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Letters

first_imgThis week’s lettersWomen hindered by more than pay I can relate to your article Women in HR lose out on pay and promotion, inlots of ways, but I believe the problem goes far deeper (News, 7 January).Length of service and age can also be huge obstacles for HR professionals,particularly women. I joined the profession at the age of 38, initially in the role of personneladministrator, having had a secretarial background in the company. The personnel manager at the time valued my interpersonal skills andenthusiasm for being part of a team that cared about the business, and Ihappily sat in that role for 18 months before being promoted to personnelofficer. I was working for a large financial services company with more than 700 callcentre staff. My energy and passion for success drove me to succeed, and my reputationwent before me. I changed many things for the better – particularly inbehavioural training and recruitment. Then, as all big companies do, we restructured the personnel team andrecruited a male HR controller – and boy did he control. He turned us into anHR team, which was the right decision to make – but I became the sole survivor.The controller told me that if I was to continue to survive, I’d have tostudy for the CIPD qualification. It took four years on a part-time basis,during which the HR controller left the company. I then worked under asuccession of male managers. Despite more than 20 years’ experience within the company, I decided Ididn’t fit in with the new HR culture. The team expanded with the addition oflots of young graduates and I felt undervalued. So, I moved to a company thatwas almost 10 years behind in terms of HR strategies. I have now been in this role for four years and still hold the position ofHR officer. I have experienced two managers and I am the longest serving memberof the team, the eldest and the most respected by the main bulk of employees. My boss is now recruiting HR staff and is targeting young women in their 20s– so here we go again. I have raised a formal grievance with my manager, because although we get onwell, I think he is ignoring my expertise. At 47 years of age, I feelthreatened. Not only do women lose out on pay and promotion in HR, we are alsohindered by our length of service and age. Name and address supplied Stress not confined to the workplace There are undoubtedly drivers of stress in the workplace and these arehighlighted in your front page article (News, 14 January). But what was not mentioned, is the fact that in my experience work-relatedstress is rarely in attributable solely to the workplace. It is nearly alwaysinfluenced by domestic and personal circumstances. The danger in ignoring thisis that it will become accepted wisdom that stress is solely an employmentproblem to be remedied by increasing legislation and placing an unfair burdenon employers. This will do little to tackle the other causes, which appear harder todefine and often seem to lie somewhere within society, individual expectationsand personal choices. It may be the case that because the workplace often makestangible demands on people operating in close proximity to each other, itbecomes the forum in which the symptoms of stress become more manifest. However, although individuals may find a voice or a subconscious hook fortheir issues at work, this belies the fact that in many cases, the real causelies elsewhere. An examination of this complex issue and why it appears to be such a modernaffliction is definitely required. It is foolhardy to assume that yet morelegislation will prevent stress, when the roots of stress are not yet fullyunderstood. Jane Thompson HR adviser, RS Components UK HSE will create a checklist mentality Having worked in employee welfare for the past 18 years, I welcome the moveby the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to place tough new stress managementstandards on employers this year. However, I am concerned that by simply imposing a new set of regulations,the HSE will create a ‘checklist mentality’ among employers, leading them totackle stress from a regulatory point of view, rather than addressing the widerissues. Effective stress management is best driven from board-level down. Seniormanagers must devote time and resources to looking at the causes of stress –assessing how and why stress is created and how to reduce it. Until a cultural change takes place at board level that acknowledges stressas a legitimate concern, effective stress management will never be achieved. The move by the HSE is certainly a step in the right direction, but we riskreinforcing ‘sticking plaster’ measures against stresses that are currentlyprevalent in the workplace, rather than aiming to prevent them in the firstplace. Bruce Greenhalgh Employee assistance manager, Accenture HR Services Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. LettersOn 28 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Babcock gets Canadian Victoria-class maintenance contract

first_img View post tag: Victoria-class UK-based engineering company Babcock has received a £225 million (approx. US$300m) contract for work on the maintenance of Royal Canadian Navy Victoria-class submarines.The three-year contract extension, which will now go into 2021, is the largest naval in-service support contract in Canada, according to the company.It will see more than 400 Babcock engineers, project managers and specialist support staff continue to support all four submarines in refit and in service, including deep maintenance periods as required.“Babcock is a trusted industrial partner to the Royal Canadian Navy and the extension of this strategic submarine support contract underlines the belief in our expert delivery and the world class technical support our team provides,” Babcock Group CEO Archie Bethel said.“We continue to invest in Canada’s strategic submarine capability through our skilled people, involvement in the Canadian supply chain and our processes. We are delighted to be continuing this relationship with a much valued customer.”The four Victoria-class submarines were bought by Canada from UK in 1998. After battling through a number of technical problems, including a deadly incident on board the HMCS Chicoutimi in 2004, the Canadian Navy submarine fleet is demonstrating signs of stabilization with an increasing operational scope. View post tag: Babcock Share this articlecenter_img Photo: Photo: Royal Canadian Navy View post tag: Royal Canadian Navylast_img read more

Reading linked with QPR man

first_imgReading are interested in QPR defender Luke Young, according to local media.The 32-year-old is likely to leave Rangers this summer after only one season at Loftus Road.And the Crowthorne & Sandhurst Times say the newly promoted Royals have him in their sights.Related West London Sport story: QPR likely to offload defender Young (29 June)Chelsea and Liverpool have been told they will have to offer at least £12m to land Wigan striker Victor Moses, the Daily Mirror say.Chelsea recently had a bid for the 21-year-old rejected, while new Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers is also said to want him.Paris St Germain’s former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti’s apparent interest in signing John Terry is picked up by a number of papers.Linked with PSG,The French club are set to make an £8m bid to take Terry away from Stamford Bridge, according to the Mirror.The Daily Mail carry the same story and also suggest Chelsea remain keen to sign Theo Walcott from Arsenal.The Mail also say Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge will play in his preferred central position for Britain at the Olympics and that the Blues have emerged as favourites to sign Brazil right-back Maicon from Inter Milan after Real Madrid shelved their interest.Meanwhile, Fulham are interested in signing Scott Sinclair from Swansea City along with Tottenham and Aston Villa, the Mail report.Rodgers, who managed Sinclair at Swansea, has been strongly linked with a bid for him and Liverpool are still said to be monitoring the player’s contract negotiations.Sinclair failed to establish himself at Chelsea but impressed for the Swans last season and it is claimed that Fulham would like to bring him back to west London.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Is this end of the Warriors’ dynasty? Steve Kerr says ‘no’

first_imgOAKLAND – At this point, the Warriors can barely think.Warriors coach Steve Kerr has struggled processing that their failed championship run coincided with losing Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to debilitating injuries. Warriors general manager Bob Myers struggled to comprehend that the NBA Draft starts on Thursday, exactly a week after the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in their final game at Oracle Arena.So, Kerr and Myers could use this weekend to …last_img read more

Air New Zealand Economy Class Review

first_imgImagine an airline that served its economy class passengers fruit salad and hot fresh scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea?  Or an airline that serves passengers a warm bread roll with their meal rather than a dry crumbly oblong thing that somewhat resembles that of a bread roll? Welcome to Air New Zealand’s Economy Class.In the last of my three part review series I travel Perth-Auckland return on a Boeing 777-200ER.  As enjoyable as it has been to review the faultless Business and Premium Economy classes, Economy Class is where most people travel and was to be my most important assessment yet – could they get it right in all three classes?Seats and cabinThe seats in the 777-200ER are among the most generous in size and very comfortable.  With a 32-33 inch seat pitch and 17.8 inch seat width (the same width as in Premium Economy) the  economy passenger “sore back and numb bum” syndrome  wasn’t going to present itself this time.  On every seat was a headphone set, pillow and large thick blanket.  In my opinion, Singapore airlines are the leaders in Economy Class blankets, but they now have a competitor in Air New Zealand.  As this is a 6-7 hour medium rather than long haul flight, earplugs and eye shades are available from the crew upon request. Long haul flights have amenity kits on every seat.Seat recline is one of the most hotly debated topics in an Economy Cabin and I was unlucky (or perhaps lucky) to experience both sides of the argument.  It’s a general unspoken etiquette that on both day and evening flights you don’t recline your seat until after the meal service. The flight to Auckland was an evening flight and immediately after take-off, back went the seat in front of me.  Air New Zealand has a very generous six inch seat recline which as the passenger in the reclined seat is extremely comfortable but it’s not so pleasant when you are sitting behind the seat.  Wanting to abide by the unspoken rule of an evening flight I kept my seat upright and endured a good 90 minutes of no personal space while the gentleman in front had a great old relax and snore!  I was overjoyed to learn that Air New Zealand insists all passengers put their seats in the upright position for meal times and that gave me a good 30 minute reprieve.  It was then time for everyone to put their seats back and I too enjoyed the comfort of this seat with its generous recline.  Interestingly on Air New Zealand’s new 787 Dreamliner, the seats in Economy are set back one inch so passengers will already feel more comfortable and may just put off reclining their seat until later in the flight – here’s hoping. The lights were set low for the dinner service and then completely dimmed until just before landing. Seats on the 777-200ER do not have in seat power but on the 777-300ER used on longer haul routes this is available at every seat.  The 777-300ER also features the unique Skycouch [read more about the skycouch and 777-300ER here] Food and beveragesStraight after take-off the cabin crew come through the cabin with glasses of water. Announcements are made just before the meal service advising passengers of the meal choices.  It is important to remember here that Air New Zealand offer four different types of Economy fares; Seat Only and Seat Plus Bag passengers need to buy snacks and light meals off a menu. Tea coffee and water is provided complimentary.  The Works and the Works Deluxe  passengers  receive the traditional full meal and beverage service.  Dinner was a choice of beef with mashed potato and peas or a chicken and pasta. Coming back the lunch menu was a beef dish or chicken curry with rice.  As with every international flight the meal coming into Perth was much better than the meal leaving. The beef dinner was fatty and tough but the chicken curry was delicious! On both flights the salad starter was arguably the best salad I have had in economy and I love the warm soft fresh bread rolls they serve. Dessert consisted of a three tier chocolate mousse to Auckland and a pineapple cake with guava syrup on the way home.  Apart from the “not so great” beef dish the rest of the food was fantastic and serving sizes large.  The drinks trolley with a selection of wines, beer, softdrinks and juices comes behind the food cart which allows for a quick and efficient service and ensures your meal is still hot when you receive it. If passengers are peckish at any time after the meal service chips and biscuits are available.Now for the real highlight. On the flight from Auckland, just over an hour before landing, the cabin fills with the smell of hot scones and freshly brewed coffee.  There was a resounding “ohh yum” from the cabin when the announcement of scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea was made.  Now I had had this in Business Class and Premium Economy but did not expect it in Economy.  A fresh fruit salad accompanied the warm fresh, delicious scones and there was plenty of jam and cream, the crew even found me some butter at my request. This was unquestionably the best “light meal or snack” service I had ever received in an Economy Class.In-flight EntertainmentI unfortunately didn’t have a great run here on the flight home. The handset didn’t work properly so I was unable to really flick through channels. It took me a good 10 minutes to get to a movie I wanted to see and then after half an hour the TVs in our row of three switched off.  The crew kindly rebooted the system for us but there was no way I was going to fight with that handset again.  I had the option to move seat but instead chose to listen to my iPod. Whilst frustrating, things like this do happen and it’s how it’s handled and how a solution is sought that I look out for and in this case it was handled quickly, with an apology and most importantly they had a suitable solution for me if I wished.   The “TV power box” that sits under the seats is small and doesn’t take up a lot of leg room which is especially important on a long haul flights.  Passengers on a seat or seat plus bag fare can pay to watch the movies otherwise games, TV shows and music are complimentary.Customer ServiceThe service at Perth was very welcoming with a “Hi and welcome to Air New Zealand” when you arrive at the check in desk.  Onboard the cabin crew were efficient and friendly. You don’t get that famous personalised Air New Zealand hospitality that you get in Business and Premium Economy because you simply can’t.   The crew do their job and do it to a high standard. I had no real need to interact with the crew but kept a close eye on those that did just near me and they really were more than happy to help and did so with a smile.  One thing I was especially impressed with was the speed at which call bells were responded to.   At Auckland there is self check in facilities but plenty of staff around to help you should you need.  Final WordAir New Zealand are the leaders in innovation and this is evident in their Economy Class. Instead of creating a low cost carrier to meet the new world demands of aviation, Air New Zealand simply filled up the planes they had by creating options for Economy passengers with Seat, Seat Plus Bag, The Works and Works Deluxe.  Economy passengers also have the option at checkin to pay $100 and have the seat next to them kept free on a long haul flight that is not full  (includes Auckland-Perth and Auckland-Honolulu flights). Given the wide choice of movies and excellent on board catering, it is definitely worth purchasing a Works airfare but for those that want to limit what they spend you can still enjoy in flight entertainment, a very comfortable seat, blanket and pillow at a competitive price with the option to order snacks and non included drinks on board.Would I recommend and fly Air New Zealand Economy? Is it as good as the highly regarded likes of Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines? Absolutely.  With options galore and a high quality full service product you can truly sit back, relax and enjoy your flight no matter how long it is.Suggested Read  Air New Zealand Business Class Review  and Air New Zealand Premium Economy ReviewEmail: [email protected] Follow Sharon on TwitterSharon flew as a guest of Air New Zealand on July 30th and August 1st 2014last_img read more

Laxman draws the curtains on a ‘Very Very Special’ career

first_imgVVS Laxman shocked his team-mates and fans on Friday by announcing his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.Laxman was expected to play some part in the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand, for which he was picked by the BCCI earlier this month. Speculation was that the first Test of the series, to be played on his home ground in Hyderabad, would allow for a fond farewell for the ‘Miracle Man’ of Indian cricket.However, Laxman dashed all hopes of a grand send-off by quitting with immediate effect.Annoncing his decision, Laxman thanked his family, his mentors, his team-mates and his fans.134 tests and 86 ODIs later, here is what the stylish batsman had to say at a press conference in Hyderabad where he announced his decision: 16 years since my intenational debut and I feel it’s time for me to call it a day.I have always kept the nation’s ambitions ahead of my personal aspirations and would like to keep doing so.I would like to contribute to the team’s success so I think it is the right time to give opportunities to the youngsters waiting in the  wings.Fortunate to have played in an era where Indian cricket played some of the best cricket not only at home but also across the world.I would lke to thank all my teamates, and all others involved with me oer the course of my career.I would like to thank all those who gave me the freedom and independance to pursue my brand of cricket.Announcing his retirement with immediate effects, Laxman indicated that he will not play the New Zealand series.Getting emotional, Laxman reminiscised and said , “I always wanted to become a doctor, but my inner voice somehow picked up on cricket as my path in life.It was a very tough decision and till late last night I was not too sure. The “Very Very Special” batsman, who has been out of form for the last two seasons, reportedly told his close friends in the field and a couple of sports correspondents on Friday that he had decided to retire from international cricket and would like to make an announcement to this effect before the commencement of the India-New Zealand Test series for which he was picked up.”I would take a final call after discussing with my parents, wife, well-wishers, coaches and other friends,” he is learnt to have said.Laxman, who made his debut in 1996 against South Africa, has played 134 Tests scoring 8,781 runs, including 17 centuries and 56 fifties, at an average of 45.97. He has also played 86 ODIs, scoring 2,338 runs with six hundreds. (with inputs from Mail Today)advertisementlast_img read more

Frank Lampard on getting Chelsea job: ‘People will question it, I’m ready’ – video

Police fed information to stoned Crown witness to build murder case against

first_img(Wendy Scott alleges in an affidavit she was stoned during interrogations where police fed her evidence to build a murder case against Connie Oakes. Facebook photo)By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsA star witness for an Alberta Crown prosecutor says she was fed evidence by police while stoned during “coercive” interrogations to build a murder case against a Cree woman, according to court documents filed with the Court of Appeal of Alberta.The mentally “frail” witness also says police interrogated her for six months longer than was disclosed during the murder trial of Connie Oakes, 49, who is now serving a 14 year sentence in the Edmonton Institution for Women, according to appeal documents filed by Oakes’ lawyer.A Medicine Hat, Alta., jury found Oakes guilty in April 2014 of second-degree murder in the killing of a local man named Casey Armstrong who was found dead in the bathtub of his blood-splattered bathroom.Oakes, who is from Nekaneet First Nation in Saskatchewan, insists she’s innocent. Oakes says she was nowhere near Armstrong’s trailer during the May 2011 long-weekend when the 48 year-old man was killed by a knife plunged through the throat.With no murder weapon, DNA evidence or fingerprints, Andrea Dolan, a Crown prosecutor in Medicine Hat, built her murder case against Oakes on the testimony of Wendy Scott, 29, a self-described small-time crack dealer. Scott pleaded guilty to the killing in a separate case and later testified she saw Oakes kill Armstrong.Now Scott has a lawyer and is trying to have her own guilty plea struck down, according to the appeal documents. She is also recanting the testimony used by the Crown to convince a jury that Oakes murdered the father of two children, according to appeal documents filed Dec. 12 in Calgary.Oakes’ Edmonton lawyer Aleksandra Simic is seeking to have the appeal court hear the case based on “fresh evidence” with the aim of having the murder conviction quashed and Oakes acquitted. The fresh evidence is based on two sealed affidavits, according to the appeal filing.One affidavit is from Scott and the other is from Kim Pate, the executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society. Pate’s affidavit is based on a discussion with Scott during which she allegedly recanted her testimony placing Oakes at the scene of the murder.In her affidavit Scott “provides an explanation of why she implicated Ms. Oakes in the homicide,” according to a summary of the sworn document contained in the appeal filing. Scott alleges in the affidavit she was shown crime scene photographs and provided evidence during allegedly coercive police interrogations that occurred on a weekly basis for six months. She alleges in the affidavit police provided the details of the case before she was sat down for “eventual recorded interviews.”Scott alleges in her affidavit she wasn’t taking prescribed medication during those interrogations, but “was under the influence of drug contraband.”The appeal filing alleges those six months of interrogations were also not disclosed during Oakes’ trial.“At trial, it appeared to be common ground that Ms. Scott…participated in police interviews and/or provided statements on Dec. 6, 2011, (and) Jan. 5, 7 and 10, 2012,” according to the filing. “Ms. Scott now swears that she participated in weekly interviews and meetings with police between the periods of June 2011 to December 2011.”In a previous interview with APTN National News, Medicine Hat police Sgt. Brent Secondiak said investigators believed Scott was telling the truth based on the level of details she provided about the murder.“She knew details about this that no one else could have known unless they were there or where told by the person who did it,” said Secondiak, who took over the investigation after it had stalled for several months.Scott also swears in her affidavit that she suffers from mental illness and has a “demonstrated IQ of 50.” According to Statistics Canada’s “health state descriptions” an IQ score ranging from 50 to 69 indicates “mild retardation.”In a previous interview with APTN, Dolan, the Crown prosecutor, said Scott’s child-like testimony made her believable to the jury.“Almost child-like, her evidence was…Children and people who present in that cognitive manner often exude a credibility that many adults don’t,” said Dolan.Oakes’ appeal filing interprets Scott’s mental state in a different light.“The proposed evidence is relevant and bears upon decisive issues of potential outstanding disclosure, which could have impacted trial fairness, conduct of  trial and impeachment of chief Crown witness…as well as the reliability and credibility of important evidence…relied upon (by) the Crown to identify Mr. Armstrong’s killers and marshalled in support of Ms. Oakes’ guilt,” said the filing. “Ms. Scott’s recantation is not only significant from a potential impeachment value, given that this is the sole evidence which implicated the applicant, but also tackles the very reliability of a frail witness both in terms of mental health difficulties and limited cognitive abilities who admits to not only having failed to avail herself of prescribed medication, but also admits to illicit drug use in the course of her interactions with police.”Connie OakesThe appeal filing states that Oakes’ Edmonton trial lawyer Daryl Royer learned Scott recanted her testimony at some point between the jury’s finding of guilt in April and Oakes’ sentencing on June 5 of this year.“Subsequent to sentencing of Ms. Oakes, Ms. Scott engaged counsel to assist her in striking her own guilty plea and has provided an affidavit indicating, among other things, her now belief that Ms. Oakes was never present at the crime scene and that her evidence, both self-incriminating and that which served to implicated Ms. Oakes in the homicide…was the product of coercive police tactics,” said the filing.There were problems with Scott’s story throughout Oakes’ trial.Royer, the defense lawyer during the trial, counted 55 inconsistencies in Scott’s testimony, including whether Armstrong was dead before or after he was placed in the bathtub where he was later found by a friend. It also emerged that Scott accused three other people of the murder before naming Oakes.There were also problems with a knife submitted by the Crown as evidence against Oakes. The kitchen knife, which Scott initially claimed was Oakes’ favorite, came back negative for any trace of blood despite two forensic examinations.Secondiak admitted to APTN police couldn’t prove the knife was used in the murder despite the fact it was entered as evidence at trial.There was also the issue of a large, bloody boot-print found in Armstrong’s bathroom. Medicine Hat police were never able to trace the source of the print.Oakes has two sons, including one who is battling [email protected]@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Possible Apple Investigation

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Music Festivals 2018 7 Ways To Enjoy Festival Season Without Drinking

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