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Full round-up of the Government’s Work and Parents Green Paper released last week

first_imgElaineAaron, partner oflegal firm Eversheds·       “Theonly new, ground-breaking part is the rights for fathers to work reduced hoursuntil the end of maternity leave. There will be an administrative andlogistical strain for employers if fathers and mothers decide to work reducedhours after the maternity period ends.” Employerstot up leave costsAlarm bellsare ringing over the cost of implementing the Government’s wide-rangingproposals to improve the rights of working parents.Accordingto the Green Paper, it will cost employers £1.9m a week for cover if one infive working fathers reduces their hours by 25 per cent, although no price tagis given if all parents choose to work part time indefinitely. The CBIsays it is opposed to the right of employees to return to work on a part-timebasis, citing lack of flexibility. Also, thechanges will cost employers £40m for eight weeks extra statutory leave, plus£18m for each additional week of cover for paid leave and £9m for eachadditional week of cover for unpaid maternity leave.Thetwo-week paternity leave proposal will cost employees £18m plus £10m for each 1per cent of men who opt to take up their partners’ unpaid maternity leaveallowance. JohnAdsett, head of project development of Basildon Thurrock General HospitalsTrust, said, “If the figures are correct, this is not acceptable to employers.”For thechemicals sector, Garry Bothe, HR manager of Bayer, said, “From a cost point ofview it is not financially viable to opt to reduce your hours if you are afemale director or manager.”TheGovernment argues its Green Paper proposals could save employers up to £30m inrecruitment and retention costs overall, if only 10 per cent per more mothersreturn to work. Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers was adamant thatemployers would have to bite the bullet, saying “Retaining the status quo isnot an option – things have got to change”. Related posts:No related photos. FeedbackMikeEmmott, employeerelations adviser at the CIPD·       “Entitlementto paternity leave is a welcome move in the light of consistent evidence thatfamily-friendly policies and flexible working practices benefit both employersand employees. Benefits include increases through lower absence, turnover andincreased loyalty.” JohnAdsett, head ofproject development at Basildon Thurrock General’s Hospital Trust·       “TheNHS isn’t really ready for introducing two weeks’ paid paternity leave at themoment but if it comes in as a statutory right, we’ll have no choice. Theoption for giving parents the rights to work reduced hours will only work ifthey take reduced pay.” Should firms bear the brunt?Thematernity pay proposals  include anincrease in paid leave for mothers from 18 weeks to 26 weeks. Unpaid maternityleave could increase to six months, and there could also be an increase in theflat rate of maternity, from £60.20 to a possible £100.Bothparents could also equally share any increase on existing unpaid maternityleave. It hassparked a debate over whether employers should bear the costs of extendedmaternity pay. David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy forEngineering Employers’ Federation, said, “The Government has two options: toincrease the statutory maternity pay of £60 which is primarily a cost to beborne by the state, or pay the same amount but for a longer period of time. “About 93per cent of the statutory maternity pay is reimbursed, but this is not a costthat employers should have to bear. If we are acting as a agent of the state,then we should get full reimbursement of what we pay out.” Don Ward, chief executive for theConstruction Industry Board ·       “ThisGreen Paper could be very helpful in construction’s campaign to bring morewomen into the industry. It will give us a level playing field with otherindustries and make us more competitive for good employees.” Full round-up of the Government’s Work and Parents Green Paper released last weekOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today JoannaFoster, chairwomanof the Work-Life Forum at the Industrial Society·       “StephenByers has got the balance of work-life exactly right. By offering men paidpaternity leave, the Government is legitimising the role of the father.”center_img DavidYeandle, deputydirector of employment policy for Engineering Employers’ Federation·       “Theoption of giving both parents the right to work reduced hours after maternityleave raises enormous problems for employers. The idea of giving mothers andfathers a statutory right to return to work on a part-time basis is an area ofconcern as we believe this will have a detrimental effect on businessefficiency and competitiveness.” www.dti.gov.uk/er/review.htm Price tagEmployercosts according to the Green Paper:·       £8m or £200 per employee one-offimplementation cost of proposals·       £5m for each additional £10 a week statutorymaternity pay·       £18m for each additional week of coverneeded for maternity leave ·       £9m For each additional week of coverfor unpaid maternity leave·       £18m paternity leave·       £1.9m for each week of cover if one infive working fathers reduces their hours by 25 per cent HelenFroud, director ofcorporate services at Worcestershire County Council·       “Theincrease in the flat rate of maternity pay may cause some turbulence, but it’snot really a huge amount. If you’re on a reasonable salary, it won’t make muchdifference.” Previous Article Next Article £100 perweek paternity pay-outFatherscould be given two weeks’ paid paternity leave at the same new rate as mothers.It isbelieved they will be paid about £100 a week during their paternity leave. If theGreen Paper becomes law next year, fathers will also have the right to workreduced hours for up to a year after the birth, if they return to work early. Significantly,they will also be able to work reduced hours for as long as they like once thematernity period ends.HelenFroud, director of corporate services at Worcestershire County Council, echoedthe views of many organisations when she said, “Men have been the poorerrelation in parenthood so it is about time things changed for the good.Business will just have to get on with it.”Many largecorporations appear unperturbed by the proposals. David Glynn, HR director ofCoca-Cola, claimed it already has a similar paternity leave structure and doesnot think that extending it would cost the company a significant amount. Althoughcertain sectors with a high number of men in the workforce feared theimplications. Don Ward, chief executive of the Construction Industry Board,said, “Construction employers are probably not ready for two weeks’ paidmaternity leave, but they will just have to adapt.”Public-sectorHR directors were concerned by the effects of paternity leave on staffinglevels. Lew Swift, head of HR at Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery,said, “This is already an industry heavily hit by maternity leave – if men aregiven equal rights as well, the NHS could be in trouble.” Comments are closed. last_img read more

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McNamara Supports Bill Decoupling Teacher Performance From Test Scores

first_imgPosted by: Adam Kern  | Tuesday, January 14, 2020The Indiana House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of a measure co-authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) that would decouple teacher performance evaluations from student test scores.McNamara, the director of Early College High School of Evansville, said House Bill 1002 would remove a state mandate for school districts to use students’ standardized test scores to assess teachers’ overall performance. She said local schools could determine how to use those exam results in educators’ annual evaluations.“There are more ways to measure success in the classroom than students’ standardized test scores,” McNamara said. “This legislation will help our teachers continue to focus on educating our students without worrying about the results from one high-pressure test.”She said these standardized exams currently make up significant portions of teachers’ annual evaluations, which determine where an educator falls on the highly effective to ineffective scale and influences teacher pay.“Hoosier teachers and schools have my support,” McNamara said. “I am in favor of school districts determining the performance of their educators, as they are best positioned to evaluate their work.”House Bill 1002 now moves to the Indiana Senate for further consideration. Visit iga.in.gov for more information about this legislation.FOOTNOTE: State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76, which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties. McNamara Supports Bill Decoupling Teacher Performance From Test Scores FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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“IS IT TRUE” JANUARY 6, 2020

first_imgThe most recent “Readers Poll” results were most interesting? The poll question was “Who would you vote for in the Indiana Attorney General election.”  The poll generated 504 votes.  Embattled Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill received 198 votes and former two-term Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel received 186 votes. The most interesting aspect of this non-scientific but trendy poll was that 121 of our readers don’t want either to be the next AG of Indiana? Today’s “Readers Poll” question is: Who would you like to be the next President of the Evansville City Council? IS IT TRUE that Evansville and Vanderburgh County Indiana has always been accepting of a practice known as “political patronage” when it comes to jobs that are financed fully or partially by public dollars?…it has been so entrenched that a former Evansville Mayor whom we shall not name has been quoted as saying “I get all of the credit and they take all of the blame” to justify appointing his political supporters to jobs under his control? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]: City-County Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site.We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers. IS IT TRUE that many people feel that the 2020 edition of the Evansville City Council will be extremely controversial?  …where is Curt John when we need him? IS IT TRUE last week we predicted that Jim Wood the former CEO and President of the Greater Louisville Convention And Vistors Bureau will be the choice to become the next President and CEO of the Evansville Convention and Vistors Bureau job? …that our “MOLES” were spot on?IS IT TRUE that the Director of Sales and Director of Marketing of the Evansville Convention and Vistors Bureau resigned last week?  …that the new President and CEO of the Evansville Convention and Vistors Bureau will have only two (2), full-time staff members, in his employment when he starts working in a couple of weeks? …we are told that this could be an interesting story if only members of the lackadaisical mainstream media would do a little investigative reporting on this subject?IS IT TRUE there are serious discussions going on between Evansville Convention and Vistors Bureau board members about adding a new assistant position working directly under the President and CEO of the Evansville Convention and Vistors Bureau?IS IT TRUE that the newly appointed President/CEO of the ECVB first order of business is to show supporters of this not-for-profit board that “E Is For Everyone”?  …that the best-known secret in Vanderburgh County is that the ECVB doesn’t have one minority employed within the agency or serving on their Board of Directors?IS IT TRUE that ECVB President John Chaszar and CEO of Tropicana-Evansville has officially submitted his resignation as a member of the ECVB as of last week?  …we guarantee that Mr. Chaszar will be extremely difficult to replace on this politically appointed board because he possesses outstanding business skills?IS IT TRUE that Vanderburgh County Commissioners Cheryl Musgrave (R) and Ben Shoulders (D) are officially running for re-election this year? …that during their past three years of serving together they have accomplished many positive things for the taxpayers of Vanderburgh County?IS IT TRUE that Vanderburgh County Commissioners Cheryl Musgrave and Ben Shoulders were responsible for co-sponsoring the anti-discrimination ordinance via the Human Relations Commission in 2017?IS IT TRUE they County Commissioners Cheryl Musgrave, Ben Shoulders, Bruce Ungethiem (R) and Jeff Hatfield (D) all worked together to approve the largest road repairs and road pavings in county history?IS IT TRUE that the current Vanderburgh County Commissions recently received a statewide award on behalf of the County naming Vanderburgh County with the 2019 “County Service Award” for their 20-year vision via CIP (Capital Improvement Plan)?IS IT TRUE  we have been told that that Ed Bassermier will be announcing that he will be running for an At-Large position on the Vanderburgh County Council? …that Mr. Bassermier has served with distinction as a member of the Vanderburgh County Council for many years? IS IT TRUE when the people fear the Government we have Tyranny!  When the Government fears the people we have Liberty We hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE we been told that the former two-term Democratic Mayor of Evansville Jonathan Weinzapfel recently met with newly elected City Council member Ron Beane and ask him to vote for him for City Council attorney?  …we are told if he votes for former Mayor Weinzapfel that he will be appointed as the 2020 City Council attorney?  …this is a developing story?IS IT TRUE if newly elected City Council member Ron Beane votes for Alex Burton for Evansville City Council President he will be the next President of City Council?last_img read more

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COMMENTARY: SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT WOULD BE DISRESPECTFUL TO NEW BOARD MEMBERS

first_img  The Board would do well to heed the humble sentiments of Superintendent Smith.   Written By: Gail Riecken  Smith seemed so personally embarrassed back then by the offering of a pay raise that he exclaimed in the article, “I know everybody is wired differently,” Smith said. “I get paid a very, very, very good wage. This is about who you get to work with, and where you get to work. That’s a blessing.”    FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare  They should leave his contract alone.  Over the years this Superintendent seems to have established himself with the Board as a reasonable and honest man.     Worse yet, it would be a disrespectful signal to the new Board that they are not worthy of their elected position.  But the Board, if they chose to augment the Superintendent’s contract yet this year, will establish themselves a lasting image as unreasonable and arrogant. They will declare publicly a political option that would be a strong negative for each of those members remaining on the Board as they look at future elections.      Leaving the contract alone is the only the politically responsible and respectful action available for this EVSC Board.   It is not this Board but next year’s new Board that should make any changes to the contract.  The Board, if they chose the right direction and not change the contract this year, will affirm publicly their respect for Superintendent Smith and their respect for the new Board’s right to do what they think should happen with the contract.      I understand the present EVSC School Board and the School Board attorney are hoping to increase the Superintendent’s salary and increase the years of the present contract, a contract signed barely a year ago.      Superintendent Smith’s base salary for 2018 is reported as $218, 545, if a Courier Press article of 2017 is right.last_img read more

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Breaking News: Methodist Hospital Of Henderson Calls Off Public Forum Meeting Scheduled For This…

first_img Methodist Hospital Invites Community Members To submit Comments On Possible Affiliation With Deaconess Health System Due to confidentiality agreements and proprietary matters surrounding a possible affiliation between Methodist Hospital and Deaconess Health System, Methodist Hospital will replace the open forum that was scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 31 with an alternative option. Now through Friday, June 8, Methodist Hospital invites members of the community to submit their comments via email at [email protected] or by private message through the Methodist Hospital Facebook page at facebook.com/methodisthospital.  The Methodist Hospital Board of Directors will review and discuss all comments before a final vote takes place on an affiliation between Methodist Hospital and Deaconess Health System.This option will allow the community more time to voice their thoughts and opinions while also allowing those who would not be able to attend an open forum to be heard.Sincerely,Brandi Schwartz [mailto:[email protected]]FOOTNOTE: For questions regarding this press release, please contact Brandi L. Schwartz at 270-831-7836 or [email protected] FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Whole Foods 365 Store to open in Weehawken, Fall 2018

first_imgWEEHAWKEN — Real estate company Hartz Mountain Industries broke ground on a new Whole Foods Market 365 store within their Lincoln Harbor mixed used-development this week. Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner was also present for the event.On track to open in Fall 2018, the store will be 32,949 square feet, providing fresh, organic foods at lower prices than regular Whole Foods stores.“This is an important piece of the overall puzzle as we continue to create what we believe is the region’s premier live, work, shop, dine and play destination,” saidGus Milano, President and CEO of Hartz Mountain Industries, in the release. “Public amenities and services are an important part of that formula, and adding a Whole Foods Market 365 store to the mix will go a long way to serving not only the residents of our adjacent luxury Estuary residential building, but all future residential projects, commercial employees and the greater Weehawken and New Jersey Gold Coast communities as well.”“Whole Foods Market 365 will be a great addition to the entire community and will benefit all Weehawken Township residents,” Turner said.Located on the Weehawken waterfront, the store site is directly across from the Lincoln Harbor Light Rail station. NY Waterway ferry service to Manhattan is also nearby. ×last_img read more

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Six years a hostage

first_imgOne moment she was stumping on the campaign trail, and the next she was a guerrilla hostage. Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt described the physical and mental torment of spending more than six years in captivity during her remarks Wednesday (Dec. 8) at Harvard’s Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS).Rescued by the Colombian army in 2008, it was apparent that the emotional wounds from her ordeal were still fresh as Betancourt discussed her struggles — with the guards, with other hostages, and within herself — that marked the slow passage of years in jungle deprivation.Betancourt’s story was elicited through questions from History Professor Caroline Elkins, chair of the Committee on Ethnic Studies, which, along with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, sponsored the event. Betancourt’s appearance followed the release of her account of the ordeal, “Even Silence has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle.”Betancourt was a presidential candidate in 2002 for Colombia’s Green Oxygen Party, traveling in territory where an armed guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), was operating. After being denied the military escort she had been promised, Betancourt decided to push ahead and soon was captured at a FARC checkpoint.“I was thrown, like the snap of a finger, from civilization to prehistoric living,” Betancourt said.She was rescued along with several other hostages when Colombian army personnel disguised as FARC soldiers pretended they were taking the hostages to meet international humanitarian workers, loaded them on a helicopter, and flew them to freedom. Betancourt was very ill at the time and suffering from hepatitis.Betancourt described the brutality of their teenage guards, but much of the hostages’ ire was directed not at the guards but at each other. Betancourt, who has been criticized by other hostages for her behavior, didn’t duck Elkins’ questions about the subject, saying the hostages couldn’t vent their frustration and anger on the guards — who could shoot them — and so turned on each other.Elkins, who reviewed Betancourt’s book for The New York Times in September, observed that Betancourt’s account deals not only with what happened, but also with her internal struggle during that time. Elkins said the book was not only an account of self-discovery but also a “devastating self-critique.”Betancourt, who drew a capacity crowd to the CGIS’s Tsai Auditorium, said writing the book was a kind of torture in itself. Each day, she had to sit down to write and return to the jungle, relive what happened to her, and confront her own behavior. During this process, Betancourt said, she struggled with whether she should leave out less-flattering incidents, but once having written them down, elected to leave them in. The process, she said, was a way for her to tell her family what happened, something she was unable to do talking to them after her rescue.“I couldn’t talk about it because of the emotions I had and because of the emotions they had,” Betancourt said. “The process of writing was torture, forcing myself every day to go back into the jungle into that situation.”Betancourt said she went through a process of forgiveness, first for herself and then for others.Though her internal journey took up a good portion of the discussion, she also recounted the physical deprivations and hardships, which were considerable. Hostages were pushed on forced marches further and further into the jungle. She was held with other hostages in close quarters, where the boredom and constant threat of violence kept them on each others’ nerves. They were never allowed to settle, and each morning had to pack up their belongings in case the army got too close and they had to flee. Each afternoon, they’d unpack again, whether they moved or not.She was eventually kept at a makeshift prison camp with other hostages, including three American contractors, one of whom clashed repeatedly with her. The guards were changed periodically, and each time new guards arrived she observed a gradual but steady transition in their attitudes toward the prisoners, from kind to brutal, a transition she attributed to the effects of having total power over another.Betancourt repeatedly tried to escape, but was captured and punished each time — chained by the neck to a tree after one attempt. She spoke of the relief she obtained from reading the Bible and said one kind guard taught her to weave a belt.Through it all, Betancourt said, the memory of her children and family — her father died while she was in captivity — kept her going.“My driving force was my love for my children,” Betancourt said.Harvard History Professor Caroline Elkins (left) speaks with Ingrid Betancourt. Elkins reviewed Betancourt’s book, “Even Silence has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle,” for The New York Times.last_img read more

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Connectivity Made Simple with MyService360

first_imgInclusion of Additional ProductsYour inventory list in the ‘Connectivity’ section will now include software products that are capable of connecting home (i.e. sending files home to Dell EMC).  Review the ‘Not Connected’ view within this section (Figure 2) to see which of your hardware and software products are capable of connecting home to Dell EMC, and take action to connect your systems appropriately. Dell EMC recommends connecting your eligible systems via ESRS v3 to maximize your product performance.  Learn more about this proactive, remote monitoring capability and how to get connected below.New Representation of Connection TypesThe connection types displayed within your view have now been grouped as ‘ESRS’ and ‘Other’, helping you to hone in on the most relevant information to you.  Reference the products in the ‘Connected’ section with an ‘Other’ connection to identify opportunities for an upgrade to ESRS for optimal connectivity.  You can reference a list of ESRS-supported products here.Note: The ‘Connected via Other’ category includes email, dial home, and connection channels for products acquired by legacy EMC. While these are valid connection channels, ESRS is considered the gold-standard of connectivity for your eligible legacy EMC products.Get Connected with Secure Remote Services (ESRS)Prevent unplanned interruptions to your data and IT environment, by connecting your eligible products with ESRS v3.  Secure Remote Services (ESRS v3) is a highly secure, two-way remote connection between your legacy EMC products and Dell EMC Customer Service.  By enabling continuous remote monitoring and proactive remote troubleshooting, ESRS helps ensure the health of your environment behind the scenes, so you can focus on your business objectives.  ESRS also enriches your MyService360 experience by creating a consistent, secure data feed back to Dell EMC, ensuring that the data you access, such as code levels, is current and high-value.Let Dell EMC help take the guesswork out of maintaining a healthy IT environment.  Visit the getting started page and enable ESRS v3 for your eligible products listed as ‘Not Connected’ in the ‘Connectivity’ section of MyService360, today.Need Help?Reference the ESRS Forum within the Dell EMC Community Network for quick guides and reference materials when connecting your systems with ESRS.Ensuring the accuracy of your data is our priority.  Please open a Service Request if you have any data-specific questions.Should you have any other questions or feedback on your online experience, please submit them through the Help and Feedback form.For detailed instructions on using the ‘Connectivity’ section of MyService360, please visit the Help Page.Lauren ContiDell EMCProduct Marketing ManagerFollow us @DellEMCSupport While product connectivity plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy IT environment, Dell EMC knows it can be complicated at times to understand all of its facets. You may find yourself asking questions like “What does it mean if my product is ‘connected’?”, “How do I know which of my products can get connected?”, or “How do I connect my systems?”. To address these questions and create a simpler, more transparent online service experience, Dell EMC has introduced a revised set of data rules and definitions for the ‘Connectivity’ section of your MyService360 dashboard.Key Elements of Your Enhanced ‘Connectivity’ View: ConnectedDell EMC has received an incoming file(s) – i.e. the product has ‘connected home’ – via ESRS, email, or other connection channel.There are two product-specific exceptions to this definition:Isilon – As Isilon products are clustered systems, the connectivity status of an Isilon product is determined at the cluster level.Data Domain – Unless reconfigured to adopt ESRS connectivity, the device may be presumed to be connected due to a proprietary connectivity solution integrated into Data Domain devices. Simplified Definition of ConnectivityTo make it easier to quickly assess which of your products are connected, the ‘Connectivity’ section of MyService360 now uses these more straightforward connection status definitions for your products: Not ConnectableYour system is not capable of sending file(s) or device data to Dell EMC.With some product exceptions, your system may be connected via a related system, for example, a clustered configuration.center_img Not ConnectedDell EMC has not received an incoming file(s) via ESRS, email or other connection channel.Note: You may have declined the option to send system files or device data to Dell EMC, or you have not yet established connectivity with Dell EMC for your device.  Read on to learn how to connect your eligible systems. Please note that the following information pertains to your legacy EMC Install Base.  Connectivity is defined using different parameters for your legacy Dell equipment.  Modified Connectivity MeasurementWith these revised data rules and definitions surrounding connectivity, your connectivity rates will now be measured based on the total population of products in your Install Base that are capable of connecting home.  Please note that this modified measurement may adjust the percentages of ‘Connected’ and ‘Not Connected’ systems you see in the initial ‘Connectivity at a Glance’ view within this section (Figure 1).last_img read more

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Credit union leaders bring ‘robust agenda’ to CUNA GAC Hill visits

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Nearly 5,000 credit union leaders will bring a robust agenda to members of the U.S. Congress and other policymakers at CUNA’s upcoming Governmental Affairs Conference , says CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan.In CUNA’s “The Weekly Legislative Update,” Donovan highlights how GAC participants will come ready to talk about preserving the credit union tax status, stopping merchant data breaches and improving merchant data security standards, and enacting credit union regulatory relief in the wake of Dodd-Frank and other rulemakings.“Credit unions weren’t part of the problem (which caused the economic downturn), but they’re certainly being impacted by the solution to the problem. We need to tell Congress to remove those barriers and let credit unions serve their members–that’s the key message we’re going to be delivering at the GAC,” Donovan says in the update. continue reading »last_img read more

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Families enjoy first ever Visions of Christmas in the Park

first_imgENDWELL (WBNG) — From crafts to pictures with Santa, the first ever Visions of Christmas event was all about holiday cheer. “We’re here for the winter fun, for the holiday activities and to bring the little one to have fun,” said Karen Gonzalez of Port Crane. “We’ve been very busy today we’ve had cookie decorating lots of crafts of course Santa is here with his elves,” said DeHate. The event was a collaborative effort between Visions Federal Credit Union and the Town of Union. “I was trying to hang out with my family and my Nana told me this was a good park to sled at and we’re just ready to have some fun,” said Serenity Slater of Whitney Point. “It’s wonderful to bring the families out for things to do its very very nice our communities need more things like this,” said Gonzalez. The event at Visions included a visit from Santa as well as some balloon twisters. Meanwhile at Highland Park, the holiday fun continued with outdoor activities including a mechanical reindeer. Also a sense of community, no matter the weather. “We’ve had an event here from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and up at Highland Park they have festivities starting at 2:30,” said Mandy DeHate of Visions Federal Credit Union. Having fun seemed to be a common theme for everyone who stopped by Highland Park Sunday afternoon. “Being a part of the Town of Union we thought it was really important to have a collaborative event,” DeHate said. The event also included a tree lighting and fireworks show.last_img read more