with the degree of animosity, the meanness of the rhetoric in the election, there was a lack of real discussion between the two opposing parties,” he said. “It does seem we have hit a peak or a sort of high point in terms of that animosity, that vitriol in public discussion.”Jenkins said it’s the first time since the election of Abraham Lincoln that riots broke out in cities across the U.S. in reaction to a presidential election; now, America faces the challenge of finding ways to foster constructive conversations.“The fact is we’re a democracy,” he said. “We can only move forward by addressing those divisions and trying to find a path forward that would address the concerns and needs of many people of this nation.”Tags: 2016 Election, 2017 commencement, DACA, Donald Trumplast_img read more

West End’s From Here To Eternity to Hit U.S. Big Screens

first_imgGood news, America! According to BusinessWire, the West End production of From Here To Eternity will soon find its way to big screens across the U.S. Fathom Events announced at CinemaCom 2014 that they, along with Omniverse Vision, will present the filmed production in select theaters nationally later this year. It was also claimed in the report that the musical is Broadway-bound in 2015, however the show was a commercial failure and will cut its London run short, shuttering March 29. The musical, featuring a book by Bill Oakes, music by Stuart Brayson and lyrics by Tony and Oscar winner Tim Rice, opened in London October of last year.  Based on James Jones’ 1951 novel and the 1953 Oscar-winning film, From Here to Eternity chronicles the lives of a group of privates on an army base in 1941 Hawaii, amid the swirl of events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. The cast includes Robert Lonsdale, Siubhan Harrison, Rebecca Tornhill, Darius Campbell and Ryan Sampson. The musical is directed by Tamara Harvey. View Commentslast_img read more

Burlington currency project in final countdown

first_imgThe Burlington currency project is in the final countdown stage for the launch of the new Burlington local currency. As part of the launch, all 600-800 recent conference participants received Burlington Currency to spend only at local businesses.Local Burlington area businesses can take advantage of this unique promotional opportunity and at the same time learn more about how Burlington Currency can work for businesses. The BCP is now engaged in a county-wide campaign to garner support and participation. The new paper currency is full color with anti-counterfeit technology, and aweb based credit component will allow larger and more convenient transactions. A successful Burlington currency will promote increased local spending, and will support a more sustainable local economy.last_img

Thousands Attend Slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos’ Funeral

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A sea of blue enveloped Christ Tabernacle church in Glendale Saturday as thousands of police officers and law enforcement officials from throughout the region and country gathered to pay respects to Rafael Ramos, one of two New York City police officers murdered last week while they sat in their patrol car outside a housing complex in Brooklyn.Ramos, 40, and his partner, NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, were shot at point-blank range execution-style in Bedford-Stuyvesant by a gunman who had stated on social media sites prior to the slayings that he was going to “put wings on pigs” and referenced the deaths of unarmed African Americans Eric Garner and Michael Brown, who had both died at the hands of white police officers.Joining a packed congregation that included Ramos’ family, friends, fellow officers and countless parishioners and mourners, his funeral services were also attended by Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had come under fire in recent weeks from police rank and file for comments made in the wake of a grand jury’s recent decision not to prosecute the officer who killed Garner.A grand jury also decided not to seek criminal charges against the police officer who killed Brown, a teenager, in Ferguson, Mo. in August.The services for the slain officer, who leaves behind a wife and two children, comes amid weeks of protests throughout the city and across the nation against the grand juries’ decisions, among other police-related grievances.“He was my rock,” Ramos’ son Justin said at a wake held Friday for his father. “He was a beacon of wisdom. He was my absolute best friend.“Dad, I’ll miss you,” he cried.“I speak for whole nation that our hearts ache for you,” Biden told Justin and brother Jaden during the funeral Saturday, according to The Washington Post, one of a multitude of local and national media outlets covering the services. “I do hope you take some solace in the fact that there is 25,000 of the same fraternity who will stand with you and stand with you for the rest of your lives.“He was so so part of you, he will be a part of you forever,” he continued, reported the paper, telling Ramos’ wife: “The time will come when Rafael’s memory will bring a smile to your lips rather than a tear to your eye.”Biden said of Ramos and Liu, according to The Post: “Being a cop is not what they did. It was who they were, like every man and woman here today. You all joined for the same reason, there was something about you that made you feel you should help.”last_img read more

Puerto Rico rejects $1 billion loan offer from creditors

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Puerto Rico rejected an offer from Electric Power Authority bondholders to lend the utility $1 billion in the wake of Hurricane Maria, saying the deal would hamper the agency’s recovery.Investors holding about $3 billion of power utility bonds said the loan was made to help the island meet local matching requirements to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency funds. They also proposed exchanging $1 billion of outstanding power utility debt for $850 million of new bonds.Prepa, as the agency’s known, is struggling to restore its power grid after the hurricane knocked out electricity across the island.“The bondholders’ proposal is not viable and would severely hamper and limit Prepa’s capacity to successfully manage its recovery,” the island’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority said in a statement. “Such offers only distract from the government’s stated focus and create the unfortunate appearance that such offers are being made for the purpose of favorably impacting the trading price of existing debt.” continue reading »last_img read more

Scottish Premiership match previews, team news, predictions, live on Sky Sports | Football News

first_imgRangers vs Hamilton – Sunday, 3pmRangers team news to followHamilton team news to followKey stat: Motherwell are winless in 15 league matches against Celtic (D3 L11), losing each of the last six in succession.How to watch: Follow the action with our dedicated live match blog, with free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.Andy Walker’s prediction: 2-0 The on-loan Bristol City forward – who was due to remain at Pittodrie until January 31 – has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks, meaning he misses Friday night’s clash with Hibernian for starters.Dylan McGeouch and Jonny Hayes are both out with groin problems, but Hayes has been given a boost with news he should only be out of action for three weeks.Hibs boss Jack Ross will be without Lewis Stevenson for the trip north.- Advertisement – Team news, stats and predictions for the latest round of the Scottish Premiership.Aberdeen vs Hibernian – Friday, 7.45pmTeam news: Marley Watkins may have played his last game for Aberdeen after suffering a serious hamstring injury.- Advertisement – How to watch: Follow the action with our dedicated Scottish Premiership blog. Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-1Ross County vs Livingston – Friday, 7.45pmTeam news: Connor Randall is out of Ross County’s home Premiership clash with Livingston on Friday night.The Staggies defender sustained a hamstring injury against Dundee United last week.Callum Morris and Ross Draper (both calf) are still struggling.Livingston manager Gary Holt has no fresh injury concerns.Holt could make changes after his side suffered a third consecutive defeat against Motherwell last week.Defender Alan Lithgow (hip) and midfielder Keaghan Jacobs (foot) remain long-term absentees.Key stat: Ross County won their last home league meeting with Livingston 2-0 in February 2020 courtesy of a Billy Mckay double.How to watch: Follow the action with our dedicated Scottish Premiership blog. Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.Andy Walker’s prediction: 0-0St Mirren vs Dundee United – Friday, 7.45pmTeam news: St Mirren’s squad have been released from quarantine as they prepare for their first Scottish Premiership game in over a month.The Buddies were forced to postpone their clashes with Motherwell and Hamilton after a Covid-19 outbreak, but Jim Goodwin’s team are back in training ahead of Friday night’s Paisley showdown with Dundee United.St Mirren could hand debuts to new signings Jake Doyle-Hayes and Brandon Mason, but Ryan Flynn is still short of fitness despite rejoining his team-mates after a long-term knee injury.Marc McNulty is back in contention for Dundee United.The striker, on loan from Reading, returned to training after recovering from a hamstring strain which kept him out of the win over Ross County last weekend.Defender Mark Connolly will resume training on Monday as he manages a knee problem.Key stat: This will be St Mirren’s first home game against Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership since a 1-1 draw in January 2015; the Buddies have only won one of their last 14 home games against the Tangerines in the top flight (D6 L7), a 4-1 victory in December 2013How to watch: Follow the action with our dedicated Scottish Premiership blog. Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.Andy Walker’s prediction: 0-1St Johnstone vs Kilmarnock – Friday, 7.45pmTeam news: Guy Melamed is set to be involved for St Johnstone when they take on Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership on Friday.The deadline-day signing is yet to feature for his new club, but boss Callum Davidson said this week the Israeli forward had impressed him in a practice game.St Johnstone are playing for the first time in a fortnight after Hibernian – their scheduled opponents last weekend – were involved in Scottish Cup action.Kilmarnock boss Alex Dyer has no fresh injury concerns.Defender Clevid Dikamona remains on the sidelines for the visitors, who have lost their last two matches.The centre-back sustained ligament damage after landing awkwardly against Hibs last month.Key stat: St Johnstone have won both of their last two league games against Kilmarnock; they last beat them in three consecutive top-flight encounters back in March 2013 under Steve Lomas.How to watch: Follow the action with our dedicated Scottish Premiership blog. Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-0Motherwell vs Celtic – Sunday, 12pm live on Sky Sports FootballMotherwell team news to followCeltic team news to followKey stat: Motherwell are winless in 15 league matches against Celtic (D3 L11), losing each of the last six in succession.How to watch: Watch Motherwell vs Celtic live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 11am; Kick-off 12pm. Follow the action with our dedicated live match blog including in-game clips, with free match highlights published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.Andy Walker’s prediction: 0-2 Sunday 8th November 11:00am Kick off 12:00pm The defender has been sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle knock.Scott Allan remains unavailable due to a health issue.Key stat: Aberdeen are unbeaten in eight home league games against Hibernian (W5 D3) since a 1-2 reverse in May 2012 under Craig Brown.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

The United States is expected to abolish visas for Croatian citizens by the end of this year

first_img“The United States is expected to abolish visas for Croatian citizens by the end of this year, by which time the two countries will sign an agreement on avoiding double taxation.”, said Grlić Radman and added that all conditions have been met, and it is now only a matter of time before visas will be abolished, which is in the interest of both Croatian and American businessmen. After 28 years since Croatia’s independence, the abolition of visas for travel to the United States is on the horizon. Namely, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Munich on Friday, on the eve of the start of the security conference of the world’s leading forum for discussing international security policy. Finally, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus are currently the only EU members for which the US has not yet given up on visas, while Polish citizens were exempted from visa requirements late last year.center_img Sources: Total Croatia News, IndexPhoto: Plast_img read more