UK firms get top marks for staff consultation

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. UK firms get top marks for staff consultationOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today The IPA’s new study, Sharing the Challenge Ahead: Informing and Consultingwith your Workforce, should be required reading for anyone who works in HR. Itshows UK employers are turning around their poor historical record onconsulting with staff and showing the rest of Europe how it should be done. Amongthe organisations reaping the benefits of good consultation processes areBritish Bakeries, Cap Gemini, the NHS, Pizza Express, Asda, Blue Circle Cementand AstraZeneca to name only a few. With an EU directive on consultation due to go to the European Parliamentsoon this is good news, provided the directive allows for a range ofapproaches. The study shows that UK employers are developing effective modelstaking in mechanisms such as staff councils, joint union-employer taskforcesand consultation arrangements at local and national level. HR people have been saying for a long time that strong staff consultationand involvement are essential to business effectiveness and the study showsthat their efforts to instil this in UK organisations are paying off. There aresituations, however, where consulting with staff can carry risks for theemployer and staff alike. The key is to strike a balance between ensuringemployees’ views are taken on board and avoiding processes which could resultin the delaying of business decisions. On this score, UK employers cannot afford to sit back just yet. The EuropeanParliament could reinstate sanctions which force companies to delayimplementing collective redundancies. And employers are best advised to makesure they set up voluntary models now rather than risk having ones imposedlater that could reduce the scope for quick decisions. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Read More →

No small change transforming payroll systems

first_img Previous Article Next Article The requirement for mandatory electronic filing of end-of-year returns couldbe seen as an imposition, but introducing e-filing for payroll systems couldtransform the way you work.  Liz HallinvestigatesThe rash of new government initiatives – such as mandatory electronic filingof end-of-year returns – combined with mounting pressure to be cost-efficient,is forcing employers to take a long hard look at how they run their payroll.The deadline for e-filing to the Inland Revenue is just overtwo years away for organisations employing more than 250 staff. Those that failto comply will face penalties of up to £3,000 on top of the existinglate-filing penalties. Meanwhile, this April brings a shake-up to working parents’schemes with changes to Statutory Maternity Pay, and the introduction ofStatutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay. It also sees the start ofWorking Tax Credits, and changes and hikes in National Insurance contributions.Jill Owen, exchequer manager of Liverpool University – whichemploys 4,800 staff and has responsibility for 1,200 pensioners – says:”There has been an unprecedented run of legislation all coming at once toplan in and process, which is not easy. Sometime soon there will come thestrain that breaks the camel’s back.” Kate Upcraft, policy and research manager of payroll body theInstitute of Payroll and Pensions Management (IPPM) says it is big decisiontime for businesses in terms of payroll. Do they join the ranks of Kent County Council andtelecommunications firm Cable & Wireless, which have chosen to outsourcepayroll? Do they seize the chance to buy in a new system or upgrade an existingone? Or do they opt for a shared services set-up with other non-core functions,like retailer Marks & Spencer?Upcraft, former payroll legislation manager at Marks &Spencer, believes the e-filing target is not achievable for many employers.”Many employers’ systems do not have the technological capability topresent information via the net, and a lot of our members are looking atoutsourcing or buying in new systems to support e-filing,” she says.Owen is among those employers concerned that their existingsupplier may not technologically be sufficiently on the ball to match the newlegislative requirements. Liverpool University’s supplier is a higher educationinstitution, which also supplies bespoke payroll software to seven other highereducation institutions. ”I know I am not the only payroll manager lacking inconfidence. But it would be incredibly costly to change systems, so that isvery much in the melting pot,” Owen says.IPPM’s Upcraft says: “Even with existing software, thereis a direct bottom line cost to moving to e-enablement. If you couple this withthe purchase of a new payroll system, it is extremely significant.” A growing number of organisations are deciding it is mucheasier to just hand payroll over to a third party. Debbie Monk, payroll managerat Microsoft, says: “The average payroll person now has to know so much todo payroll in-house, and more and more are saying ‘here are the starters andleavers, you do it’.” Local governmentorganisations and those in the financial services and retail sectors areshowing the most interest in outsourcing payroll and other HR services,according to a survey by Capita Payroll Services last year. The survey of 100 firms also finds that managed services –which currently takes up 45 per cent of the payroll outsourcing market – is setto grow by 15 per cent. Bureau services, which takes up another 45 per cent, islikely to stabilise, and ASP services – the remaining 10 per cent – is set togrow by 20 per cent. To meet e-filing requirements, employers must submit theirend-of-year returns (P35 and P14 forms) by internet service for PAYE, orElectronic Data Interchange (EDI) service, or by using an intermediary, such asa payroll bureau or agent. One of the early adoptersof e-filing, high street retailer WHSmith, opted to keep payroll in-house byupgrading its Cyborg system. But it still needs new software to comply with thechanges and will be stepping up its staff training. “Our system is solid and robust enough to cope, but wewill look at our internal processes, such as what data we have to collect andhow we get it onto the system,” says Yvette Lamidey, group compensationsmanager.She says that setting up e-filing was by no means painless andat times very frustrating, especially as the retailer had to deal with threeexternal points of contact: the payroll supplier, the Value Added Network (VAN)software supplier and the Inland Revenue.Since taking the electronic plunge in April 2000, WHSmith hasembraced electronic P45 and P6 forms as well as P14s – end-of-year returns. Ithas reaped tangible benefits. The total amount of work saved by using the P6message – opening and distributing the post, checking the payroll numbers andentering and checking data – is the equivalent of one full-time employee. “While I have not cut a ‘post’ per se, it certainly helpedwith reducing the need for an additional post a few years ago, and in saving onposts through natural wastage over the past 12 months,” says Lamidey.W H Smith currently uses a Value Added Network (VAN) to sendinformation to the Inland Revenue. It is now looking at ways to reduce themailbox  costs which, due to theorganisation’s high turnover, are very expensive. It would then use EDI throughits own box instead of a VAN. “It’s a business decision whether to use EDI, EDI throughan ISDN line or internet, or VAN. It depends on the individualorganisation,” says Lamidey.She says it is important to treat the exercise as a properproject, making sure sufficient resources are allocated with enough time setaside. “If you start early enough you will get payback on P45s and P6s.Yes, you will have to do work on testing P14s, but that is just a part of thepuzzle.”WHSmith is now looking at bringing in student loans and taxcredits to reduce paper handling even further. Significant benefitsScotland-based Standard Life has also seen significant benefitssince introducing electronic filing 18 months ago. It is saving noticeably onmanual resources – previously, it took about two weeks a year to input all thetax updates. It now takes around six days.The financial services company pays around 12,500 staff,including pensioners. It uses Employers’ Electronic Communication (EEC), alsoknown as EDI, to process P45s and P6s, and to electronically receive P9s – ortax code changes – from the Inland Revenue.Standard Life was able to use its existing system, Unipay, fromRebusHR. It is also well-placed to deal with imminent changes to statutorymaternity pay, paternity and adoption pay, as it already pays the latter. It isnow looking closely at how to further improve its payroll operation bystrengthening the emphasis on electronic processing, and handing overresponsibility to staff. “We want to improve procedures, looking at process mappingand what the customer is telling us, so that we can offer excellent customerservice and cut costs,” says Julie Wilson, payroll manager at StandardLife.Plans for the future include imlpementing self-service options– such as the facility for staff to update their bank details online, which isexpected to go live in the Spring – and expanding the e-filing system toinclude student loans. David Barr, head of HR operations – which encompasses payroll –says: “As we move forward, we will be making self-service the key thing sothat people have greater access to information. This will sort out lots of thecalls and letters we get, whereas now, we have to go back and manually adjustthings. We want to make the process as slick as possible.” It was this desire to give more control to staff, combined withthe need to achieve e-government goals, which led Ipswich Borough Council tointroduce a state-of-the-art system. The council, which employs 1,300 staff, has signed a £300,000deal with RebusHR to provide a fully integrated HR and payroll solution. Theseven-year project ties in with the council’s decentralised approach to peoplemanagement. “Our main objective was to take the service to employeesso they could access non-confidential information, such as payrollrecords,” says Julie Price, head of HR for Ipswich BC. “It was alsoour objective to do e-government and gradually eradicate paper.”Marks & Spencer was recently forced to rethink how it runsits payroll and other non-core functions when it moved its London headquartersfrom Baker Street to a smaller site in Paddington, which housed 1,800 staffinstead of 3,000. It had to choose between outsourcing, or keeping payrollin-house, but operating from a different location.When the retailer examined benchmarking statistics, itestablished that in terms of cost per payslip, it was one of the top fivecompanies. It also had a very good ratio of 25.5 full-time employees to 63,000static staff (110,000 staff going through payroll). Keeping payroll in-housemade the most sense. Along with other non-core parts of the business, it issetting up a 64-strong shared services division in Manchester’s Salford Quay,which goes live in September.Like so many organisations with vast workforces, M&S usesRebusHR’s tried-and-tested Unipay and Uniper systems. Sandra Carr, head of HRshared services, says: “It’s old technology, but along with Oracle, it isone of the few that can cope with such large numbers of employees.”The company also uses PIMS . But it will be using PeopleSoft’score ERP solution for its state-of-the-art HR system of the future. “The PIMS personnel management system is a really oldsystem that has a lifespan of about another 18 months. At the moment, thepayroll system is the only one true source of data, with PIMS, PeopleSoft andthe pensions system all feeding into it. However, this is not where we want tobe,” says Carr, “so we need to get PeopleSoft fullyoperational.” M&S uses PeopleSoft’s HR, Learning and Recruitment modulesat head office and its eight recruitment centres. It then has another 43 sitespicking up HR administration through the PIMS system, which it retains for itstime and attendance element, which drives and feeds payroll. “As soon as we find a time and attendance productcompatible with PeopleSoft, or if we go for their new version, it would meanthe 43 PIMS sites will no longer have to exist,” says Carr.”I think of our payroll as a Brussels Sprout, with a coreand all these bits such as legislation changes all hanging off. It all lookshellishly complicated and we need to dumb down,” she adds.Although it is early days, a growing number of companies areexploring the possibility of single international payroll applications. M&Sis currently looking at PeopleSoft’s global solution, but is waiting for moreevidence that it works well. Another player in this field is LogicaCMG, who hasbeen working closely with SAP to offer an international pay service coveringaround 38 countries. The attractions of a single international payroll solutioninclude greater economies of scale and the avoidance of managing lots ofsuppliers in different countries. In the increasingly complex minefield that ispayroll, the search is on for ultimate simplicity.                     Changing affecting payrollFrom April 2003 – National Insurance (NI) contributions will increase by an additional 1 percent on earnings above £89 a week. For senior staff, there is no longer a true annualmaximum amount of payable NI. Employees with additional directorships now haveto pay 1 per cent on all earnings, whatever the source – Child Tax Credit – paid directly to the carer replaces Children’s TaxCredit – Working Tax Credit – paid through the wage packet – replaces WorkingFamilies’ Tax Credit, Disabled Person’s Tax Credit and New Deal 50 plusEmployment Credit – Changes to Statutory Maternity Pay, and the introduction of StatutoryAdoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay From May 2005 – Mandatory electronic filing of end-of-year returns for employers with morethan 250 staff www.inlandrevenue.gov.ukwww.gateway.gov.uk Comments are closed. No small change transforming payroll systemsOn 11 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Read More →

On the robustness of emergent constraints used in multimodel climate change projections of Arctic warming

first_imgStatistical relationships between future and historical model runs in multimodel ensembles (MMEs) are increasingly exploited to make more constrained projections of climate change. However, such emergent constraints may be spurious and can arise because of shared (common) errors in a particular MME or because of overly influential models. This study assesses the robustness of emergent constraints used for Arctic warming by comparison of such constraints in ensembles generated by the two most recent Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) experiments: CMIP3 and CMIP5. An ensemble regression approach is used to estimate emergent constraints in Arctic wintertime surface air temperature change over the twenty-first century under the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) A1B scenario in CMIP3 and the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 scenario in CMIP5. To take account of different scenarios, this study focuses on polar amplification by using temperature responses at each grid point that are scaled by the global mean temperature response for each climate model. In most locations, the estimated emergent constraints are reassuringly similar in CMIP3 and CMIP5 and differences could have easily arisen from sampling variation. However, there is some indication that the emergent constraint and polar amplification is substantially larger in CMIP5 over the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. Residual diagnostics identify one climate model in CMIP5 that has a notable influence on estimated emergent constraints over the Bering Sea and one in CMIP3 that that has a notable influence more widely along the sea ice edge and into midlatitudes over the western North Atlanticlast_img read more

Read More →

Utah Baseball Earns Kinneberg’s 600th Win With 6-3 Victory Over No. 12 Arizona State

first_imgApril 20, 2019 /Sports News – Local Utah Baseball Earns Kinneberg’s 600th Win With 6-3 Victory Over No. 12 Arizona State FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah baseball team earned a 6-3 victory over No. 12 Arizona State while also winning head coach Bill Kinneberg‘s 600th career victory as a head coach on Saturday, April 20 at Smith’s Ballpark.Utah had a great start scoring three runs in the first eventually stretching it out to 5-0 to hold on for their 12thwin of the season and Kinneberg’s 600th.Right fielder Erick Migueles and starting pitcher Joshua Tedeschi had great days as Migueles went 2-4 with two home runs and four RBI and Tedeschi pitched 7.1 innings giving up two runs on seven hits.  The Utes couldn’t have had a better start as Oliver Dunn and Rykker Tom both singled and Migueles hit his first homer to put the Utes up 3-0 before Arizona State could record an out.The Utes tacked on two more runs to their lead with an RBI from Isaac Deveaux to score Shea Kramer in the third and then Dunn got an RBI in the fifth to score Deveaux.Tedeschi was working early only giving up two hits through six innings.The Sun Devils, one of the best hitting teams in the NCAA, got their bats going in the seventh, but Tedeschi limited them to only two runs on four hits.Migueles added an insurance run for Utah with his second homer of the day into the wind over right field for the victory.Zac McCleve came in and got his third save of the season after pitching 1.2 innings to close out the 6-3 victory for the Utes.Dunn led the Utes going 3-5 with one RBI, but Utah had their bats working as every player had a hit and five players had multiple hits in the game. In all, Utah totaled 15 hits against the Sun Devils.Now, Utah will be set to play at Utah Valley on Tuesday, April 23 in Orem, Utah at 6 p.m. Robert Lovell Written by Tags: 600 Wins/Bill Kinneberg/Pac 12/Utah Utes Baseballlast_img read more

Read More →

Warmer Days Ahead

first_imgAfter an unseasonably cool and unsettled stretch of weather, warmer temperatures are on the way. High pressure will anchor itself offshore this week pumping warmer and more humid air our way. However, it will be quite windy to start the week as the weekend departing storm continues to spin off of the Canadian Maritimes. On Monday, Northwest winds 20-25mph will gust as high as 35mph during the day. Temperatures will climb into the upper 60s with plenty of sunshine.The warmup begins on Tuesday as high temperatures climb into the 70s.Forecast Highs For TuesdaySouthwest winds will keep temperatures in the 70s for most of the week as temperatures inland soar into the 80s by midweek.Forecast Highs For WednesdayTemperatures should reach 80+ degrees by the end of the week as winds shift more westerly as a weak front moves through on Friday. Ocean temperatures are still running in the mid 50s.High pressure will build in from Canada over the weekend and temperatures will cool off a bit but it will still be pleasant with highs around 70.last_img read more

Read More →

Lettuce Funks Up NPR, Crushing World Cafe With New Tunes

first_imgSince 1991, World Cafe has introduced listeners to some of the best musical culture and entertainment imaginable. Perhaps it’s no surprise that premier funk band Lettuce made an appearance on an episode earlier this year, bringing Crush tunes and answering questions for the NPR program.Lettuce has been on an absolute tear of late, starting with the release of their 2015 album, Crush. Since then, the band has premiered their own making-of “funk-umentary” Let Us Play (watch it here), announced their own Fool’s Paradise festival, and has been playing top-notch shows nationwide! It’s a great time to be a Lettuce fan.The World Cafe show features music from Crush, as well as interviews with Adam Deitch and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff. Stream the program below:You can also watch Lettuce play “Chief” here, from the WXPN studios:Don’t miss Lettuce’s inaugural Fool’s Paradise festival, featuring performances from GRiZ (with Lettuce for the first time ever), Vulfpeck, Chris Robinson’s Soul Revue, Goldfish, The Nth Power, and so many more. Held from April 1-2 in St. Augustine, FL, there’s really no reason not to head to this exciting destination event. Even Adam Deitch called the festival “a dream come true.” For tickets and more information, head here.last_img read more

Read More →

Come on, Eileen

first_imgLike many men, Gary Goodwin admits he’s not the greatest at talking about his feelings. He describes his relationship with Eileen Snow — his co-worker of 11 years — like that of “Greg and Marcia Brady.”“We fought like cats and dogs sometimes,” he said.But months ago, when Snow was diagnosed with breast cancer, Goodwin began showing his feelings through action. Goodwin, a building manager for the Biological Laboratories and the Biological Research Infrastructure, was sitting in his driveway one morning when he knew he would have to step out of his comfort zone to support his co-worker.So he approached Susan Foster, executive director of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), and asked for permission to start Team Eileen. The idea was modest, at first. Goodwin corralled other building operations staffers to join him in raising awareness for Snow’s illness, and signed up to participate in a 40-mile walk against breast cancer.But when Renate Hellmiss, the MCB’s senior scientific designer, got wind of Team Eileen’s plans, she immediately joined — and then pulled Goodwin aside. “She told me I was in way over my head,” he recalled. Hellmiss, who has been an annual runner with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team that participates in the Boston Marathon for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, knew about fundraising, and she knew about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s annual walk, Race for the Cure.“I told him, ‘Real men walk 60 miles,’ ” said Hellmiss.“The two of us have talked more in the last three months than in the past 12 years,” joked Goodwin. “I’m more of a pusher, but Renate steers the boat.”To raise money, the MCB hosted a bake sale, which turned up more than $3,000. Soon after, said Goodwin, Team Eileen’s progress began to snowball. The team has grown to 16 (not exclusive to the Harvard community) and has raised more than $35,000 — but has a goal of $100,000 before the three-day event begins on July 22.Sponsors have donated bright, carnation-pink shirts emblazoned with “Team Eileen,” which look kind of funny on a group of rough-and-tumble guys. But Goodwin wears the shirt with pride.“She’s the face of our office,” said Goodwin of Snow, who has undergone two surgeries and will start chemotherapy soon.Now Team Eileen is gearing up for its biggest fundraising event yet, a June 24 art sale dubbed Art @ 52 Oxford.With a budget of zero dollars, the team is using University space, the generosity of local vendors and volunteers, and local artists who have agreed to donate half of their proceeds toward Team Eileen. The organizers are raffling off a scooter, thanks to another sponsor. Snow is planning to attend.“No one ever talks about breast cancer, but it affects so many people,” said Goodwin. “I have two daughters; I never want them to have to deal with this.”Goodwin said his proudest moment was telling Snow about Team Eileen’s formation, and its ongoing plans. “I originally wanted to do it as a secret, but I had to tell her,” he said. “The day I told her, she cried.”And Goodwin even cried too — “a little.”Art @ 52 Oxford will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on June 24. All are welcome to attend. For more information, see Team Eileen.last_img read more

Read More →

Students offer insight during second Provost Search Committee listening session

first_imgDuring a Provost Search Committee listening session Wednesday, students said administrators should seek to hire a provost who is committed to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, promotes inclusive policies, supports a wide range of academic opportunities and communicates well with the student body.The second student listening session drew 12 participants, an increase from the two students who took part in the first session. Participants offered feedback for hiring Notre Dame’s second highest ranking administrator during the hour-long meeting in DeBartolo Hall 101. The committee asked students to consider what challenges and opportunities the new provost would face, what characteristics this person should embody and what University accomplishments should be highlighted to recruit the new administrator.Students voiced several ways the provost could promote a wide range of academic options for students. They stressed the need for interdisciplinary studies, discussed how to make the humanities more accessible to low-income students and emphasized the importance of demonstrating a wide variety of career paths for students of different majors.“I’m excited about the majors and minors that are coming out and that are being created,” junior Connor Whittle said. “But I certainly think that there’re opportunities for growth in the classes that we see offered for students of different disciplines and collaboration between those departments.”Several students also said it was important for the new provost to support the University’s Catholic mission and promote the Church’s values.Sophomore William Gentry said Notre Dame has a “comparative advantage” over leading secular schools because of its uniqueness as “the premier Catholic university.”“I think it’s so important to have a provost who understands that comparative advantage, who understands what this University is about and celebrates that, and themselves are a faithful, practicing, doctrinally sound Catholic,” he said.Craig Iffland, a Ph.D. student in moral theology, said the provost should consider how the tenure process can be difficult for professors — and in particular, women — with growing families. He also said the provost will face the challenge of creating genuine dialogue amongst faculty of varying religious beliefs who feel they can’t freely express their opinions.“I think this is a larger issue within the academy writ large, but I think particularly being a Catholic university, it should be the case that we can have discussions on controversial issues and speak our minds without fear of reprisal,” he said.In looking to hire a new provost, the University should also seek to hire someone who values cultural competence, students said.“Notre Dame does have a reputation … that it’s not particularly welcoming to minority students,” senior Matt Schoenbauer said.Senior Eric Kim added that it is important for the University to foster not just diversity, but also inclusion.“How can we promote both on this campus, in terms of [its] culture [and] academic profile?” he asked.Kim also said the provost should consider ways to highlight the University’s support for low-income students through its programs such as QuestBridge, the Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars and Posse.“I think one of the things when I was a high school senior was that I knew Notre Dame as the school of legacy students,” he said. “I did not know that this was a school that cherished low-income, first [generation] students as well.”It is also important for the provost to connect well with students, participants said at the listening session.“I think the previous provost has done a lot of good work with faculty but hasn’t engaged with students too much,” said Kristopher Murray, a fifth-year graduate student. “I can say that even though a lot of graduate students are engaged in teaching and many are instructors of record, many of them don’t feel much interaction or relationship with the provost.”Sophomore Jack Rotolo also noted a disconnect between the provost’s office and undergraduate students.“I kind of never really thought of the provost office at all, and it just kind of was an organization that existed,” he said.Thus, Rotolo said, it is important for the provost’s office to have open lines of communication with students.“Especially with something as important as the provost, I think transparency is something that’s going to be very important going forward,” he said.Overall, students said, the provost should be a leader with strong core values.“There are going to be pressures from a lot of people — there’s going to be pressures from [University President] Fr. [John Jenkins], from faculty, from students … but the provost definitely needs to be able to think independently,” Murray said.The University’s current provost, Thomas Burish, will step down on July 1, 2020, following the end of his five year term. Community members can offer feedback on the provost hiring process or nominate a candidate for the position by emailing [email protected]: listening session, Office of the Provost, provost, Provost Office, Provost Search Committeelast_img read more

Read More →

El Salvador’s Humanitarian Rescue Unit Aids Disaster Victims

first_imgBy Dialogo February 06, 2015 During floods, earthquakes, landslides, or volcanic eruptions, the UHR deploys its 250 service members to conduct search-and-rescue operations, provide medical support, and make sure that shelters are secure, according to General Rafael Melara Rivera, Chief of the Joint Staff of the Salvadoran Armed Forces. Since its inception, the UHR has provided aid not just in El Salvador, but beyond the country’s borders. Aiding the civilian population for 18 years “SOUTHCOM has given us a lot of support during military exercises at a local and regional level through the Humanitarian Allied Forces (FAHUM) to evaluate the emergency system levels and its response capabilities,” Gen. Melara said. “There, we have trained leaders in simulations.” To be prepared for any emergency, UHR members participate in various training programs. For example, in August 2011, the UHR took part in a tactical combat course held by the Armed Forces of Peru in coordination with the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). “When there is a national emergency, the Civil Protection System is activated and the UHR moves immediately to reduce the impact of disasters,” Gen. Melara said. “Our teams are available to different government institutions to assist victims.” Training, support, and cooperation In El Salvador, the UHR aided the civilian population during the major earthquakes that struck in January and February 2001. Collectively, the two temblors killed more than 1,200 people and destroyed or damaged more than 300,000 homes. “The FAES are constantly training and improving because, in El Salvador, the rehearsals become reality,” concluded Gen. Melara. “When there is a national emergency, the Civil Protection System is activated and the UHR moves immediately to reduce the impact of disasters,” Gen. Melara said. “Our teams are available to different government institutions to assist victims.” Members of the Humanitarian Rescue Unit (UHR) of El Salvador’s Armed Forces (FAES) consistently display courage, resilience, and determination as they carry out their mission to rescue and protect victims of natural disasters and other life-threatening situations, such as fires. “SOUTHCOM has given us a lot of support during military exercises at a local and regional level through the Humanitarian Allied Forces (FAHUM) to evaluate the emergency system levels and its response capabilities,” Gen. Melara said. “There, we have trained leaders in simulations.” For example, on January 3, a large fire broke out at the Las Cascadas shopping center in the municipality of Antiguo Cuscatlán. The UHR responded quickly to work with the Fire Department to stop the blaze. The UHR helped extinguish the fire by using UH-1H helicopters equipped with Bambi Buckets, four-foot tall containers which hold large amounts of water. Helicopter operators used them to drop water collected from Lake Ilopango onto the blaze. Since its inception, the UHR has provided aid not just in El Salvador, but beyond the country’s borders. Training, support, and cooperation In 2014, the UHR participated in a two-week training program involving various simulated emergency situations, such as a collapsed structure and a highway accident involving hazardous materials. “The Salvadoran Fire Department was able to contain the fire in part of the shopping center, but the fire was advancing on other sides because there was a lot of flammable material,” recalled Julio Salvador Monroy, a 36-year-old security guard who worked at a nearby university. “The helicopters helped create a firebreak to prevent it from spreading further.” In El Salvador, the UHR aided the civilian population during the major earthquakes that struck in January and February 2001. Collectively, the two temblors killed more than 1,200 people and destroyed or damaged more than 300,000 homes. Aiding the civilian population for 18 years It was created in 1997, within the framework of the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC), which proposed that all of the countries in the region should have units to aid their civilian population in the event of an emergency. Military authorities are developing a training plan to respond to earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and other natural threats. Those will maximize the UHR’s ability to protect and shelter victims and help provide them medical care. For example, on January 3, a large fire broke out at the Las Cascadas shopping center in the municipality of Antiguo Cuscatlán. The UHR responded quickly to work with the Fire Department to stop the blaze. The UHR helped extinguish the fire by using UH-1H helicopters equipped with Bambi Buckets, four-foot tall containers which hold large amounts of water. Helicopter operators used them to drop water collected from Lake Ilopango onto the blaze. During floods, earthquakes, landslides, or volcanic eruptions, the UHR deploys its 250 service members to conduct search-and-rescue operations, provide medical support, and make sure that shelters are secure, according to General Rafael Melara Rivera, Chief of the Joint Staff of the Salvadoran Armed Forces. Members of the Humanitarian Rescue Unit (UHR) of El Salvador’s Armed Forces (FAES) consistently display courage, resilience, and determination as they carry out their mission to rescue and protect victims of natural disasters and other life-threatening situations, such as fires. The unit also assisted the civilian population during the May 2014 volcanic eruptions, which prompted authorities to evacuate about 1,400 people from their homes about 90 miles east of San Salvador. To be prepared for any emergency, UHR members participate in various training programs. For example, in August 2011, the UHR took part in a tactical combat course held by the Armed Forces of Peru in coordination with the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The UHR responds quickly and sometimes works in cooperation with other first responders during emergency situations. The UHR also helped Nicaragua during the Atlantic floods of 2013. “The Salvadoran Fire Department was able to contain the fire in part of the shopping center, but the fire was advancing on other sides because there was a lot of flammable material,” recalled Julio Salvador Monroy, a 36-year-old security guard who worked at a nearby university. “The helicopters helped create a firebreak to prevent it from spreading further.” The UHR responds quickly and sometimes works in cooperation with other first responders during emergency situations. In 2012, the UHR assisted Haiti’s civilian population in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that killed as many as 220,000 people and destroyed 300,000 homes and commercial buildings. The UHR also helped Nicaragua during the Atlantic floods of 2013. In 2014, the UHR participated in a two-week training program involving various simulated emergency situations, such as a collapsed structure and a highway accident involving hazardous materials. The unit also assisted the civilian population during the May 2014 volcanic eruptions, which prompted authorities to evacuate about 1,400 people from their homes about 90 miles east of San Salvador. The UHR has responded to emergency situations to protect civilians for the last 18 years. It was created in 1997, within the framework of the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC), which proposed that all of the countries in the region should have units to aid their civilian population in the event of an emergency. In 2012, the UHR assisted Haiti’s civilian population in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that killed as many as 220,000 people and destroyed 300,000 homes and commercial buildings. The UHR has responded to emergency situations to protect civilians for the last 18 years. Military authorities are developing a training plan to respond to earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and other natural threats. Those will maximize the UHR’s ability to protect and shelter victims and help provide them medical care. “The FAES are constantly training and improving because, in El Salvador, the rehearsals become reality,” concluded Gen. Melara. National Heroeslast_img read more

Read More →

The credit union guide to making impactful donations this holiday season

first_imgThe holidays are upon us and you know what that means – charitable organizations will start asking you and your credit union for money. It’s no coincidence. According to a 2012 GuideStar Survey, over 50% of the organizations surveyed said they received the majority of their contributions between October and December.Credit unions give millions to charitable organizations throughout the year and even more during the holidays. It’s part of their DNA to help their member’s financial lives and the communities they serve. But give smarter. You’ll make a bigger impact with your member’s money and their lives.First, take a look at your credit union’s donation policy. Does it reflect the mission of your credit union? For a more in-depth look on how to update that, click here. In short, choose a few key areas to make a difference that align with your mission and let that be your guide. For some good examples, check out UW CU, Vancity, 1st Financial FCU and even REI.Second, whether making a donation personally or on behalf of your credit union; do your homework first. Organizations like Guidestar and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance culls information on most nonprofits so donors can make more informed charitable choices. In fact, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance even bestows a “seal of approval” to an accredited charity for meeting all 20 of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards (yes, the National Credit Union Foundation is proud to display our seal from the BBB).One of the key indicators of effectiveness that the BBB looks at and most donors investigate is how charities use their funds. There are good benchmarks in place to review. For example, to earn the BBB seal, a charity must spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities and also spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Most reputable charities display this information openly on their website or annual reports and it’s definitely something to look for there and/or on sites mentioned above. You want most of your contributions used on programs right?Unfortunately, there are a lot of mismanaged charities out there, in terms of how they allocate their funds. For a quick look, click here. While their names might look noble or similar to reputable charities, these are organizations that spend most of their money on solicitors (ie: telemarketers, etc) and sometimes less than 1% on direct cash aid to programs!Next, this is easy. Make your donation! Get a receipt as most donations are tax-deductible.Don’t let that be the end of the story though. Keep talking to organizations you support. Maybe there are opportunities to strengthen the relationship. Subscribe to their updates. Tracking your donations is a great way to show impact to members, press and lawmakers. It’s also a good practice to continually review your donation policy and donations annually to ensure they are a good fit and making the difference you are looking for.Finally, look at other ways to give. Volunteer your time. Set up a group outing with coworkers, department, local young professionals or credit union people in your area, a chapter project, or friends and family. Hold a food or clothing drive. And so on.Philanthropy – whether it’s volunteering or donating money – is a great opportunity to act on your values. And for credit unions, we have what I think are ideals of the highest order threaded through all we do. Simply put, “people helping people.” 145SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Christopher Morris Christopher Morris is currently an engagement consultant at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), providing specialized attention to broad and diverse stakeholders throughout the Midwest Region. Previously, Christopher was a … Web: www.cuna.org Detailslast_img read more

Read More →