Friday, August 29, 2008

The Cornell Daily Sun, August 29, 2008, Friday

The Cornell Daily Sun

August 29, 2008, Friday

The Cornell Daily Sun

C.U. Population Program Receives Gov’t Grant

By Brian Karlovitz

The Cornell Population Program’s progress toward its goal of becoming a leading center for national and international demographic research has been significantly boosted by a $1.15 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

Each year, the NIH’s Demographic and Behavioral Science Branch awards one such grant to a new program showing the greatest promise of becoming a top population research center. The grant money, which began to flow on August 15 of this year, will be spread over a five-year period.

It will be used to support the development of the CPP’s infrastructure as well as its research, which focuses on three main areas: families and children, health behaviors and disparities, and poverty and inequality.

Prof. H. Elizabeth Peters, policy analysis and management, and director of the CPP, explained that the grant money will be used to support the CPP in several important ways.

“The NIH awards this grant to generate infrastructure growth through the support of several core services,” she explained. “The biggest part of this grant is used to support what is called the development core, which refers to activities used to promote population research, such as the awarding of seed grants to researchers and the organization of working groups on key subjects.”

Peters said that the money will also be used to enhance the computing and statistics cores, which provide workshops and support services to aid the demographic research of the CPP’s 71 faculty associates, who hail from 16 departments and programs as diverse as Labor Economics and Neurobiology and Behavior.

The CPP was founded in 2007 to coordinate and promote domestic and international population research, to facilitate the acquisition of research funding, to enhance interdisciplinary training and to turn research into policy recommendations.

It is physically and administratively tied to the College of Human Ecology’s Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center which, in the words of Prof. Dan Lichter, policy analysis and management, and director of the BLCC, as well as associate director of the CPP, “is the administrative umbrella for the CPP, the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging, and the Applied Demographic Program.”

Lichter explained that the CPP plays an integral role within the BLCC, helping to expand its research focus.

“My goal as director of the BLCC has been to broaden the research mission of the Center by supplementing historical interests in aging and child development with a new focus on health, poverty, and other related research subjects,” he said.

Lichter explained that the themes of CPP research, which include public policy, racial and ethnic diversity, migration and immigration, social and biological mechanisms, and national and international research, help to achieve his goal of expanding and modernizing the BLCC’s research interests.

He, too, stressed the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the CPP’s operation.

“We see the CPP specifically and the BLCC generally as places to generate new synergies on campus among different departments and individuals interested in social science research, places for researchers who might otherwise not meet to gather and engage in cooperative scholarship,” Lichter said.

The CPP receives additional funding from a seed grant awarded by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Social Sciences, which includes funds from the College of Human Ecology, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Although there is currently no undergraduate major in demographics or population studies, the field intersects with existing programs of study, such as Industrial and Labor Relations, Sociology, and Policy Analysis and Management.

News of the grant received positive feedback.

Pyrs Carvolth ‘11, said, “Our founders said, ‘Any person, any study,’ and strengthening the field of population research at Cornell will only make our school more attractive to future students.”

Prof. John M. Abowd, industrial and labor relations and a member of the CPP’s executive board, sees the winning of the grant as a key victory for the CPP.

“This grant is recognition of the work that’s already been going on here,” he said.

To create a winning program, he explained, “You have to begin with a core of researchers who have been successful at winning research grants,” he said, “… then add to that core, the type of superstructure that can be developed through grants such as this one.”

Both Abowd and Peters expressed hope that the CPP will become prominent enough in a few years to win a second, larger type of NIH grant that provides funding to centers that have already established themselves as leaders in population research.

Peters said, “This grant will give the CPP an opportunity to prove that it has what it takes to become a national and international leader in population research and also to secure additional funding from the NIH in the future.”

Business Week, August 28, 2008, Thursday

Business Week

August 28, 2008, Thursday

Business Week

A Law That Could Give Labor Some Brawn

If the Democrats take over in Washington, a bill is likely to pass that would allow workers to unionize if a simple majority sign authorization cards

by Moira Herbst

Almost two years ago, Cathy Curran voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. A driver for Fed­Ex Home Delivery, Curran says she felt management was ignoring workers' concerns about long shifts and unexplained deductions from paychecks, and she sought to form a union to gain leverage. In October 2006 a majority of workers at her Wilmington (Mass.) terminal voted to join the union. But even though the U.S. National Labor Relations Board certified the election and told FedEx to bargain, Curran is still not a Teamster: Fed­Ex (FDX) won't recognize the union and is appealing the certification in federal court. "FedEx refused to bargain because these workers are contractors, not employees," company spokesman Maury Lane says. "It's not against the law to work for yourself, which is why more than 10 million Americans pursue that work lifestyle every day."

For FedEx and other companies, such a situation would change under the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bill being pushed by labor groups. It would allow workers to skip the lengthy process of an NLRB election and unionize if a simple majority sign authorization cards. The system, dubbed "card check," also calls for unresolved conflicts to be adjudicated by a federal mediator who would issue binding arbitration if the sides can't reach an agreement. The bill boosts penalties for illegal acts by employers during union drives, which would cause them to tread more carefully when talking to employees.

"France in the U.S."
Home Depot (HD) co-founder Bernie Marcus says he is shocked at how little business leaders know about EFCA. "This bill is going to create France in the U.S.," Marcus said on July 22 on CNBC. Home Depot spokesman Ron DeFeo says the retailer plans to educate salaried managers about the bill in the fall. This being an election year, the legislation has become the central issue in the tussle between labor and business. Will American unions retool and grow, or continue their long decline toward oblivion? As the economy has shed manufacturing jobs and embraced a more service-intensive, contract-labor model, unions' ranks have dwindled. Today, just 7.5% of private sector workers belong to unions.

Plenty of companies would like to keep it that way. They see in card check a path toward more unions and expensive new contracts. The bill also mandates binding arbitration within 120 days of a card-check union action. Additionally, employers found to have unlawfully fired pro-union employees would be fined three times the amount of the back pay owed the workers. Current penalties are minimal. Michael J. Lotito, a labor attorney at Jackson Lewis, says certain industries in a "sweet spot" for organizing, such as health care, hospitality, and retail, need to pay special attention to the bill. Experts say EFCA may be the unions' only chance to reverse course.

Unions—which are expected to spend $300 million on efforts to elect Democrats—are battling employer-backed lobbying groups such as the Center for Union Facts and Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. Some companies have taken their advocacy a step further by reaching out to employees. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is warning managers that if Democrats win in November, union gains could mean fewer jobs because of higher labor costs. In response, union groups have filed a complaint against Wal-Mart with the Federal Election Commission. The retailer denies any wrongdoing.

Worker Coercion is the Norm
For union advocates, EFCA is the No. 1 legislative priority because they say the current union election system favors employers. Employers have access to workers on the job while unions can only contact them off-site. According to research conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago, 91% of employers require employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors during union organizing drives. It also found that when faced with organizing efforts, 30% of employers fire pro-union workers, 49% threaten to close the worksite, and 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with bribery or favoritism.

Other academic studies support these findings. Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor studies education at Cornell University, says employer intimidation to discourage unionization is the norm rather than the exception. "One thing that stands out in the research is how routine this all is," she says. "These elections haven't been free or fair in the 20 years I have studied them. During an organizing drive, the workplace is a totally coercive environment; workers are not making a free choice."

Research shows that fear of employer retaliation is one of the main reasons workers don't join a union, so EFCA's protections could clear the way for more union wins. "There are always eulogies about the labor movement," says Clete Daniel, a Cornell University history professor. "But while it's been battered, the idea of workplace democracy has not been drained of its last ounce of vitality."

Herbst is a reporter for in New York.

ABC News, August 26, 2008, Tuesday

ABC News

August 26, 2008, Tuesday

ABC News

Some D.C. Students to Be Paid for A's
Middle School Students Get Cash to Show Up, Study and Not Goof Off


Will middle school students hit the books, show up on time and be on their best behavior if they're getting paid?

As Washington, D.C., students start back to school this week, that's the thinking behind a new program just launched in the district. As early as October at 14 of 28 D.C. middle schools, students will get paid to perform as part of a pilot program that rewards kids for good grades, attendance and behavior.

Kids could rake in up to $100 per month, getting paid every two weeks through the program.

"These short-term incentives … are intended to ultimately spark our students' long-term interest in their own education," said D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee in a statement last Thursday.

Paying students to perform isn't entirely novel. Washington's program is part of a spreading experimental movement to inspire children to learn. But some argue that the financial incentive is too radical and that students shouldn't be paid to do what many of their peers, and their parents, have done for free.

I understand their reasoning for offering financial incentives, and I understand the chancellor's point that a lot of families do offer their own incentives, and this is to even the playing field, but I don't think it's the schools decision to offer that," Faye Brenner, a mother and educator in nearby Fairfax County, Va., told Monday.

Former D.C. public school teacher Jamie Welsh, who taught first grade at Whittier Elementary for four years, said her initial reaction was that paying students was a terrible idea. But Welsh said she has started to warm up to the proposal, adding that parents don't always encourage and motivate children enough at home.

"No one wants to motivate kids with money," Welsh said to "I would really try hard not to motivate kids by bribing them. You always want the intrinsic motivation, you always want kids to be motivated by themselves. But that takes parents."

Whether the program will churn out more high-performing, studious children remains to be seen.

But some data suggest that cash for kids can bring results. A study released in the fall issue of Education Next, published by the Hoover Institution, an organization addressing school reform, concluded that paying high school students -- at least those at the Advanced Placement level -- could be an "exceptionally good investment."

Study author and Cornell economist C. Kirabo Jackson analyzed what happened at schools in Texas for two years after the incentive program started in 1996. He found a 30 percent increase n the number of people who received scores of 1,100 on the SAT and 24 on the ACT.

"My evidence suggests that these outcomes are likely the result of stronger encouragement from teachers and guidance counselors to enroll in AP courses, better information provided to students, and changes in teacher and peer norms," Jackson wrote of his research.

Meantime, Brenner, an advanced academic program specialist who supervises AP courses for Fairfax County, said advanced courses already have a built-in pay-off for students and parents because high scores could earn them scholarships to college.

"I would assume that if you give students financial incentives for APs or for staying in school and having good attendance, it's going to work," Brenner said. "I just would like to think that there are other ways of doing it."

Brenner said the Fairfax school system has decided not to use its grant money for financial incentives and uses funds for efforts like staff development instead.

The D.C. pilot program rests on the hope that rewarding students who have not yet entered high school could motivate them at a critical age before they lose interest.

A report put together for a pilot program called Spark, for younger students in New York City, also cited research suggesting that group average test scores for third through seventh graders in the Bronx during the 2004-2005 school year improved when kids were rewarded with things like pizza parties, ice cream and tickets to the zoo.

Bear Paul, formerly a middle school teacher at Hart Middle School in Washington, D.C., said he likes "the idea to get out of the box."

"I like the bravery in doing it," said Paul, now a middle and high school math teacher at The Field School in Washington, D.C. "It seems like they're saying, 'We're not ok with status quo.'"

Still, Paul added that the incentive program should be accompanied by extensive teacher training.

Had this been the case in his classroom, "There could have been a lot of pressure on the teacher over this and I'd love to have had a very prescribed, kind of, what the parameters are for the system," he said. "I really like the fact that they're at least putting aggressive systems in to kind of guide the system to where they want to be going."

The Courier-Journal (Louisville), August 22, 2008, Friday

Copyright 2008 The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

All Rights Reserved

The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)

August 22, 2008 Friday

METRO Edition


HEADLINE: Teamsters halt truck shipments

BYLINE: Jere Downs The Courier-Journal


Strike continues

outside Ford plant

{}The Courier-Journal

Teamsters Local 89 members began the fourth day of a strike yesterday, halting the shipment of Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks from the Kentucky Truck Plant.

It is uncertain how Ford Motor Co. will move the trucks to dealers.

"These people on the picket line are not asking for higher wages or better health care," Ken Lauersdorf, the union local's business agent, said as he manned a line on Westport Road.

Behind the picket line were the former offices of Auto Port, the Flat Rock, Mich., subcontractor that Ford apparently let go Tuesday as a result of the dispute.

When Auto Port was awarded the contract from Ford to take over work performed by RCS Transportation at the Kentucky Truck and Louisville Assembly plants in June, Teamsters were earning between $20 and $22 per hour. Concessions negotiated to keep those jobs lowered their pay to between $17 and $18 per hour, but maintained health-care and pension benefits.

The strike began Monday after Auto Port said it would not accept the Teamsters' National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement, according to Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman.

Auto Port officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment yesterday.

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski declined to comment further on the strike yesterday. She has previously said the automaker is committed to keeping production going at both plants.

Teamsters stopped picketing outside the Louisville Assembly Plant yesterday when it became clear that Auto Port had moved out, Zuckerman said. The plant begins a three-week shutdown today because of sagging demand for Ford Explorers.

Production continues at the truck plant, albeit on one shift also caused by lower demand. As a result, new Super Duty trucks are being stored in parking lots around the plant, protected by fences erected this week. Ford makes about 2,800 Super Duty trucks at the plant each week.

While Zuckerman claimed Wednesday that United Auto Workers union members might be trained by Auto Port to do Teamster work, he said yesterday that UAW officials had informed him that the automaker was trying to hire a new transportation subcontractor.

"The UAW is trying to do everything they can to benefit the Teamsters," UAW Local 862 President Rocky Comito said yesterday.

For the time being, the Teamsters will still block the gates to the truck plant railyard, Zuckerman said.

If a new transportation provider is chosen, he added, "you have to find out if they are interested. Then you have to come to terms."

All sides in the dispute have different motives that produced Auto Port's ouster from Louisville, said Richard Hurd, a labor relations professor at Cornell University.

Of Ford's decision to let Auto Port go, Hurd said, "Ford is not going to ask for a fight with labor unions. In fact, they actually have a pro active attitude that they would rather work with unions and develop a productive relationship and be successful that way.

"Of all the auto companies," Hurd noted, "Ford has by far most embraced a high-road approach."

As for the Teamsters, they must protect their national labor agreement at all costs, he said.

Teamsters "know they will dominate the work for delivering Ford cars and trucks. They are not going to accept any arrangement with an employer that undercuts their master agreement."

The UAW finds itself in the tightest spot.

Federal law, and the union's contract with Ford, prevents the union from joining Teamsters on the picket line. And the UAW doesn't want to pick a fight, Hurd said.

"They won't try to tread on Teamsters' turf," he said.

Reporter Jere Downs can be reached at (502) 582-4669.

LOAD-DATE: August 23, 2008

The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2008, Thursday

The Wall Street Journal

August 21, 2008, Thursday

The Wall Street Jouranl

When Schools Offer Money As a Motivator
More Districts Use Incentives To Reward Top Test Scores; So Far, Results Are Mixed


More and more school districts are banking on improving student performance using cash incentives -- a $1,000 payout for high test scores, for example. But whether they work is hard to say.

In the latest study of student-incentive programs, researchers examining a 12-year-old program in Texas found that rewarding pupils for achieving high scores on tough tests can work. A handful of earlier studies of programs in Ohio, Israel and Canada have had mixed conclusions; results of a New York City initiative are expected in October. Comparing results is further complicated by the fact that districts across the country have implemented the programs differently.

Still, school administrators and philanthropists have pushed to launch pay-for-performance programs at hundreds of schools in the past two years. Advocates say incentives are an effective way to motivate learning -- especially among poor and minority students -- and reward teaching skills. Critics argue that the programs don't fix underlying problems, such as crowded classrooms or subpar schools.

In Texas, high-school students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes who got top scores on math, science and English tests were paid up to $500. (AP classes are considered more difficult than traditional high school curricula, and some colleges award credit for AP coursework.) The research, by C. Kirabo Jackson, an economics professor at Cornell University, found that over time, more students took Advanced Placement courses and tests, and that more graduating seniors attended college. Most of the gains came from minority students in the 40 high schools studied, accounting for about 70,000 students in all. The study, set for release on Thursday, will appear in the fall issue of Education Next, a journal published by Stanford University's Hoover Institution.


Ways schools are rewarding students:
• Schools in Texas and six other states reward high scores on AP tests with up to $500. New York City schools award up to $1,000.
• Students in Baltimore, New York City and Coshocton, Ohio, get cash for scoring well on standardized exams.
• Perfect attendance comes with cash for some students in Chelsea, Mass., and Tucson, Ariz.

"There's a lot of buzz about pay-for-performance, but we still only have a small amount of studies on these programs, and a lot of them don't come from the U.S.," says Jonah Rockoff, a professor of finance and economics at Columbia University who is familiar with Mr. Jackson's research. "I think he's done a very careful job of doing the evaluation," he adds, noting that the study was not a true randomized experiment.

Previous data collected by the nonprofit Advanced Placement Strategies Inc., which runs the Texas program, found that in the 10 schools where it was initially launched, passing AP test scores doubled in the first year, quadrupled in the second year and have continued to increase. The program is now used in 61 schools statewide.

But exactly how much the cash incentives contributed to the improvements remains unclear. Teachers in these districts received additional training and bonuses of up to $10,000 when their students scored well. So it's inconclusive whether paying the students, rewarding the teachers or a combination of these led to the improved test scores.

In New York City, 31 high schools with large populations of poor and minority students last school year offered rewards of up to $1,000 for passing AP tests. In some subjects, such as chemistry, the number of passing scores leapt by as much as 82%. But overall, the number of students who passed AP tests slightly decreased from year ago. On Wednesday, nearly $1 million in private funds was awarded to 1,161 students. Starting this fall, additional teacher training will be offered.

"If we are going to invest, why don't we invest in something that we know does work, like reducing class size or extended learning time?" asks Pedro Noguera, a New York University sociology professor, who is critical of cash-incentive programs. Many students have trouble learning because they "are just not going to good schools, and no incentive is going to fix that," he says.

This school year, six states -- Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia -- will begin replicating the Texas program, each with five-year grants of $13 million from the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit organization launched last year with funding from Exxon Mobil Corp. and other private sources. About a dozen schools in each state are participating this school year, with plans to add more in following years.

The cash helped persuade Christopher Means, a senior at Marion County High School in Lebanon, Ky., to take his first AP classes. "It's definitely piqued more interest [in AP classes] than it has in the past," he says.

Overall, 60% more students will take AP courses at the participating schools in the six states this year over last year, says Tom Luce, chief executive of the initiative and a former official with the Department of Education. The organization plans to expand to 20 states within five years.

The initiative hopes eventually to expand nationwide. "I'm not Pollyannish -- it is not going to happen overnight, but it's certainly our goal," Mr. Luce says.

Previous studies of cash-incentive student programs have shown mixed results.

"It's harder than we thought it was going to be," says Joshua Angrist, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who has co-authored two studies on cash-incentive programs, one at Israeli high schools and another at a Canadian university. He found that females respond better to cash incentives than do males. Researchers in Texas and Ohio found no significant gender difference in scores.

Stanford professor Eric Bettinger, one of Dr. Angrist's former students, is studying elementary schools at Coshocton, Ohio, where students are offered up to $20 for high test scores. Students there did significantly better on standardized math tests, but there was no effect on science, reading or social-science tests.

Many researchers and policymakers are looking to Roland G. Fryer, an economics professor at Harvard and "chief equality officer" of the New York City public schools. He oversees a privately funded program in New York City separate from the AP rewards program. In the Fryer initiative, about 10,000 elementary and middle school students earn cash and prepaid cell phones for high state test scores and good grades. He recently launched a study of the program and expects the initial results to be complete by October.

One question is whether gains attributed to cash incentives will continue if students no longer are offered rewards.

"You pay a price in motivation," says Barry Schwartz, a cognitive psychology professor at Swarthmore College. Cash incentives could ultimately diminish students' desire to learn for non-financial reasons, he says.

Dr. Fryer says he's just looking for anything that will improve student achievement, particularly for low-income and minority students: "If [incentives] don't work, I'm going to be the first person to call a press conference and tell everyone to stop."

Write to Jeremy Singer-Vine at

Friday, August 15, 2008

Healthcare Finance, Tax & Law Weekly, August 20, 2008, Wednesday

Copyright 2008 Healthcare Finance, Tax & Law Weekly via via and

Healthcare Finance, Tax & Law Weekly

August 20, 2008, Wednesday


HEADLINE: AETNA; Aetna's Williams and Wright Named to Savoy Professional Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America"


Aetna's (NYSE:AET), Ronald A. Williams, Chairman and CEO, and Elease E. Wright, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, have been named to Savoy Professional Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America."

According to Savoy, the list contains a cross section of national and international business leaders and executives who help better their community and inspire others while demonstrating a strong work ethic and community commitment (see also Aetna).

Aetna, with 35,000 employees nationwide and with new offices in Europe and China, has consistently been recognized by national organizations as one of the best companies to work for and as a leading national employer.

Ron Williams is a strong proponent of meaningful health care reform in America by serving as a catalyst for positive change, focusing on creating innovation in the industry -- especially through information technology, and bringing new levels of transparency to the health care system. He was an early advocate in calling for an individual coverage requirement to expand access to health care and provide assistance to those who truly cannot afford it. His guided efforts launched a new era of transparency in the health care marketplace which provides consumer information on access to cost-effective, quality care.

Throughout his Aetna career, Mr. Williams has been outspoken in making the business case for quality in health care. More recently, he led efforts to develop industry standards for electronic personal health records, which provide a new way for consumers to be more engaged in their health care.

Mr. Williams also lends his time and expertise to a number of organizations, such as the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare, which he currently chairs. He is a trustee of The Conference Board and the Connecticut Science Center Board, a member of the Business Council and Business Roundtable, and a member of the Board of Directors of American Express Company. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he serves on the MIT Sloan Dean's Advisory Council, and he is a member of the Alfred P. Sloan Management Society.

As Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Elease Wright is a recognized leader who has helped transform Aetna's workforce into a best-in-class, high-performing and diverse organization by effectively partnering with and supporting both business goals and community needs. She was recently inducted as a member of the prestigious National Academy of Human Resources and is an active volunteer in numerous community, academic, and non-profit organizations including serving on the board of advisors for the University of Connecticut School of Business, and is a past board member for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Ms. Wright also serves on the advisory board for Cornell University's Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, and is past president of the Hartford Region YWCA board of directors. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business, and one of Black Enterprise's Top 50 Blacks in Corporate America.

Keywords: Aetna.

This article was prepared by Healthcare Finance, Tax & Law Weekly editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2008, Healthcare Finance, Tax & Law Weekly via

LOAD-DATE: August 14, 2008

The Houston Chronicle, August 13, 2008, Wednesday

Copyright 2008 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company

All Rights Reserved

The Houston Chronicle

August 13, 2008, Wednesday


HEADLINE: Two nurses say union agreement violates federal rules



Two registered nurses in Houston allege a neutrality agreement dictating the terms of union organizing at two local hospitals violates federal rules prohibiting company-picked unions and improperly restricts nurses from speaking out against the union.

On Tuesday, the nurses who work for two Tenet Healthcare hospitals in Houston filed unfair labor practice charges against the California Nurses Association and Tenet with the National Labor Relations Board.

They say the agreement negotiated between the union and Tenet - which gave the union names and addresses of the nurses along with meeting space - discriminated against nurses who opposed the union by not giving them equal meeting room space.

The agreement also subverts the board's role by stipulating that an arbitrator will resolve conflicts rather than federal board representatives, according to the charges that were prepared with the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

The dispute revolves around union activities at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center and Park Plaza Hospital.

The California Nurses Association won an election in March when the nurses at Cy Fair voted to join the union.

"The nurses wanted substantive pay raises, retiree health benefits, nurse-to-patient staffing based on acuity and other benefits guaranteed in a contract," according to David Monkawa, regional organizing director of the California Nurses Association's National Nurses Organizing Committee Texas.

Monkawa referred the charges as a "publicity stunt."

Employees are entitled to a fair procedure, including determinations by the board who is entitled to vote and who is a supervisor, said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for Virginia-based National Right to Work.

"There was a counting of ballots, but it's not clear there was a fair election process," he said.

Tenet declined to comment.

Currently, the California Nurses Association is trying to organize the 260 nurses at Park Plaza. Union officials have until the end of August to decide whether they have enough support to schedule a secret ballot election, Monkawa said.

Richard Hurd, a labor studies professor at Cornell University, doesn't see the charges sticking because from what he knows about the situation, nothing violates federal labor law.

"In my view, it's pure annoyance," Hurd said.

However, Michael Muskat, an employment lawyer in Houston who represents management, sees the charges as an attack on neutrality agreements.

The law on neutrality agreements is still developing, and right-to-work and some employer groups would like to see regulators clamp down on them, according to Muskat, who is not involved in this case.

The nurses involved are Esther Marissa Cuellar, a Cy Fair nurse, and Park Plaza nurse Linda Bertrand.


LOAD-DATE: August 14, 2008

Targeted News Service, August 13, 2008, Wednesday

Copyright 2008 HT Media Ltd.

All Rights Reserved

Targeted News Service

August 13, 2008, Wednesday


BYLINE: Targeted News Service



The University of Nebraska issued the following news release:

Commentator, author and adviser to presidents David Gergen will give the first lecture in the 2008-09 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The year's theme is "Democracy's Future," and the slate of speakers will explore a cross-section of themes related to leadership, globalization, citizenship and governance.

Gergen's lecture, "Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership," will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St. Gergen served as director of communications for Ronald Reagan and also held positions in the Nixon, Ford and Clinton administrations. He serves as editor-at-large at U.S. News and World Report. He is also a professor of public service at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership. In 2000, he published the best-selling book "Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership Nixon to Clinton."

Other lecturers in the forum's season are Ronald Dworkin, professor of law at New York University and University College London, former speechwriter for President Kennedy and Nebraska native Ted Sorenson, former president of South Africa F. W. de Klerk, journalist and activist Sarah Chayes, and Colin Campbell, chairman and president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The season will also feature the second annual Charles and Linda Wilson Dialogue on Domestic Issues, with a discussion of illegal immigration by Michael Olivas, William B. Bates distinguished chair of law at the University of Houston and Vernon Briggs, professor emeritus of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

All Thompson Forum lectures will be delivered in the Lied Center. They are free and open to the public, however all events will be ticketed. Tickets are free and guarantee a reserved seat. Beginning Aug. 18, those interested may reserving Thompson Forum tickets for fall-semester lectures may do so by contacting the Lied Center at (402) 472-4747 or (800) 432-3231. They may also be picked up in person, or by downloading a ticket order form and order by mail or fax. Tickets for spring-semester lectures will be available beginning Jan. 5.

Other 2007-08 Thompson Forum speakers and dates are:

Ronald Dworkin: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m. "Democracy and Religion: America and Israel." Dworkin has a unique ability to tie together abstract philosophical ideas and arguments with concrete everyday concerns in law, morals and politics. Dworkin's pioneering scholarly work has had worldwide impact. He is a professor of philosophy and law at New York University and a professor of law at University College London. In 2007, Dworkin was awarded the prestigious Holberg International Memorial Prize by Norway's University of Bergen for outstanding scholarly work in the humanities. He has written influential articles on matters of public political controversy for many years. Among his books are, "Taking Rights Seriously," "Justice in Robes" and "Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for New Political Debate."

Theodore C. "Ted" Sorenson: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. "America and the World, 1962 to 2008: Contrasts and Contradictions." Sorensen, former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs, practiced international law for more than 36 years as a senior partner in the prominent U.S. law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Former chairman of the firm's International Practice Committee, he has represented U.S. and multinational corporations in negotiations with governments all over the world and advised a number of foreign governments and government leaders, ranging from the late President Anwar El Sadat of Egypt to former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Sorensen is a Lincoln native and graduate of the University of Nebraska and the NU College of Law. His memoir, "Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History," was published in May.

F.W. de Klerk: Tuesday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m. "Bridging the Gap: Globalization without Isolation." During his time as president of South Africa, de Klerk released Nelson Mandela from prison, and initiated and presided over the dismantling of apartheid, the adoption of South Africa's first fully democratic constitution and the first-ever multiracial elections. In 1993, Mandela and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize. One of the most influential statesmen of this generation, de Klerk founded and is chairman of the Global Leadership Foundation, a consortium of former heads of state dedicated to promoting peace, democracy and development by providing confidential peer-to-peer advice to governments around the world.

Sarah Chayes: Wednesday, March 4, 7 p.m. "Notes from Afghanistan." Chayes has been living and working in Kandahar, Afghanistan, since 2001, when she covered the fall of the Taliban for National Public Radio. In 2002, she left journalism to help rebuild the shattered country, working first with Afghans for Civil Society, and currently with Arghand, a cooperative producing skin-care products from local fruits, nuts and botanicals. The Washington Post described her book, "The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban," as "sharply observed, fearlessly told." Prior to her assignment in Afghanistan, Chayes reported for NPR in the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East. Along with members of her NPR team, she was recognized by the Foreign Press for her reporting in Kosovo.

The Wilson Dialogue, featuring Michael Olivas and Vernon Briggs: Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. "Illegal Immigrants: Path to Citizenship?" Estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States range from 11 million to more than 20 million. Most recommendations for immigration reform center on the issue of a path to citizenship for these people. Opponents say this is amnesty, a strategy which proved ineffective in previous immigration legislation. Supporters say legalization is both a necessity and a moral obligation. In the second annual Wilson Dialogue, Olivas and Briggs will discuss the issue of a path to citizenship.

Colin G. Campbell: Tuesday, April 14, 7 p.m. "Citizenship in a Global Age." Campbell is chairman and president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which in 2007 convened the World Forum on the Future of Democracy. The forum brought together international and national scholars on democracy and government officials, politicians and advocates who have played a role in democracy's advance. Colonial Williamsburg is also a partner in the "By the People" series, which has engaged thousands of people in conversation about America's role in the world and other vital issues. As a product of this partnership, in early 2008. PBS aired "Dialogues in Democracy," a documentary based on a national conversation with emerging leaders and influential Americans about fundamental citizenship. At the same time, Colonial Williamsburg debuted, which uses global technology to initiate a worldwide dialogue about the roles, rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.

Thompson Forum lectures will be available live on the Web (, Lincoln TimeWarner Cable Channel 21 or Channel 5, NETSAT 104, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL's KRNU radio (90.3 FM). Live satellite broadcasts and follow-up discussion will be available in Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearney, Wayne, Columbus and Omaha.

For 19 years, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues has brought a diversity of opinions on international and public policy issues to UNL and the citizens of Nebraska to promote understanding and to encourage debate. The forum features forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, and seeks balance over the range of programs rather than in each presentation. The forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers, nor limit their freedom to express their points of view. The Thompson Forum is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. In 1990, the series was named in honor of E.N. "Jack" Thompson (1913-2002), a 1933 graduate of the University of Nebraska, who served as president of the Cooper Foundation from 1964 to 1990 and as its chairman from 1990 until his death.

More information about the Thompson Forum is on-line at

Contact: Marcia White, 402/472-0074.

LOAD-DATE: August 13, 2008

Buffalo News (New York), August 12, 2008, Tuesday

Copyright 2008 The Buffalo News

All Rights Reserved

Buffalo News (New York)

August 12, 2008, Tuesday



LENGTH: 583 words

HEADLINE: Union officials reveal main concerns for the future; United Auto Workers, Teamsters consider health care, cost of living as top issues



Union officials in Buffalo Niagara say they face tough conditions for bargaining contracts for their members.

Many industries are shedding jobs and, in some cases, closing plants. With globalization, they say, employers have more options for moving work overseas. Rising health care costs continue to put pressure on labor costs.

"What it all comes down to is, that's a bigger picture than you can bargain at the bargaining table," said Sam Williams, an official with United Auto Workers Region 9, which is based in Amherst.

Williams was one of several speakers Monday at the first Advanced Collective Bargaining Conference in Niagara Falls. The two-day conference, which concludes today, is focusing on strategies and tactics unions use in negotiating contracts.

Williams, who is active in the union's political affairs, said he views health care costs as the No. 1 issue in contract talks nowadays. Those soaring costs can far exceed whatever annual raises can be secured for workers, he said.

The UAW went through a contentious bargaining process this year with American Axle & Manufacturing that included an 87-day strike. American Axle is closing some of its U.S. plants, including a Buffalo plant idled since last year, and is dramatically reducing its U.S. work force through buyouts and retirements. Wages for the remaining workers and new hires were cut drastically under the new contract.

Williams lamented the impending loss of the Town of Tonawanda forge, which is expected to shut down next year. "The American Axle [forge] was considered by far one of the most efficient facilities in the system," he said. "And yet it's closing."

Richard Lipsitz Jr., a Teamsters Local 264 business agent, said health care costs remain a critical concern, but he thinks cost of living and inflation have emerged as the top bargaining issue.

"You've got a double whammy like you've never seen in our lifetimes," said Lipsitz, another speaker at the conference.

Soaring energy prices are have touched all types of industries, he said. Consumers have cut back their spending in some areas, leaving some companies struggling with reduced sales. And the ripple effect is being felt at the bargaining table, he said.

Both Williams and Lipsitz said beyond the issues of individual contract talks, their unions are pushing for bigger changes through elected officials.

The Teamsters union is emphasizing passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which the union believes would bolster organized labor's membership and increase workers' bargaining power, Lipsitz said.

"It changes the entire way you organize a union, it changes the entire way you bargain the first contract," he said. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007, about 12 percent of workers belonged to a union, including about 36 percent of public sector workers and 7.5 percent of private sector workers.

The act would give workers the option of approving union representation by obtaining a majority of workers' signatures, without requiring a secret-ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

Opponents, including business groups, claim the current system already safeguards workers from possible coercion or intimidation, by keeping voting secret.

The two-day conference in Niagara Falls was presented by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Buffalo. Art Wheaton, director of labor studies and the event's organizer, said he hopes to turn it into an annual conference.


GRAPHIC: Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News Sam Williams, an official with United Auto Workers Region 9, said he views health care costs as the No. 1 issue in contract negotiations. Associated Press On Monday, Sen. John McCain, left, the likely Republican presidential nominee, criticized Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama for co-sponsoring the Employee Free Choice Act. The Teamsters union says the measure would bolster organized labor's membership and increase workers' bargaining power.

LOAD-DATE: August 12, 2008

Newsday (New York), August 12, 2008, Tuesday

Copyright 2008 Newsday, Inc.

Newsday (New York)

August 12, 2008, Tuesday

Correction Appended





Death Notices and In Memoriams for 8/12/2008

HOOVER - Josephine A., (Telesco), age 86, of Somers Point passed away Monday August 11th 2008. Born in Brooklyn, NY and an area resident of Somers Point for many years. Graduate of Girls High, NY Grace Business Institute, Cornell University NY State Industrial and Labor Relations, NY School for Social Research, Organizer AF of L National Federation of Insurance Agents and Retail Clerks International Association, Director N.Y.C. Women's Commission AFL-CIO, Commission of Political Education, Delegate N.Y.C. Central Trade and Labor Council, Women's Activities Committee N.Y.C., National Women's League for Economic Improvement, AF of L - C.I.O. COPE, Retired Business Representative/Agent of Local Union NO. 3 I.B.E.W. NY, and "Truly a Disciple of Christ". Predeceased by her beloved father, Franceso, mother, Anna Rose, and sister Virginia Viglietta. Survived by her husband Joseph P. Hoover and sisters Frances Telesco, Diana Hopkins, Margaret Kelly, Anna Cameron, and Edna Conklin. Also survived by brothers-in-law and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews.Reposing at Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home, 36-46 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY. Mass of Christian Burial St. Nicholas of Tolentine R.C. Church Thursday 10:30am. Visiting at the funeral home Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9pm and visiting at Church Thursday morning 9:30-10:30am. Interment at Mt. St. Mary's Cemetery.

CORRECTION-DATE: August 15, 2008


This is a replacement doc

LOAD-DATE: August 15, 2008

New Orleans City Business, August 8, 2008, Friday

Copyright 2008 Dolan Media Newswires

New Orleans CityBusiness (New Orleans, LA)

August 8, 2008, Friday


HEADLINE: Construction industry feels pressure to properly classify workers

BYLINE: Garry Boulard


In an industry well-known for having a large number of laborers coming and going, construction companies are being increasingly urged to make certain they properly classify everyone who works for them.

"It's a big problem," said Fred Kotler, associate director of the construction industry program at Cornell University's school of industrial and labor relations and one of the authors of a 2007 study saying more than 700,000 workers in New York state alone were misclassified.

"We've talked to labor unions on a regular basis that have told us about what can only be described as a massive misclassification in their trade," said Democratic state Sen. David Gottesman of New Hampshire, who has crafted legislation that will provide a legal definition for what it means to be an employee.

"The legislation in essence takes away the ability of employers to misclassify," said Gottesman.

According to the Cornell study, "The Cost of Worker Misclassification in New York State," the problem with misclassification is that it undercuts two entities crucial to the normal regulation of employer/employee relationships - the federal and state governments, which lose out on revenue from employee taxes - and the workers who become ineligible for unemployment insurance if they are laid off.

"That's how we find out about a lot of these questionable situations," said Jim Henry, director of the labor market information division with the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

"A worker gets laid off and comes in and files for non-employment insurance, and as part of that process someone will look at the wage record and find out that there is no record of this person's employment at all," said Henry.

"It has not been an overwhelming problem for us," said Kathy Waterbury,

communications director with the Mississippi State Tax Commission.

"But we did have several cases that concerned us after Katrina, because a lot of companies came in that were not registered with us to begin with, and a lot of transients came in to work during the recovery at this same time. "

"We have found through audits and our own field investigations that some of the construction companies were paying their employees in cash and others were claiming that their employers were contract workers when they were really employees," said Waterbury.

Misclassifying workers is "not really a state issue," said Byron Henderson, a press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

"If the contractor reports the income paid on a Form 1099, then state tax is paid on it," Henderson said, citing the Tax Administration Division of the LDR.

"It is primarily a federal issue because the employee must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes and pay unemployment taxes on wages paid to an employee.

"Employers do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors. "

But the problem comes not in the form of pre-arranged company-independent contractor relationships but, rather, when a worker shifts from employee to independent contractor status without their knowledge, Gottesman said.

"It's all a matter of operating honestly and above board," said Gottesman. "If the employee assumes he is being classified as one thing and in fact the classification is for something else, that's wrong. "

Waterbury agreed.

"If we find out about such situations and are able to prove our case, the cost to the employer could be significant, both in terms of all the taxes that have gone unpaid, as well as any additional penalties. "

LOAD-DATE: August 9, 2008

Hartford Courant (Connecticut), August 6, 2008, Wednesday

Copyright 2008 The Hartford Courant Company

All Rights Reserved

Hartford Courant (Connecticut)

August 6, 2008, Wednesday





NOZZOLIO, Matthew Anthony

Matthew Anthony Nozzolio, of Middletown, died unexpectedly Saturday (August 2, 2008), in New Haven. He was 53. He was the husband of Jean A. Wertz. Nozzolio, who was the official spokesman for the MDC, in Hartford, had a career in newspapers as a reporter and editor.

Nozzolio was also a noted musician, performing bluegrass, blues and folk music. Nozzolio played the guitar lap-style, using a metal bar or slide, a technique developed in the late 1800's by Hawaiian musicians that was adapted in the late 20th century by blues, bluegrass and country musicians. He also played the Dobro, or resophonic guitar, and on occasion, the accordion, performing solo as well as with a variety of bluegrass and folk bands. He also performed his own compositions. In the 1990's, Nozzolio toured Europe as a member of Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters. He also performed with Allan Harris and the Cross That River Band of New York City, the New England bands Charter Oak Bluegrass and The Bristol Boys, and was a frequent guest musician with The Remnants and Horizon Blue. He was a member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Music Under New York program, for subway musicians, and performed in Connecticut for entertainment programs at Derby Hospital and Meriden's MidState Medical Center. In 2007, Nozzolio took 3rd place in the 21st annual Blues Challenge, in Greensboro, NC. As a journalist, Nozzolio was a bureau chief for the New Haven Register, city editor for The Evening Press, in Binghamton, NY and bureau chief for the Finger Lakes Times, in New York. He also worked in communications for United Technologies. Born September 24, 1954, Nozzolio grew up in Seneca Falls, NY, the son of Anna and Albert Nozzolio. Albert Nozzolio had immigrated to the US from Italy. During high school, at Mynderse Academy, Nozzolio was an all-conference defensive lineman in football and a champion wrestler. He was also selected to the all-county chorus. After graduating from Mynderse, in 1972, he attended the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, earning a bachelor of science degree in 1976. Nozzolio is survived by his wife, Jean A. Wertz, son Joel Marsh Garland, of Brooklyn, NY and daughter Kimberly Jean Garland, of Middletown.Other survivors include brother, Joseph Nozzolio and his wife, Anne, of Port Chester, NY, and brother Michael Nozzolio and his wife, Rosemary, of Fayette, NY and nieces Jane Zuckerberg and Beth Catrone. He was predeceased by a nephew, Matthew J. Nozzolio.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington St., Middletown. Graveside services in Pine Grove Cemetery, South Main St., Middletown, will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. Calling hours are Friday from 6-9 p.m. at Biega Funeral Home, 3 Silver St., Middletown. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ARTFARM, 119 Highland Ave., Middletown, or to Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater, 128 Washington St., Middletown.


LOAD-DATE: August 6, 2008

The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2008, Monday

The Wall Street Journal

August 4, 2008, Monday

The Wall Street Journal

Lawyers and Employers Take
The Fight to 'Workplace Bullies'


A recent U.S. court case and new research are focusing attention on "workplace bullying," prompting some employers to take steps to curb aggressive behavior.

Experts define workplace bullying as subtle, persistent and often nondiscriminatory harassment of co-workers. Unlike sexual or racial harassment, workplace bullying isn't necessarily illegal. But bullying can contribute to absenteeism and turnover and escalate into illegal behavior if left unchecked, experts say.


"Workplace bullying" can include sarcastic comments, social exclusion or work sabotage. Lawyers offer these tips for employers:
• Prohibit intimidation and harassment
• In company policies, emphasize cooperation and respect
• Have a clear, publicized internal complaint procedure
• Observe how employees treat each other
• Address problems quickly
Sources: Garry Mathiason, Littler Mendelson P.C.; Jon Meer, Seyfarth Shaw LLPIn April, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a $325,000 verdict for Joseph Doescher, a former medical technician who had sued Daniel Raess, a cardiovascular surgeon, for assault in 2002.

Mr. Doescher's attorneys portrayed Dr. Raess as a verbally abusive workplace bully. In the 2002 incident, Mr. Doescher claimed Dr. Raess yelled at and advanced toward him with clenched fists. Dr. Raess's lawyers argued that the bully label was irrelevant and the surgeon's actions didn't amount to assault. But four of the five justices disagreed, deeming workplace bullying an "entirely appropriate" term.

The ruling doesn't mean that employees can sue for workplace bullying alone. But Kevin Betz, who represented Mr. Doescher, calls the ruling "a major breakthrough," as the first time a court recognized bullying as an issue. Dr. Raess couldn't be reached for comment, and his lawyer, Karl Mulvaney, declined to comment.

The Indiana decision came amid growing concern about workplace bullying. Garry Mathiason, a senior partner at Littler Mendelson, a leading employment-law firm, says more corporate clients are raising the issue, motivated by legal questions, as well as concerns about the impact on productivity. Littler Mendelson featured bullying among its "breaking trends" in labor law at a conference for U.S. employers this year.

Angela Cornell, an associate professor at Cornell Law School who specializes in employment law, says workplace bullying is common enough that employers should "nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem."

Graniterock, a Watsonville, Calif., construction-materials distributor, is trying to do just that. In June, Graniterock added nondiscriminatory bullying to its list of prohibited conduct in the workplace, which already included harassment based on gender, ethnicity and other protected statuses.

Graniterock Chief Executive Bruce Woolpert says the policy grew out of events at the company. He says bullying and intimidation are common in the construction industry. At Graniterock, he says, one employee made repeated off-color jokes about another employee's girlfriend; he also has seen veteran workers harshly criticize younger employees.

Emotionally abusive co-workers can hurt a company's reputation with customers and employees and poison a work environment, Mr. Woolpert says. "It's not just the person who is being attacked, it's the entire company."

New research highlights the prevalence and dangers of workplace bullying. In a 2007 survey of 1,000 U.S. workers, 44% said they had worked for a boss they considered abusive. The survey was sponsored by the Employment Law Alliance, an association of 3,000 employment lawyers.

In a 2004 survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath, 25% of companies reported bullying incidents in the previous year. More incidents were attributed to co-workers than to supervisors. The study was part of the institute's research on work-related stress.

This year, two Canadian professors concluded bullying can take a more severe emotional and physical toll than sexual harassment, perhaps because companies provide greater support for victims of the latter. In a review of 110 studies spanning two decades, the researchers found that bullied employees were more likely than sexually harassed employees to quit, report physical and mental health problems, and be dissatisfied with their jobs.

Since 2003, lawmakers in 13 U.S. states have introduced bills that would ban workplace bullying, but nearly all have failed. Hawaii passed a resolution that encourages employers to adopt antibullying policies. Proposed legislation is pending in New York. In Connecticut, state Sen. Edith Prague says she plans to introduce a measure in January that would ban bullying in government workplaces.

Most of the bills reflect the influence of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an employee-rights group founded by psychology specialists Gary and Ruth Namie in 1998 after Ms. Namie felt she was bullied at work. The institute is supported by the couple's consulting company, Work Doctor Inc., which advises companies and victims of bullying. Mr. Doescher's attorneys called Mr. Namie as an expert witness in the Indiana case.

Some business groups and lawmakers say workplace bullying is too difficult to define, and a poorly worded law would expose businesses to unnecessary lawsuits.

Mr. Woolpert says Graniterock executives reworked their antibullying policy several times to clarify its message. The company now forbids "unnecessary and rude behavior intended to be offensive and cause emotional distress, including 'workplace bullying.' "

Write to Cari Tuna at

Buffalo News (New York), August 3, 2008, Sunday

Copyright 2008 The Buffalo News

All Rights Reserved

Buffalo News (New York)

August 3, 2008, Sunday



HEADLINE: Business people / Hires, Promotions & Honors


First Niagara Bank promoted Nancy P. Hughes to vice president, senior portfolio and credit manager. Hughes earned a bachelor's degree from Medaille College and is also a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Management Advanced Commercial Lending program.


Independent Health named Bob Tracy vice president, Medicare government product operations. Tracy, who earned a master's degree from Canisius College, will lead the product development, implementation, management and operational performance of Medicare government products.


Ernest and Young, the accounting and business advisory firm, named Michael Murray managing partner at its Buffalo office. Murray, a CPA, joined the agency in 1976. He holds bachelor's and MBA degrees from the University at Buffalo.


The board of directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership welcomed the following new members: Kevin G. Curran, Fisher-Price; G. Gail Edwards, Ciminelli Development Co.; Donna Fernandes, Zoological Society of Buffalo; Steven C. Finch, General Motors Powertrain -- Tonawanda Engine; Robert D. Gioia, The John R. Oishei Foundation; E. Brian Hansberry, Seneca Gaming Corp.; Gregory M. Michalek, Savarino Cos.; Michael J. Montante, Uniland Development Co.; Benjamin N. Obletz, First Amherst Development Group; Louis P. Panzica, Power Drives; Jennifer Parker, Jackson Parker Communications; James S. Segarra, Tronconi Segarra & Associates; John D. Stanfill, Northrop Grumman; Donald L. Trump, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Glen Walter, Labatt USA.


Quality Inspection Services, an industrial inspection firm headquartered in Cathedral Park Tower, promoted Joyce Wagner to chief financial officer. Wagner joined the company in 2007. She holds a business degree from the University at Buffalo.


Multisorb Technologies, a West Seneca-based manufacturer of sorbent, desiccant and oxygen absorbing technologies, appointed Catherine E. Irish human resources director. With more than 15 years of professional experience, Irish previously was senior human resources manager at Praxair Inc. She received her bachelor's degree from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in Ithaca.

GRAPHIC: Hughes Murray Wagner

LOAD-DATE: August 4, 2008