Kyle Bragg will take over as 32BJ SEIU president

first_img32BJ SEIU president Kyle Bragg (Credit: 32BJ SEIU)Executive Vice President Kyle Bragg will take over as president of 32BJ SEIU following the death of its president Héctor Figueroa.Figueroa, 57, who headed the country’s largest building services union since 2012, died of a heart attack Thursday night. As stipulated by the union’s constitution, Bragg will assume Figueroa’s presidential duties, 32BJ said in a statement.Bragg has been a member of 32BJ for 30 years and helped grow its residential division by 35,000 members, according to 32BJ’s website. He’s also credited with securing raises of more than 11 percent over four years for members in a 2014 residential contract.Figueroa has long been a well respected fixture in the city’s labor community, and his sudden death shocked and saddened many elected officials and union leaders. His first position with 32BJ was as a deputy trustee in 1999, and the following year he was elected as secretary-treasurer. Since becoming president in 2012, he helped add more than 50,000 members to the union’s ranks.“It is impossible to overstate the loss of Héctor to our SEIU family. Héctor has made a lasting impact on the heart and soul of our union, and he will be sorely missed,” Mary Kay Henry, president of 32BJ’s parent SEIU, said in a statement. “Héctor’s leadership made it possible for janitors, doormen (and women), security officers, airport workers and so many other working people across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to join together and lift up their wages and improve their jobs.” This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

Pearce predicts $150 million savings on retired teachers health care costs

first_imgby Anne Galloway August 11, 2013 The state expects to save $150 million in long-term health care costs for retired teachers, thanks to a new program that maximizes use of government subsidies and pharmaceutical discounts for prescription drugs.The state will received enhanced Medicare subsidies for low-income retirees, which will help to lower overall expenditures for prescription drugs through the state health insurance plan for retired teachers.Meanwhile, the state’s 7,000-plus retired teachers will not see a change in prescription drug benefits as a result of the new program, according to State Treasurer Beth Pearce.The Vermont State Teachers’Retirement System board approved the plan last week. The state treasurer’s office, the Vermont-NEA, the Vermont Health Educational Initiative and BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont created a partnership to develop the new waiver plan, which will go into effect on Jan. 1.‘When we can lower the cost to taxpayers without making benefit reductions for retirees, it’s a win-win,’Pearce said in an interview. ‘When we’re working together we can get good things done.’Jon Harris, chair of the board, said in a statement that the waiver plan will ‘financially bolster the retirement system and help ensure important benefits remain intact for retirees.’The new Employer Group Waiver Plan for retirees who qualify for Medicare will save the state about $2.3 million per year on top of $1.5 million in other annual government subsidies. Over time, the $3.8 million in annual savings will result in long-term savings for the pension fund for retired teachers.‘Less money has to go out of our system, that’s how it reduces the unfunded liability,’Pearce says.The state’s unfunded obligations for long-term health care costs for retired teachers is $827 million over a 25-year period. According to the latest actuarial analysis from the treasurer’s office, the new waiver plan will reduce that liability by 18 percent $150 million, based on actuarial calculations for fiscal year 2012.Harris compared the savings to paying down a 30-year mortgage. Paying down the principal ahead of schedule lowers costs over the long haul.‘It’s almost too good to be true, we kept wondering where’s the shoe going to drop, but as we researched it, it made sense,’Harris said. When all the parties studied the fine print, it became apparent that as long as BCBS could handle the administrative details, the waiver plan would work.Health care plans for retired teachers have long been underfunded by the state and the annual expense has eaten into funding for pensions. The teacher retirement system is currently funded at about 67 percent.Even though the Vermont-NEA and the Douglas administration reached a deal in 2010 to increase the contribution from teachers through a variety of concessions, the unfunded portion of the pension system has continued to increase. The Vermont Legislature set aside $4.75 million in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to help stem the erosion of the fund, but that amount plus contributions from employees hasn’t been enough to cover the growing cost of health care for retirees.Pearce has long been an advocate for increased state funding for the pension system, and her office will ask lawmakers this legislative session to make a larger investment in the retiree system. She says money invested now will have a big payoff down the road. If the state invested $20 million in the pension this year, for example, it would save taxpayers $58 million over the life of the program, Pearce says, though she declined to say just how much she will ask lawmakers to set aside for teachers’pensions this legislative session.Her sales pitch could meet with a less than enthusiastic reception this coming legislative session. Budget-writers will be faced with a $50 million gap right off the bat (the hole was filled with one-time funds in fiscal year 2014), plus an assortment of pending cuts to a wide range of federal programs. Tax revenues, meanwhile, have stayed flat.‘We need to balance all of our priorities and recognize that paying now rather than down the road is a good bang for the buck for taxpayers,’Pearce said.The state treasurer is also pursuing cost-saving programs offered by the federal government. Her office recently received $4.5 million in one-time reimbursement funds for retiree health care expenditures.‘Over the years, we’ve been very proactive in Vermont in terms of looking at our long term liability and working with the Legislature to make sure the pension program is secure,’Harris said.The new Employer Group Waiver Plan is a program of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Affordable Care Act and other changes to federal law have made the program easier for insurance companies and administrators to implement and more cost-effective for employers, according to a press release from the treasurer’s office.Vermont is the only state that has a third party administrator that is a partnership between a teachers’union and a school boards association, according to Harris. VEHI works with BCBS to keep costs down, he said.last_img read more

Iberoamerican Championships and congress held in Merida, Mexico

first_img Related This past weekend, the Iberoamerican Triathlon Association held its congress meeting, as well as the Iberoamerican Championships in the Yucatan Peninsula in Merida, Mexico.During the Congress, which was chaired by the President of the Spanish Federation, José Hidalgo, delegates addressed many challenges and opportunities for the future of triathlon in Latin America, as well as upcoming projects that will take place throughout 2016.It was also agreed the host city for the next Iberoamerican Championships will be Cuba for medium and long distance races. Puerto Rico will host the next congress and the Latin American Championship in 2017.ITU notes that it is ‘extremely proud that our counterparts at the Mexican Federation have taken on this important leadership in the Latin American area.’ This is a joint effort between ITU, the Spanish Federation and the Mexican Federation. The conference in Merida represents the culmination of this work.After an important day of debate among congress deleates, races were held on Sunday. The day of competition started at 07:30 with the start of male and female elite competition. Only half an hour after they competed, more than 1,500 people participated across various age groups in the open competition.ITU adds that it was most exciting to see the large number of women taking part in the different events, which in some cases exceeded 40% of race participants.‘The growth of women’s triathlon in Mexico has been so successful that in some races, more than 51% of the entries are women. This is something the entire triathlon family should be proud of.’www.triathlon.orglast_img read more

Making an emotional connection

first_imgby. Megan MirandaSuccessful brands do more than provide value in terms of product benefits. They strike a chord with consumers. Finding a way to connect on an emotional level is one of the keys to creating breakthrough messaging.Is that to say that every product and every brand has to be laden with heavy, serious, heart-wrenching emotion? No. Human emotion is a many-feathered creature. In the course of any given day, consumers experience an incredibly wide range of emotions at a variety of intensities. Humor. Joy. Frustration. Excitement. Anxiety. Pride. And the list goes on. Some might be a good fit for your brand or product, others won’t be.Let’s say that you have an established brand identity already. You’ve also taken the time to identify the specific consumer segments or target audiences you want to engage with your brand or a specific product. How do you take the next step in creating an emotional connection between the two?Start by understanding these three things: relevance, relatability, and believability.Relevance. What role does your product or brand play in consumers’ lives? On the surface, your product probably does a few basic things. A mortgage, for instance, enables a consumer to purchase or refinance a home, which in turn gives them a place to live or improves their financial situation with an existing home. When you look below the surface, you start to find feelings you might want to tap into: pride, security, sense of well-being, love for family, happiness, personal satisfaction, sense of permanence, etc. Narrow these emotions down by identifying which emotions your specific audience is likely to feel. When your target consumer feels one of these emotions, he or she probably isn’t thinking of your mortgage product – but your product is relevant to their experience of the emotion, so you’ve got an opportunity to help them make that connection. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Ninth Circuit survey seeks to improve the civil justice system

first_img N inth Circuit survey seeks to improve the civil justice system A t the request of Chief Judge Belvin Perry, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Civil Courts Commission was organized to seek input from all members of the bench, bar, and legal professionals regarding ways to improve the civil justice systems in Orange and Osceola counties.To capture suggestions for the civil justice system, members of the commission have developed an online survey designed to be completed by attorneys, judges, paralegals, legal assistants, and other legal professionals in the Ninth Circuit. Responses are anonymous. After review and discussion by the commission, a report with recommendations will be issued later this year.To take the survey, visit For more information, contact Mary Ann Etzler at [email protected] or Jill Schwartz at [email protected] August 1, 2010 Regular News Ninth Circuit survey seeks to improve the civil justice systemlast_img read more

Hawks overcome 21-point deficit to beat Timberwolves

first_imgBut once again, these young Wolves couldn’t come up with enough offense in crunch time as they lost their fifth straight.“We played scared,” Wittman said. “We played on our heels and we played not to lose instead of to win.”With Jefferson on the bench to start the fourth, Lue opened with a 3-pointer from the elbow that started a 7-0 run, and suddenly Minnesota’s lead had dwindled to four.After a couple of debatable calls went Atlanta’s way, the Timberwolves seemed to come unglued, and Smith took over.He hit a pair of free throws, converted a three-point play and then hit a 3-pointer during a 14-0 run to give the Hawks an 87-78 lead with 4 minutes to go.“They were huge,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of Smith and Lue. “Lue hit big shots and got us in our offense and did enough to secure the win.”After receiving a standing ovation from the sparse home crowd at halftime, the Wolves heard plenty of boos as the lead disintegrated and Wittman slammed his hands on the press table in frustration as the game slipped away.Afterward, Wolves rookie Corey Brewer milled around the locker room and was told of the team’s 10 losses.“We have 10? Already?” said Brewer, who is coming off two straight national titles at Florida. “Ten came around quick.”The Timberwolves shot 66 percent and played almost flawlessly in the first half to jump out to a big lead.Jefferson was owning rookie Al Horford and the Hawks on the low block until Woodson started running double- and triple-teams at him in the second half. That strategy paid off, limiting Jefferson’s touches and creating turnovers that helped the Hawks get back in the game. Hawks overcome 21-point deficit to beat TimberwolvesThe upset was the third-largest lead blown in franchise history.November 26, 2007Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrint>MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Atlanta Hawks have won two in a row on the road.That those wins have come against the teams with two of the worst records in the NBA matters not to these Hawks.Sure they trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter of both of them, but after losing the previous 17 away from home, the Hawks will take them wherever and however they can get them.Josh Smith scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help Atlanta erase a 21-point deficit in a 94-87 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.“We stayed together,” said Tyronn Lue, who scored seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.That hasn’t always been the case in Atlanta, where the Hawks have had eight straight losing seasons and are looking for even the smallest signs of progress.Joe Johnson scored 25 points, and Smith added eight rebounds, five assists, five blocks and three steals for the Hawks, who overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to win at Miami on Wednesday night.“We can’t dig ourselves these types of holes and expect to get out of them every game in the second half,” Johnson said. “I think we still have a lot to work on and we need to start games off right.”Al Jefferson had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and Marko Jaric added 20 and six assists for the Timberwolves, an NBA-worst 1-10. But the Timberwolves shot 26.5 percent, committed 13 turnovers and managed just 21 points in a horrendous second half. The 21-point advantage was the third-largest lead Minnesota has blown in franchise history.“Yeah, this is pretty tough,” an exasperated Wolves coach Randy Wittman said when asked if this was the most difficult loss yet in a season full of them.Things couldn’t have gone much better for the Timberwolves in the first half. Jefferson and Antoine Walker combined to hit all 11 of their shots and they led by 18 points at halftime and 11 to start the fourth quarter.last_img read more

Hurricane Nana makes landfall in Belize

first_img Aug 1, 2020 Hurricane Warning Declared as Tropical Storm Nana Approaches… More proof of the need for increased #ClimateAction, as #HurricaneNana makes landfall as a category 1 hurricane on the coast of #Belize – we are halfway through a record-setting hurricane season and at ‘N’ already! We hope that the damage is minimal.— OACPS Secretariat (@PressACP) September 3, 2020 You may be interested in… Sep 2, 2020 (CBC News) Hurricane Nana made landfall in Belize, pelting a relatively sparsely populated stretch of the country’s coast with heavy rain and wind before weakening to a tropical storm while pushing across Guatemala on Thursday. Sep 2, 2020 UK Ships Ready to Swing into Action this Hurricane Season The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that Nana hit land between the coastal towns of Dangriga and Placencia shortly after midnight at an area around 80 kilometres south of Belize City with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h, making it barely a hurricane. The storm was moving west-southwest at 24 km/h. Belize authorities did not immediately report injuries when Nana made landfall shortly after midnight Thursday. More than 4,000 people, primarily in the south of the country, moved to government shelters. Read more at: CBC News Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Aug 28, 2020 The Bahamas bracing for hurricane conditions today Later in the morning, Nana was downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 95 km/h. It was centred about 240 kilometres north-northeast of Guatemala City and neared the border with Mexico. Nana may hit Belize at tropical storm strength; Omar… The 15th storm already in the Atlantic hurricane season earlier passed over Belize Nana may hit Belize at tropical storm strength; Omar downgraded(South Florida Sun Sentinel) Tropical Storm Nana is running out of time to strengthen into a hurricane before landfall and may hit Belize as a tropical storm overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center. Wind shear limited its intensity, but any strong convective burst could push it into a Category…September 2, 2020In “Belize”Hurricane Warning Declared as Tropical Storm Nana Approaches Belize(National Meteorological Services of Belize) The National Meteorological Services of Belize and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advise that Tropical Storm Nana As of 3am local time, Tropical Storm Nana was located near latitude 17.0N, longitude 82.7W or about 365 miles east of Belize City. Nana was moving to…September 2, 2020In “Belize”Thirty-years on – Jamaicans remember destructive hurricane GilbertThe first name that usually comes to mind when Jamaicans recall the devastation of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 is reggae singer Lloyd Lovindeer. That’s because Lovindeer’s song, Wild Gilbert, so felicitously captured the occasion, meticulously blending the agony of the destructive mood of the natural disaster with the auspicious nature of…September 12, 2018In “Jamaica”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Hope a near certainty for T20 opener, says Brathwaite

first_imgSYLHET, Bangladesh, CMC – Captain Carlos Brathwaite said yesterday in-form Shai Hope will play in today’s opening Twenty20 International, even if he has to be “stretchered” on and off the field, underscoring the importance West Indies have placed on winning the three-match series and salvaging something from an otherwise wretched tour. The 25-year-old Hope was struck on the helmet at the start of the 50th over of the West Indies innings during last Friday’s decisive third One-Day International, when he finished unbeaten on 108.He was kept under observation after experiencing some dizziness and did not take the field during the Bangladesh run chase.Hope hit a superb unbeaten 146 in Windies’ series-levelling four-wicket win in Dhaka last Tuesday, and is seen as key to the Caribbean side’s success in the upcoming series. “Shai is in beautiful batting form, fresh off two back-to-back unbeaten centuries,” Brathwaite said.“Even if Shai has to play with a stretcher, I will volunteer to carry the stretcher between the wickets. He is fine and in good spirits. He is out practising, so hopefully he is close to 100 per cent. As long as he is alive, he will play tomorrow.”Much will be riding on the series for the Windies. They were crushed in both Tests inside three days in Chittagong and Dhaka, and also went down 2-1 in the just-concluded series. The T20 series represents the Windies’ last chance to end an otherwise difficult year on a bright note. West Indies are without several world-rated short format specialists, with the likes of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle, all sidelined for varying reasons.However, Brathwaite said regardless of personnel, the Windies needed to devise a strategy to combat the “chopping and changing” in order to win matches. “The group of players needs to find a way to win, regardless of who is and who is not selected. When we start to win, we can pull on experiences on learning how to win games,” he contended.“Evidently you become more experienced and confident, and start creating your own brand of cricket. We haven’t been able to, because of a lot of chopping and changing for different reasons. “The feeling in the dressing room is that whenever a team is picked for a tour, we put our heads together as a unit and find a way to win games. Once we do that, West Indies cricket will find a way to the top, whichever format.”Looking to the recent past will inspire little hope for the Windies. This year, they have lost all four T20 series they have played, winning a single match and losing nine.And their squad, while talented, is a young one with the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas, Fabien Allen and Nicholas Pooran, in the touring party. The importance of giving their supporters something to smile about, especially just over a week away from Christmas, was not lost on Brathwaite.“The people back home deserve a Christmas gift. We hope to close out the year with a win,” the all-rounder said.“We still think T20 is our premier format. We obviously haven’t had the results to be in the recent past proud of. But here’s a chance to turn things around and ending 2018 in a good way.”last_img read more

Watch out for new members

first_imgBy DANIELLE GALVIN NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch is an important lifeline and resource in any community – and Pakenham police want help….[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Cardinia’s mental health services ‘stretched’

first_imgBy Danielle Kutchel Cardinia Shire is experiencing a shortfall of critical services to address mental health services in the region. That’s according to…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img