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Unions attack Northern Ireland council’s ‘secret deal’ to outsource waste collection services

Trade unions have reacted with anger after Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council proposed to outsource some of its waste collection services to a private company.

The unions fear the move could lead to the greater privatisation of council services, with workers being paid less.

The proposals would see the outsourcing of the black bin collection service in the Newtownabbey area and the brown bin organic waste collection service in the Antrim town area.

The plan would also involve a voluntary severance scheme for council staff.

The local authority has already approved the proposals in closed council, from which the Press were barred.

They will be implemented subject to consultation between the council, staff and trade unions.

The GMB slammed what it called a “secret” deal to privatise bin collection, saying that none of the affected staff or the trade unions representing them were consulted in advance.

GMB regional organiser Alan Perry said the move would mean “cash will come before collections” and could lead to all waste collection in the borough being outsourced.

He said: “When public sector contracts are awarded to private companies, irrespective of how experienced the company believe themselves to be, profit becomes the main driver for that contract.

“Money must be made and the service delivery becomes secondary to that.

“It also means that councils and the public lose control over waste streams and the service becomes disjointed.”

He added: “Our most immediate concern is for our members’ job security.”

Unite regional officer Michael Keenan also indicated his union’s “outright opposition” to the proposals.

“Management believe they can obtain sufficient voluntary redundancies to bring forward their plans to avoid TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) obligations,” he said.

“This will mean that new workers doing this work will be paid less than those currently employed by the council directly.

“Council staff members also fear that this approach may be repeated in relation to the outsourcing of leisure services and avoidance of TUPE protections for those workers.

“Private sector operators are motivated only by the need to maximise profit.

“Outsourcing will downgrade workers’ pay and terms and conditions and potentially undermine the service in future years.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “For customers, their bin collection service will continue to operate as it currently does and no additional charges will be incurred.

“For staff, it means that we can accommodate those seeking to leave through the severance scheme on a voluntary basis, and we have reassured all staff that there will be no compulsory redundancies or TUPE transfers to another service provider.

“Currently there are no plans to outsource the entire waste collection service.”

When asked if there were any plans to outsource other council services to the private sector, it said: “The council will continue to review the services it provides to ensure quality and best value for all ratepayers.”

Belfast Telegraph

Article source: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/unions-attack-northern-ireland-councils-secret-deal-to-outsource-waste-collection-services-35615757.html

Trump Seeks Shift in Visa Allotments Crucial to Tech Outsourcing

President Donald Trump will take aim at information-technology outsourcing companies Tuesday when he orders a review of H-1B visa programs to favor more skilled and highly paid applicants.

An administration official who briefed reporters in advance named Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. and Mphasis Corp. as examples of outsourcing companies that would likely have fewer visas approved as the administration’s changes are adopted. The H-1B work visa program channels thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. technology industry.

Trump will announce the order during a trip to Wisconsin along with instructions to federal agencies to examine their purchasing systems to more effectively favor buying American goods. Two administration officials previewed the orders for reporters on condition of anonymity because they didn’t represent the agencies most directly involved in the policies.

Trump campaigned on a promise to use the powers of the presidency to encourage companies to buy American products and hire American workers, and the officials portrayed the order as a step toward fulfilling the pledge. The H-1B visa system has been criticized following high-profile examples of American workers being replaced by lower-paid foreigners through the program.

The new order asks agencies to propose ideas to direct visas — which are currently distributed by lottery — to the most skilled and highly paid applicants. It doesn’t dictate any specifics about how to achieve the goal. The administration ultimately would like to get rid of the lottery system, one of the officials said.

Behind the Push To Reform U.S. Work Visa Programs: QuickTake QA

How much the president can change the program without Congress’s involvement is a matter of debate. The administration has significant leeway in deciding how to carry out the law. It could, for instance, give priority to employers who rely less heavily on holders of H-1B visas. Several bills have been proposed in Congress to end the lottery system.

About 6 percent of the visas currently go to the Labor Department’s top skill level, while eight in 10 workers on the visa are paid less than the median wage for their fields, the White House said in a fact sheet distributed to reporters.

The Trump administration rolled out policy shifts earlier this month to begin cracking down on the H-1B visa system. They included a promise to pursue more investigations of fraud and abuses and a warning to employers applying for the visas not to discriminate against U.S. workers.

Article source: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-18/trump-seeks-shift-in-visa-allotments-crucial-to-tech-outsourcing

Unions attack Northern Ireland council’s ‘secret deal’ to outsource …

 

 

The council proposal is being opposed by unions (stock photo)

 

Trade unions have reacted with anger after Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council proposed to outsource some of its waste collection services to a private company.

The unions fear the move could lead to the greater privatisation of council services, with workers being paid less.

The proposals would see the outsourcing of the black bin collection service in the Newtownabbey area and the brown bin organic waste collection service in the Antrim town area.

The plan would also involve a voluntary severance scheme for council staff.

The local authority has already approved the proposals in closed council, from which the Press were barred.

They will be implemented subject to consultation between the council, staff and trade unions.

The GMB slammed what it called a “secret” deal to privatise bin collection, saying that none of the affected staff or the trade unions representing them were consulted in advance.

GMB regional organiser Alan Perry said the move would mean “cash will come before collections” and could lead to all waste collection in the borough being outsourced.

He said: “When public sector contracts are awarded to private companies, irrespective of how experienced the company believe themselves to be, profit becomes the main driver for that contract.

“Money must be made and the service delivery becomes secondary to that.

“It also means that councils and the public lose control over waste streams and the service becomes disjointed.”

He added: “Our most immediate concern is for our members’ job security.”

Unite regional officer Michael Keenan also indicated his union’s “outright opposition” to the proposals.

“Management believe they can obtain sufficient voluntary redundancies to bring forward their plans to avoid TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) obligations,” he said.

“This will mean that new workers doing this work will be paid less than those currently employed by the council directly.

“Council staff members also fear that this approach may be repeated in relation to the outsourcing of leisure services and avoidance of TUPE protections for those workers.

“Private sector operators are motivated only by the need to maximise profit.

“Outsourcing will downgrade workers’ pay and terms and conditions and potentially undermine the service in future years.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “For customers, their bin collection service will continue to operate as it currently does and no additional charges will be incurred.

“For staff, it means that we can accommodate those seeking to leave through the severance scheme on a voluntary basis, and we have reassured all staff that there will be no compulsory redundancies or TUPE transfers to another service provider.

“Currently there are no plans to outsource the entire waste collection service.”

When asked if there were any plans to outsource other council services to the private sector, it said: “The council will continue to review the services it provides to ensure quality and best value for all ratepayers.”

Belfast Telegraph

Article source: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/unions-attack-northern-ireland-councils-secret-deal-to-outsource-waste-collection-services-35615757.html

Personality differences uncovered between students at different US universities

By Christian Jarrett

Psychology is overly dependent on student samples, but on the plus side, you might assume that one advantage of comparing across student samples is that you can rule out the influence of complicating background factors, such as differences in average personality profile. In fact, writing in the Journal of Personality, a team of US researchers led by Katherine Corker at Kenyon College has challenged this assumption: their findings suggest that if you test a group of students at one university, it’s not safe to assume that their average personality profile will match that of a sample of students from a university elsewhere in the same country.

Corker and her colleagues measured the personality of over 8,500 students studying a range of majors (including psychology, business and nutrition) at 30 colleges and universities across 20 different US states. They found some significant differences in average student personality between different sites. The amount of difference that was explained by the site of testing was modest – about 1 to 3 per cent – but Corker and her colleagues said that this “should not be dismissed as necessarily trivial or unimportant”.

Among the site-specific effects, larger universities tended to have more extraverted students; more urban and diverse universities had more open-minded students;  universities requiring letters of recommendation had more agreeable students; public colleges had less agreeable students than private colleges; and more expensive colleges had higher trait Neuroticism. Differences like these could reflect students with particular personality profiles being drawn to particular institutions; selection could be at play, in the sense of university selectors showing a preference for particular personality types; and also students’ personalities could be shaped by the culture of their university.

“All told, these results suggest there is more variability between students at different colleges and universities than some researchers might have expected,” Corker and her team said, though they warned their colleagues not to leap to this finding as an explanation for the replication crisis in psychology (the difficulty labs often have in trying reproduce earlier findings reported by researchers based at another institution), at least not until there is more data and a thorough theory in place to account for the site differences in personality.

It’s a shame the current research didn’t include students studying a more diverse set of subjects, but if anything, this makes it likely the observed between-institution differences are an underestimate. Perhaps for now the lesson to take is that if you’re comparing data from two sets of students at different institutions, it’s unwise to be overconfident about how similar they are likely to be.

College Student Samples Are Not Always Equivalent: The Magnitude of Personality Differences Across Colleges and Universities

Christian Jarrett (@Psych_Writer) is Editor of BPS Research Digest

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BpsResearchDigest/~3/Qg7aBr9iTCg/

NelsonHall Names Unisys an Application Outsourcing Leader

BLUE BELL, Pa., April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Unisys Corporation (UIS) today announced that leading Outsourcing Research and Analysis firm NelsonHall has positioned the company as a Leader in the new NelsonHall Vendor Evaluation and Assessment Tool (NEAT) report on Application Outsourcing.

The report identifies Unisys specifically as a Leader in the “Overall” market segment, stating that the selection “reflects Unisys’ overall ability to meet future client requirements as well as delivering immediate benefits to application outsourcing clients.”

The report also calls out Unisys’ strengths, including its holistic approach to service delivery by integrating infrastructure and application services:

By integrating many of its capabilities into tools (such as ITSM and monitoring) that can span both applications and infrastructure, [Unisys] can present a compelling case for economies of scale.

Unisys’ use of automation and analytics positions it well, and it will be even better positioned once its cognitive solutions are offered later this year. Its parallel efforts to build out toolsets targeted at specific industry needs also represent an important step in evolving its capabilities.

In addition, the report remarks that Unisys provides “[b]road toolset offerings across DevOps” and notes the extra value that Unisys Stealth® micro-segmentation security software – which creates segments within an organization where only authorized users can access information, while others cannot even see that those segments exist – can yield for “target markets such as public sector and FSI [financial services industry].”

“Unisys seeks to differentiate itself in application outsourcing by providing solutions focused on security and integration with the client’s total infrastructure,” said David McIntire, NelsonHall research director and author of the report. “That integrated approach to developing and refining applications is important to enterprise clients in an era when success in digital business depends on marshalling all enabling technologies to deliver new levels of service to customers and seize quickly on continually evolving business opportunities.”

“Unisys is proud to be positioned as a Leader in this influential report,” said Andy Stafford, senior vice president, Services, Unisys. “This recognition demonstrates the value of our approach: providing clients with secure, contemporary applications, tailored to their specific vertical industry, that draw on a range of integrated IT resources to provide a competitive edge in digital business.”

Click here for a copy of the NelsonHall NEAT Report on Application Outsourcing.

Click here for information on Unisys Application Services.

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that specializes in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Unisys offerings include security solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.

Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About NelsonHall

NelsonHall is the leading global BPS and ITS research analysis firm. Founded in 1998, the company takes a global approach to analysis of vendors and outsourcing markets and is widely respected for the quality and depth of its research. NelsonHall also offers a suite of “Speed-to-Source” tools, including NEAT, that assist buy-side executives in saving time and money, while enhancing the quality of their sourcing decisions, in BPS and ITS evaluations.

RELEASE NO.: 0410/9493

Unisys and other Unisys products and services mentioned herein, as well as their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Unisys Corporation. Any other brand or product referenced herein is acknowledged to be a trademark or registered trademark of its respective holder.

UIS-C

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nelsonhall-names-unisys-an-application-outsourcing-leader-300436687.html

Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nelsonhall-names-unisys-application-outsourcing-115600585.html