Thursday, June 24, 2010

The New York Times, June 22, 2010, Tuesday

The New York Times

June 22, 2010, Tuesday

The New York Times

U.A.W. Chief Is Taking On Toyota Plants

Locked into concessions to the Detroit carmakers and with its membership at a 70-year low, the United Automobile Workers union is picking a fight with a longtime adversary, Toyota, in a bid to regain some of its clout.

The union has been trying, and failing, to organize workers at Toyota for almost as long as the company has had assembly plants in this country. But now Bob King, the union’s new leader, says Toyota is vulnerable because of its safety problems and recalls.

He has called on union members to picket Toyota dealerships and has vowed to “pound on Toyota” on the organizing issue at its 10 plants in the United States, all nonunion.

The problem for the U.A.W. is that the auto industry’s troubles have actually compounded the challenge of organizing workers, labor experts say.

The union has little in the way of a sales pitch on wages and benefits now that the Detroit automakers have cut wages and benefits to union members to be more in line with Toyota and the other so-called transplant manufacturers.

“Toyota was most vulnerable when the auto industry was booming,” said Jeffrey K. Liker, a University of Michigan professor and author of a book about the Japanese carmaker.

“Now they look over the fence and say, ‘Look at how many plants the U.A.W. has lost.’ ”

Still, Mr. King has plenty to gain among his own ranks by taking on Toyota, even if the effort falls short, the experts said. Giving Toyota another black eye could show members that the union can still flex its muscles even after the beating it has taken.

“The union could really use a victory,” said Harry Katz, dean of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “To win would be big for them, but even getting close would be a powerful statement.”

When the Detroit carmakers dominated the market, the U.A.W. was able to negotiate high wages and generous benefits because each company knew it would not be worse off than the others. Now Toyota, Honda, Nissan and other transplant companies employ tens of thousands of nonunion hourly workers in the United States, greatly reducing the union’s bargaining power.

A Toyota spokesman, Mike Goss, said the company recognized its workers’ right to unionize but that they had not chosen to do so in more than 20 years of manufacturing in this country. The company employees 34,000 blue-collar and management workers in the United States.

“Our job as a company is to give them good pay and benefits, which we know we do, and to have open communication between team members and management,” Mr. Goss, said. “It’s also our job to operate our company with some employment stability in mind.”

Professor Liker said morale among Toyota workers soared to “historic highs” during the recession, as U.A.W.-represented plants closed but Toyota kept its work force intact. The company halted some production as demand fell, but employees were still asked to report every day, often for training.

“People were extremely grateful when they looked at their neighbors losing their jobs and medical benefits, and Toyota was still bringing them in with full pay and benefits and not laying anybody off,” Professor Liker said.

Accordingly, convincing Toyota workers that the U.A.W. offers any better job protection than they already have could prove difficult. The U.A.W. needs Toyota workers to suffer more of a hardship before most would be willing to put themselves through the risks that inherently come with trying to unionize, said Gary N. Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

“If you lose a job at a Toyota plant, you’re going to be unemployed for a long period of time,” Professor Chaison said. “They don’t want to spoil a good thing that they have. They don’t want to take chances. Many of these workers are just thankful that they have good jobs in manufacturing with benefits.”

The only jobs that Toyota has eliminated in large numbers were at a plant with union workers in California, known as New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or Nummi, which was a joint venture with General Motors until G.M. withdrew as part of its bankruptcy. Toyota said the plant was not viable without a partner and closed it in April, laying off 4,700 U.A.W. workers.

The U.A.W. vehemently protested the closing, with Mr. King joining picket lines, and negotiated $281 million in severance pay for the workers.

Last month, Toyota revealed plans to build electric cars at the Nummi plant in conjunction with a small luxury carmaker, Tesla, but the operation will be much smaller, with significantly fewer workers than it had under Toyota and G.M. Toyota also said it would begin building the Corolla compact sedan, which used to be the primary product of the plant, at a new nonunion plant in Mississippi.

Mr. King said the Detroit automakers had never closed a plant just to open a new one with different workers at lower wages. Bringing workers at the foreign-based carmakers into the U.A.W., he said, was essential to create a level playing field and to ensure workers earned fair wages throughout the industry.

“When you have everybody organized and you do pattern bargaining, you can deliver on that promise,” he said.

The U.A.W. is also just plain desperate for members. Membership fell below 400,000 last year, a level not seen since 1940, after years of plant closures by General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler. At its peak 40 years ago, the union had about 1.5 million members.

“King has to talk about organizing because the U.A.W. has a big problem: it’s hemorrhaging members,” Professor Chaison said. “If you claim to be a labor movement, you have to grow.”

The Ed Schultz Show, June 22, 2010, Tuesday

The Ed Schultz Show

June 22, 2010, Tuesday

The Ed Schultz Show

Naomi English, an ICU nurse from St. Paul, MN, joins the 2nd hour of Tuesday's show to discuss the vote to strike at 14 Minnesota hospitals.

The Columbus Dispatch, June 19, 2010, Saturday

Copyright 2010 The Columbus Dispatch
All Rights Reserved

The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

June 19, 2010, Saturday

Project-labor agreements prevent costly construction delays

Having recently been "quoted" by your newspaper concerning several issues that now appear as editorials, I feel compelled to respond to numerous misstatements.

With regard to Franklin County's quality-contracting standards ("Enough already," editorial, Monday), The Dis-patch asserts that recent decisions to disqualify low bidders "were made by two different sets of Democratic county commissioners," implying that the standards were put in place as a payoff to organized labor.

This statement still ignores a fact I have pointed out to the editorial staff: that the county's policy was put in place unanimously by a Republican-majority Board of Commissioners that included Dewey Stokes and Arlene Shoemaker.

Moreover, the policy, which helps screen out serial lawbreakers, was not designed to steer contracts to union con-tractors but rather to ensure that the county deals only with reputable contractors. Jess Howard Electric Co., a nonunion contractor, was awarded the disputed contract for the new animal shelter after the county rejected the apparent low bidder because of its multiple violations of the law.

The Dispatch also takes the Ohio School Facilities Commission and Richard Murray, its executive director, to task for adopting a project-labor agreement for the Ohio School for the Deaf and the Ohio State School for the Blind ("Your tax dollars at work," editorial, Tuesday). The Dispatch ridiculed Murray for his concern for the well-being of students, a concern Murray consistently has expressed for all students, not just the students facing unique challenges at these schools.

In doing so, the editorial staff sidesteps the primary thrust of Murray's reasoning: The project-labor agreement should prevent costly delays by allowing the commission to effectively coordinate the numerous contractors on the site, standardizing working conditions, guaranteeing no strikes and no lockouts, providing a streamlined dispute-resolution procedure and giving contractors ready access to a pool of well-trained and highly skilled workers who have undergone the thorough background checks negotiated as part of the agreement.

Both the U.S. and Ohio Supreme Courts -- neither a bastion of Democrat nor union power -- have approved the use of such agreements on a wide variety of public projects.

Finally, The Dispatch has asserted that the project-labor agreement and the use of organized labor on the project will increase its cost by 10 percent to 15 percent. This assertion has no merit. The project was always subject to the prevailing-wage law, and because all bidders, union and nonunion alike, must pay the same rate of wages, it cannot legitimately be argued that project-labor agreements increase labor costs and inflate the cost of public construction.

Indeed, numerous academic studies have concluded that "there is no evidence to support claims that project labor agreements either limit the pool of bidders or drive up actual construction costs." See Fred B. Kotler's March 2009 report "Project Labor Agreements in New York State: In the Public Interest," from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. See also Dale Belman, Matthew Bodah and Peter Philips' report from January 2007, "Project Labor Agreements," for ELECTRI International: "The presence of a PLA does not have a statistically signifi-cant effect on the final cost of a project." From Belman, Russell Ormiston, William Schriver and Richard Kelso's paper "The Effect of Project Labor Agreements on the Cost of School Construction," in the upcoming Journal of Industrial Relations: "There is no evidence that PLAs increase the costs of school construction."

The commission and Murray should not be attacked for their decision to use a project-labor agreement at the Deaf and Blind schools. This is an innovative project using some construction technology not commonly used in this area.

Obstructing the project with a political argument can add cost and delay with no benefit to the students.
PASQUALE MANZI \ Executive secretary-treasurer \ Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council

LOAD-DATE: June 19, 2010

New York Law Journal , June 17, 2010, Thursday

New York Law Journal

June 17, 2010, Thursday

New York Law Journal

Trade Secrets and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Laurie Berke-Weiss

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 USC §1030, has emerged as a vehicle for trade secret misappropriation claims where a computer transmission is involved in the transfer or destruction of corporate data from a computer whose use in some way affects interstate commerce. When enacted in 1986, the CFAA was solely a criminal statute, aimed at preventing the illegal accessing of national security information through computer use and the electronic transmission of information which could harm the United States or benefit foreign nations. Amendments to the act expanded its scope to include theft and fraud via computer; altering, damaging, and destroying data; and trafficking in passwords and other protected information.

In 1994, Congress added a civil private right of action to the act which has led to the inclusion of CFAA claims in private trade secret misappropriation litigation, thus affording plaintiffs federal question jurisdiction for cases which might otherwise be state court actions. See 18 USC §1030(g). As such, the CFAA is a statute tailor-made for the internet era, where electronic transmission of data is now the norm.

The CFAA also has been the basis for criminal prosecutions of trade secret theft, adding a further dimension of risk for any employee who accesses company data for "unauthorized" purposes and meets the CFAA's jurisdictional requirements.


Although the term "trade secret" is not mentioned in the CFAA, many of the statute's provisions are applicable to misappropriation complaints, as demonstrated by the following excerpts from the act:

(a) Whoever ...

(2) intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains ...

(C) information from any protected computer; ...

(4) knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consists only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any one-year period; ...

(5) (A) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;

(B) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or

(C) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damages and loss[;] ... .

18 USC §1030.

Notably, there are no statutory definitions of the terms "authority" and "transmission," leading to conflicting results in trade secret actions.[FOOTNOTE 1] The question of whether the employee has "exceeded authorization" is reached only if there is a determination that the employee had authorization under the act in the first place, and is a question of fact. See Shamrock Foods Co. v. Gast, 535 F.Supp.2d 962, 967-68 (D. Ariz. 2008); Diamond Power Int'l Inc. v. Davidson, 540 F.Supp.2d 1322, 1343 (N.D. Ga. 2007) ("[A] violation for accessing 'without authorization' occurs only where initial access is not permitted. And a violation for 'exceeding authorized access' occurs where initial access is permitted but the access of certain information is not permitted").

Where cases have interpreted "without authority" broadly, there may be a finding of liability under the act. In contrast, as discussed below, in cases where the term is narrowly defined, generally no CFAA liability is found.


The question of whether an employee has "authority" to obtain "information from any protected computer" is pivotal to the applicability of the CFAA to a trade secret misappropriation claim. But, the issue is unsettled in the courts, which disagree about whether an employee is authorized to access a company computer and company information by virtue of his position, even if he transmits confidential information to a new employer or to himself with the intention of competing with his old employer. Compare LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127 (9th Cir. 2009) (narrow application of CFAA), with Int'l Airport Ctrs., LLC v. Citrin, 440 F.3d 418 (7th Cir. 2006) (broad application of CFAA).

In Citrin, a case frequently cited for its broad interpretation of the CFAA, the defendant employee was given a company laptop to collect data for his employer, a real estate company. The defendant, who later decided to go into the real estate business for himself, deleted all data in the laptop before he returned it to the company when he left the job. The defendant did not transmit the files to himself; instead, he installed a secure-erasure program on the laptop to prevent recovery of the deleted files by his employer (who had no other copies of the files), and to conceal his wrongful acts.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected defendant's argument that "merely erasing a file from a computer is not a 'transmission'" under the CFAA. Citrin, 440 F.3d at 419. The court found that the "transmission" requirement of the act was met by defendant's act of loading the secure-erasure program onto the company laptop. In deciding that Citrin lacked authority to make the deletion, the court ruled that his actions were a breach of the duty of loyalty, thereby terminating Citrin's agency relationship with the company, and with it his authorization to access the laptop.

In Brekka, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applied the act more narrowly, finding that the defendant had authority to remove company information from his computer, even for his own use. Defendant Brekka accessed confidential corporate information while he was plaintiff's employee. He e-mailed the confidential information to his personal computer and to his wife.

Subsequently, Brekka left the company and began his own competing business. The court held that Brekka had "authorized access" to the information while working for plaintiff, and did not lose that authorization when he decided to compete with his former employer and transmit trade secret information electronically for his own benefit. In the words of the court:

[F]or purposes of the CFAA, when an employer authorizes an employee to use a company computer subject to certain limitations, the employee remains authorized to use the computer even if the employee violates those limitations. It is the employer's decision to allow or to terminate an employee's authorization to access a computer that determines whether the employee is with or "without authorization.

Brekka, 581 F.3d at 1133.

Accordingly, the court held:

[A] person uses a computer "without authorization" ... when the person has not received permission to use the computer for any purpose (such as when a hacker accesses someone's computer without any permission), or when the employer has rescinded permission to access the computer and the defendant uses the computer anyway.

Id. at 1135.

Similarly, in Jet One Group Inc. v. Halcyon Jet Holdings Inc., 08-CV-3980 (JS), 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72579 (EDNY Aug. 14, 2009), the CFAA was applied narrowly. Plaintiff employed the individual defendants who later were hired by plaintiff's competitor, defendant Halcyon Jet Holdings Inc. Plaintiff alleged that when the employees left, they took confidential and proprietary customer lists in violation of the CFAA. Nonetheless, the court found that the CFAA's "without authorization" requirement should be construed narrowly, and that the individual defendants had authorization when the customer lists were removed.

As such, the court noted that the CFAA "nowhere prohibits misuse or misappropriation of information that is lawfully accessed ... [and] to read 'access without authorization' to mean 'misuse' or 'misappropriation' would grossly expand the statute's reach." Id. at 17. See also Bro-Tech Corp. v. Thermax, 651 F.Supp.2d 378, 407 (E.D. Penn. 2009); State Analysis Inc. v. Am. Fin. Servs. Assoc., 621 F.Supp.2d 309, 317 (E.D. Va. 2009); U.S. Bioservices Corp. v. Lugo, 595 F.Supp.2d 1189, 1192 (D. Kan. 2009); Brett Senior & Assocs., P.C. v. Fitzgerald, No. 06-1412, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50833, at 8-9 (E.D. Penn. July 13, 2007).


The question of whether and how the statutory $5,000 damages threshold can be met is another factor in determining CFAA liability. For example, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in EF Cultural Travel BV v. Explorica Inc., 274 F.3d 577 (1st Cir. 2001), determined that the costs of assessing damage done to the employer's computer system, and those costs associated with re-securing a system after a hacking attack, are permitted costs for the purpose of calculating damages under the statute.

In contrast, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that lost revenue, such as that which is alleged to have resulted from the misappropriation of confidential data, is not a "loss" or "damage" under the CFAA, except where it results from an "interruption of service." Nexans Wires S.A. v. Sark-USA Inc., 166 Fed. Appx. 559, 562-63 (2d Cir. 2006).

In Nexans, the CFAA claim was dismissed on summary judgment because, pursuant to the court's calculation, plaintiff's CFAA damages fell short of the $5,000 threshold. See also Shurgard Storage Ctrs. v. Safeguard Self Storage Inc., 119 F.Supp.2d 1121, 1127 (W.D. Wash. 2000) (although no data was "changed or erased," an "impairment of [] integrity occurred," and the related costs met the CFAA's damage threshold); Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Speed, Case No. 6:05-cv-1580-Orl-31KRS, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53108, at 27 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 1, 2006) ("The copying of information from a computer onto a CD or PDA is a relatively common function that typically does not, by itself, cause permanent deletion of the original computer files," and thus did not constitute damage or loss under the CFAA).


The CFAA may impose criminal liability for violations of §§1030(a)(1) through (7), or §1030(b), on employees and former employees who access, attempt to access, or conspire to access a company computer without authorization or exceeding authorization. Penalties can include imposition of a fine as well as imprisonment for as long as twenty years, depending on the provision of the CFAA which has been violated. 18 USC §1030(c). See United States v. Nosal, No. CR 08-00237 (MHP), 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31423, at 21 (N.D. Cal. April 13, 2009) (allowing case, at motion to dismiss stage, to proceed based on violations of CFAA as interpreted in civil cases).


Plaintiffs commonly assert CFAA claims alongside or in conjunction with trade secret misappropriation claims, however, the two are not identical. Many courts have held that misappropriation or misuse of confidential and proprietary information is not an element of a CFAA violation. Rather, courts have viewed liability under certain CFAA provisions as "tantamount to trespass in a computer," with an intent to defraud as an additional element in specific CFAA provisions. Brett, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50833, at 10.

Thus, even in cases where CFAA claims are dismissed, the defendant may remain exposed to a misappropriation claim. Conversely, misuse of an employer's computer without a taking of confidential information, such as in Citrin, may support a CFAA claim even if the trade secret misappropriation claim is dismissed.

It also remains to be seen whether courts will set limits as to what constitutes a "transmission" under the CFAA. Just as the court held in Citrin that loading a software program to delete information qualified as a transmission, as the nature of electronic communications evolves another court may rule that merely opening a file stored on a server or entering certain keystrokes might constitute a transmission under the CFAA. The case law should be watched closely as new technological trends emerge.

Laurie Berke-Weiss is a partner at Berke-Weiss & Pechman.


FN1 The term "exceeds authorized access" is defined in the act, as "to access a computer with authorization and to use such access to obtain or alter information in the computer that the accesser is not entitled so to obtain or alter," thus begging the question of how "authorization" should be defined. 18 USC §1030(e)(6).

The Washington Post, June 16, 2010, Wednesday

The Washington Post

June 16, 2010, Wednesday

The Washington Post

China's workers learn to speak up -- but carefully

The workers are rising in the workers' republic. In China's south coastal provinces, which long ago supplanted the American Midwest as the world's premier manufacturing belt, employees have gone on strike at a series of factories. Nobody knows how many plants have been threatened with shutdowns or have ground to a halt; one American attorney who's spent a good deal of time with such workers estimates that it may be close to 1,000.

The cause of the unrest is no mystery. China's rise to industrial preeminence (in a quantitative if not qualitative sense) has come on the backs of workers whose wages the government has, until recently, suppressed to keep the price of exports artificially low. The official Communist Party-dominated All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) is not really a union. Workers do not choose its leaders, who most frequently come from management. "The union," says the attorney, "is less state-dominated than employer-dominated." That is a logical consequence of two party priorities: to build an industrial sector that dominates global markets through low prices; and to prohibit the existence of any organizations that could eventually challenge party control.

While the latter priority is an iron rule, the former is merely situational. Now that China's industrial might is established, and many of the world's leading manufacturers are so deeply and profitably invested in China that large-scale relocation is almost unimaginable, the wage suppression that fueled China's rise is beginning to cause the party as many problems as it once solved. Inequality is rampant; a young, better-educated workforce, cognizant of the new Chinese prosperity and frustrated at their inability to share in it, is no longer content simply to reap the marginal benefits of swapping rural for factory life. Having gone online and seen Par-ee -- or, at least, Shanghai -- there's no keeping them down on the farm or in sweatshops.

Thus, the strike wave -- and the government's semi-demi-support for the striking workers. In recent weeks, as Honda factories and others have been shuttered, some provincial governments have raised their minimum wage while national officials have vowed to remedy the plight of the tens of millions of migrants who toil in the factories. The government has permitted media coverage of some strikes, which has highlighted the long hours, low pay and poor working conditions that employees endure.

For the moment, strikes are okay in China; spontaneous collective bargaining is fine. Independent unions, however, are not. Yet it seems that the Communist Party doesn't have much to fear. To the extent that strike leaders have been quoted, they make clear that the job actions are about wages and working conditions -- not about challenging the party's hegemony. "If they give us 800 renminbi a month," one such striker told the New York Times, "we'll go back to work right away."

"There are some demands for independent unions," says the American attorney, "but most workers I've encountered stay within the existing Chinese legal system. They want more pay, not a political discourse. This isn't [the Polish union] Solidarity. What they're demanding is a Chinese solution -- collective bargaining but not an ongoing independent organization. Of course, if they begin electing their own leaders within the ACFTU, that would be a challenge to the party. That hasn't happened yet, but they now have experienced the positive effect of their own power."

Genuine labor movements around the world have greeted the strikes with uncharacteristic silence -- in contrast, for instance, to the vocal and material support they gave Solidarity. It's not that they don't welcome the Chinese strikes, says one U.S. union official; they just understand that public support would probably cause the Chinese government to respond with charges of foreign meddling and a harsher crackdown on the striking workers.

I wonder, though, whether the declining power of American workers over the past 40 years hasn't increased U.S. union leaders' understanding of the constricted options that Chinese workers confront. In both countries, workers who agitate for unions or for better conditions are frequently fired. In China, to be sure, the consequences seldom stop there; in the United States, employers' penalties for such nominally illegal firings are negligible. No other major industrial nations are as hostile to independent unions as China and the United States. In a 2009 survey of more than 1,000 union elections over the preceding five years, Cornell University professor Kate Bronfenbrenner found that union activists were fired in 34 percent of the campaigns. Efforts to effectively ban such firings foundered this year when the Senate couldn't muster the votes to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

Chinese communism and American capitalism may be two very different systems, but under both, workers assert their rights at their peril.

Education Week, June 16, 2010, Wednesday

Education Week

June 16, 2010, Wednesday

Education week

New Teacher Distribution Methods Hold Promise

With effective teaching a top policy priority, certain school districts, the federal government, and nonprofit groups are renewing efforts to pilot and study strategies for pairing effective teachers with students in low-performing, high-poverty schools.

The results could offer clues about how to rectify an imbalance in the distribution of the best teachers within districts—a requirement of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the 2009 economic-stimulus law that addresses one of K-12 education’s most intractable problems.

The initiatives differ from earlier attempts to equalize teacher talent by using more sophisticated techniques to identify and target top teachers, including the use of value-added data.

They also go beyond narrow transfer incentives to include targeted retention strategies, improved professional development, and a focus on the caliber of the school leaders and peers whom new teachers will be working with every day.

Some of the districts are even working to place whole teams of educators—rather than just individuals—in challenging schools, a promising approach, some scholars say, at a time when individual teacher performance has galvanized much policy attention.

“All this focus on individuals, on getting the best and brightest and placing them into schools, is a limited strategy,” said Susan Moore Johnson, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “It is driving so much of what’s going on right now, that we risk neglecting the context of these people’s work.”

Testing Theories
For years, studies have shown that low-income and minority students often have teachers with lesser qualifications. The new efforts are among the first to approach the issue of teacher distribution by looking at teachers’ ability to boost their students’ academic achievement, an area that is only now generating significant research.

Many variables in the equation remain unclear. Researchers have found evidence to suggest, for one, that school factors play an important role in a teacher’s success.

In a recent study of teachers and students in North Carolina, C. Kirabo Jackson, an assistant professor of labor economics at Cornell University, found that up to a quarter of a teacher’s estimated ability to raise his or her students’ academic achievement “varies based on whether the teacher is a good match for the school, based on factors such as work culture, teaching philosophy, or success with certain student populations.

A federal research project, called the Talent Transfer Initiative, aims to provide insights into the question of what happens when effective teachers elect to transfer to schools with greater challenges.

Financed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the initiative offers high-performing teachers in select districts $10,000 a year for up to two years to transfer to a low-performing school in the district, and $5,000 to effective teachers already in such schools to stay put. The teachers are identified using three years of student-achievement data.

Holly Barzar gives a thumbs-up to students in Tucson, Ariz. A pilot program in the Tucson Unified School District pairs highly effective teachers with the schools most in need.
—James S. Wood for Education Week“These are teachers who have demonstrated a consistent ability to raise student achievement,” said Steven M. Glazerman, a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, the Princeton, N.J.-based nonprofit group conducting the analysis. “The question is whether they can produce similar results in their new setting.”

Researchers identified job openings in low-performing schools, and high-performing teachers were randomly assigned to half those vacancies. The results will be compared with those for a control group of regular hires filling the remaining vacancies.

The project covers schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Houston. Three additional, yet-to-be-announced districts have also signed on to join the project.

Holly Barzar is one of 63 teachers now taking part in the initiative. The 27-year-old transferred from a school she called her “comfort zone” to one in which most students are part of the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe, qualify for federally subsidized meals, and live in troubled neighborhoods.

Students in her new school in Tucson, the 5th grade teacher said, lacked skills, were all over the board academically, and had had “experiences no kid that age should ever have to experience—drugs, gangs, violence. They come to school not being 10-year-olds.”

With her new colleagues aware of the incentive pay, she felt pressure to perform. Some days were excruciating, she said.

But Ms. Barzar also found that many students had simply never been challenged academically.

“A lot of them thought writing a paragraph was three lines on a paper. Remedying that—those were some of the longest days of my life,” she said. “But now they can write a five-paragraph essay, and they will do a good job, too.”

Despite the challenges, Ms. Barzar said she wants to continue working in similar schools.

“As corny as it sounds, I feel like I’m really making a difference here,” she said. “I tell my kids, ‘I want to see you in middle school, see your grades, meet your friends. Because if they’re not good [for you], I’m going to tell you.’ ”

Offering Support
If effective teachers embody certain characteristics, such as Ms. Barzar’s perseverance, researchers say that the context of the schools and support offered there are important ingredients that can help attract higher-caliber teachers.

Research on teacher-transfer patterns shows that some schools, despite serving populations that are traditionally difficult to educate, aren’t hard to staff, according to Susanna Loeb, a professor of education at Stanford University who has studied teacher-transfer issues for nearly a decade.

“Schools with lots of low-achieving students lose more teachers in general, but there are a fair number of high-poverty schools that are appealing places to teach,” Ms. Loeb said.

In his recent study, Mr. Jackson also found that the teachers studied tended to be more effective in mathematics after they had transferred to a new school, suggesting that they actively sought out schools that were a better match for their talents.

“Teachers aren’t as effective in environments they don’t want to be in, and they don’t stay in environments they don’t want to be in,” he said.

That’s one of the reasons that the Mission Possible program in Guilford County, N.C., pairs recruitment and retention incentive pay with a focus on professional development for educators in the 30 participating schools, in an attempt to make them places where teachers want to stay.

The program uses information generated by the state’s value-added system, which connects individual teachers and their students’ test scores. Those data help principals in the participating schools identify promising candidates across the district—as well as teachers already at the schools who are getting strong learning gains from students. They’re then offered cash incentives to transfer to, or remain in, the schools.

Once in the schools, all of the teachers in their first two years in Mission Possible receive specialized professional-development courses on subjects such as differentiated learning and cultural competency.

“Often, it’s a majority-race teacher going into a minority-race school, and there are some cultural differences teachers have found difficult to overcome,” said Amy Holcombe, the executive director of talent development for the 72,000-student Guilford County school district.

As an added incentive, Mission Possible pays teachers more if they are effective in raising student achievement, as measured by the state’s value-added data system, and as the new teachers stay put.

Data gathered on the initiative over three years, Ms. Holcombe said, suggest that the program may be changing the culture of the schools. As of the 2008-09 school year, the rate of teacher turnover in the Mission Possible schools was, on average, lower than that in the district as a whole.

Team Approach
Increasingly, new initiatives designed to move exceptional teachers into challenging schools also are responding to the idea that even the most eager and effective teacher risks burning out in a more difficult school setting—and leaving—unless supported by a capable principal and like-minded peers.

Surveys have shown that effective leadership and time to work with colleagues are often cited as crucial conditions for teachers, over and above salary incentives.

Recent research also suggests that a teacher’s effectiveness can be shaped by the caliber of his or her colleagues. ("Effective Teachers Found to Improve Peers' Performance," Sept. 16, 2009.)

“I don’t think this issue of distribution will be resolved by thinking of it as a process of moving an individual and expecting him or her to affect a whole school,” said Ms. Johnson of Harvard. “You really need a mechanism for the whole school to improve with the influx of new teachers.”

The Boston-based nonprofit organization Teach Plus thinks it has hit on one promising mechanism for doing so. It is beginning a venture to turn around three schools in the 56,000-student Boston district by using teams of effective educators, rather than relying on individual transfers.

Under the initiative—dubbed “Turnaround Teacher Teams,” or T3—the teachers will make up a quarter to a third of the staff members in the schools, along with a new principal.

“The colleague piece is the crux of why this program appeals to teachers,” said Celine Coggins, the founder and chief executive officer of Teach Plus.

“Many teachers come into the profession on a social-justice mission, and part of what they’re looking for are colleagues who have the same idea as they do about getting the job done," she said.

As part of the selection process, cohorts of teacher-applicants are brought in and must work with several other prospective teachers to analyze and come up with an action plan around a fictitious set of data.

For Andrew J. Bott, a principal in the district who will head up one of the turnaround schools this fall, it’s a crucial exercise.

“Recruiting a cohort of people who have that skill and are excited about it will make a difference,” he said. “School districts do a great job of collecting data. Where many of us fall down is in using it.”

Based on its finding that highly effective teachers often leave classroom teaching because of a lack of growth opportunities, the Teach Plus group has arranged for its recruits to take on leadership roles in their new schools—as teacher-leaders, department chairs, or on school leadership teams—in addition to classroom teaching, and to earn extra pay for doing so.

Results Coming
The teacher-distribution initiatives are largely still under way, and they haven’t all produced findings yet.

The federally underwritten Talent Transfer Initiative’s first findings are scheduled for release next year. Before then, officials hope to put out an analysis looking at the participating districts to determine which schools seem to have an abundance—or a shortage—of the most effective teachers.

It could be an important starting point for larger discussions of teacher distribution, because most such analyses so far have been performed looking at observable characteristics of teachers, such as licensing-test scores, credentials, “highly qualified” status, or selectivity of teacher-training institution, rather than student outcomes.

In Boston, Ms. Coggins of Teach Plus reports that 150 teachers applied for positions in the three turnaround schools—including some already working in those schools who relished the idea of leadership opportunities.

For now, she said, the project’s goal is to ensure that the teams stay in place for at least three years.

Guilford County’s Mission Possible program, with three years of data now collected, has the longest track record. Although those data are not causal, officials in the North Carolina district say they are confident that the project has benefited students.

Among the data is evidence of higher levels of student achievement overall in the cohort of schools, including some double-digit gains in test scores.

“I think when you see increases like that, you cannot attribute it to one thing alone. Those are significant gains, and many strategies were used,” said the North Carolina school district’s Ms. Holcombe.

“But there’s enough of a research base to conclude that when you have a higher percentage of effective teachers in a school, the student achievement goes up, and that’s a pattern we’ve seen consistently in our schools," she said.

Coverage of leadership, human-capital development, extended and expanded learning time, and arts learning is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation.

Vol. 29, Issue 35, Pages 1,16-17

Telecommunications Weekly, June 16, 2010, Wednesday

Copyright 2010 Telecommunications Weekly via
Telecommunications Weekly

June 16, 2010, Wednesday

Eric Hosken Joins Compensation Advisory Partners

Compensation Advisory Partners (, an independent executive compensation consulting firm, announced that Eric Hosken has joined the firm as Partner.

Mr. Hosken has more than twelve years of executive compensation consulting experience working with senior management and Compensation Committees on all aspects of executive and director compensation. His expertise includes compensation strategy development, evaluating the relationship between pay and performance, annual and long-term incentive plan design, performance measure selection and Board of Director compensation.

Peter Chingos, Senior Partner, Compensation Advisory Partners said: "We're excited to have Eric join the team as we continue to grow our business by providing best-in-class, independent executive pay advice with a fresh perspective. Our clients value CAP's collective market knowledge across broad industries and adding talented consultants such as Eric helps reinforce our commitment to providing them with an unmatched level of service."

Prior to joining Compensation Advisory Partners, Mr. Hosken was a principal specializing in executive compen-sation consulting at Korn/Ferry International. Prior to that, he worked at Mercer in New York and SCA Consulting in both Dallas and New York.

Mr. Hosken's consulting experience ranges from work with large, mid-size and small publicly-traded companies to privately-held companies across a wide array of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, professional services, retail and telecommunications. He has also assisted companies in the development of compensation programs to address special situations including mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, and IPO's.

Mr. Hosken is a frequent speaker on compensation and performance measurement issues, recently presenting at WorldatWork and Financial Executives International. He has a Master of Science in Labor Economics from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a bachelor's degree in Economics with Honors from Oberlin College in Ohio. About Compensation Advisory Partners LLC Compensation Advisory Partners is an independent ex-executive compensation consulting firm that possesses a unique combination of deep expertise and intense client focus. Comprised of senior industry veterans who built and led the compensation consulting practices at Mercer and KPMG, Compensation Advisory Partners has advised many of the world's largest and leading companies and counseled on some of the most complex areas of executive compensation. The firm's breadth of experience and clientele keep it at the forefront of trends and practices in all areas of executive compensation. For more information, please visit

Keywords: Compensation Advisory Partners LLC. This article was prepared by Telecommunications Weekly edi-tors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2010, Telecommunications Weekly via

LOAD-DATE: June 10, 2010

WABC TV, June 15, 2010, Tuesday


June 15, 2010, Tuesday


Research Results: Nice Guys Finish First When It Comes to Company Performance

Boards, investors and search executives may need to adjust their criteria for screening potential leaders based on an executive leadership study recently completed by organizational consulting firm Green Peak Partners in collaboration with a research team at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

The study shows that harsh, hard-driving, "results-at-all-costs" executives actually diminish the bottom line, while self-aware leaders with strong interpersonal skills deliver better financial performance.

"Our findings directly challenge the conventional view that 'drive for results at all costs' is the right approach. The executives most likely to deliver good bottom line results are actually self-aware leaders who are especially good at working with individuals and in teams," said J.P. Flaum, Managing Partner at Green Peak Partners, which provides organizational and leadership consulting for public and private equity-backed companies.

Their study, "What Predicts Executive Success?", delved deeply into the leadership styles, backgrounds and track records of 72 senior executives at public, venture-backed and private-equity sponsored companies.

"A key takeaway is that soft values drive hard results -- and that companies and their investors need to put more effort into evaluating the interpersonal strengths of potential leaders. Evaluating technical competence alone isn't enough," said Dr. Becky Winkler, Principal at Green Peak.

Key Findings

More specifically, the study reveals that...

"Bully" traits that are often seen as part of a business-building culture were typically signs of incompetence and lack of strategic intellect. Such weaknesses as being "arrogant," "too direct" or "impatient and stubborn" correlated with low ratings for delivering financial results, business/technical acumen, strategic intellect, and, not surprisingly, managing talent, inspiring followership, and being a team player.

Poor interpersonal skills lead to under-performance in most executive functions. Executives whose interpersonal skill scores were low also scored badly on every single performance dimension.

Leadership searches give short shrift to "self-awareness," which should actually be a top criterion. A high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success. "Executives who are aware of their weaknesses are often better able to hire subordinates who perform well in areas in which the leader lacks acumen," said Dr. Winkler.

Experience at many different companies is not a good plus. The more organizations an executive worked with early in his or her career, the lower the people management rating. "Executives who change jobs frequently are often trying to outrun a problem, and that problem often has to do with how they 'fit' in the workplace," Mr. Flaum explained. "Job hoppers also lack perspective on the outcome of their leadership decisions as they typically leave before the changes take effect."

People with multiple siblings tend to be better leaders. Executives with more siblings were rated highly in their ability to manage people and drive results. "No one says it better than the Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, who's quoted in USA Today saying, 'Having seven siblings [gave me]... a unique background in understanding what competition is,'" remarked Mr. Flaum.

What PE Investors, Boards and Management Should Do: Focus on How a Leadership Candidate Does the Work as Much as on What He or She Has Done

"There are limits on the degree to which someone can improve his or her basic ability to interact well with others, which means that focusing on interpersonal skills when selecting the right candidate becomes critical. The challenge is that these qualities often aren't revealed by standard tests and interview techniques," said Dr. Winkler. "Therefore, what's really needed is a change in focus: Boards, private equity general partners and management teams need to focus not only on what executive candidates do but also on how they do it."

"The most important step boards and investors can take is to become more aware of the culture of the companies they own and run," she added. "Context matters. It's not enough for an investor or director just to sit in on board meetings, which has been the inclination. They need to understand how people interact in the company, and make sure that those interactions are positive and truly supporting the bottom line."

While interpersonal skills are difficult to learn, boards and investors should look for senior executives who are teachable at some level. "Once again, it comes down to that quality of self-awareness -- if you can select for that, there may be performance benefits across all categories."

To learn more about the study, or to arrange an interview with J.P. Flaum or Becky Winkler, please contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications, Inc. at 212-255-8386 or

About the Study

The study, commissioned by Green Peak and conducted by a research team at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, involved 72 senior executives across 31 companies, half of them with C-level or President titles, who were assessed by Green Peak between 2005 and 2008. As Dr. John Hausknecht, Cornell Assistant Professor, stated, "We know very little about what predicts executive success -- it is extremely rare to gain access to detailed pre-hire candidate information and short- and long-term indicators of executive performance for this many individuals. Much of what has been written about the predictors of executive success is based on personal anecdotes or conventional wisdom rather than scientific evidence."

The study consisted of two phases. In the first, the executives participated in Green Peak Partners' extensive executive assessment program, which is based on an in-depth four-hour interview. The evaluations probed the executives' backgrounds -- family, education, early-career and recent professional experiences -- and mapped a series of qualities, including leadership styles and technical competence. In the second phase, interviews were conducted with the executives' bosses between April and October of 2009 to determine how well the executives performed on the jobs for which they were hired. Through statistical analyses, performance was simplified into two categories -- the ability to drive results and the ability to manage talent. One of the important outcomes of the study has been the reinforcement of the belief that an executive's experiences and leadership style are directly linked to his or her performance.

Companies ranged in size from $50 million to $5 billion in annual revenue.
The top industries represented were retail (31 percent), technology (26 percent) and finance (17 percent).
Average work experience was 22.4 years.
29 percent were CEO candidates.
17 percent were female.
10 percent attended an Ivy League University.
About Green Peak Partners

Green Peak Partners is a premier organizational consulting firm, with offices in five North American cities, dedicated to expanding the talent and leadership capability of client companies at both the individual and team level. Green Peak helps investors and their companies secure a competitive edge by backing the best people and fully leveraging their leadership talents. Green Peak serves leading private equity firms, their portfolio companies, other private companies and outstanding public companies. The firm offers the best in talent assessment, executive coaching and senior-level facilitation in the country. For more information on Green Peak Partners, please visit

Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller
Sommerfield Communications, Inc.
(212) 255-8386

Houston Chronicle, June 14, 2010, Monday

Houston Chronicle

June 14, 2010, Monday

Houston Chronicle

Baylor Med falls from Top 20
Funding from M.D. Anderson no longer counted after UT’s urging

As if it weren’t enough that the University of Texas’ football ambitions left Baylor University in a lurch last week, it now turns out that some UT medical leaders one-upped the state’s other Baylor in an influential national ranking of medical schools.

UT’s Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas jumped ahead of Baylor College of Medicine in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey after UT officials demanded that Baylor stop taking credit for federal funding for M.D. Anderson, which is part of the UT system.

In the 2010 list, UT Southwestern tied for 20th and Baylor fell to 24th, marking the first time that UT outranked its main state rival and the perennial Top 15 mainstay.

Dr. Kenneth Shine, the UT System vice chancellor for health affairs, pressured Baylor to stop counting M.D. Anderson’s National Institutes of Health funding. He told the Chronicle that after UT Southwestern and other sources alerted him Baylor was counting M.D. Anderson’s grants in its magazine submissions, he called then Baylor President Dr. Peter Traber to object.

Shine called the inclusion inappropriate.

Sharing programs
Baylor spokeswoman Claire Bassett said the medical school was doing nothing wrong, noting that it had approval from both M.D. Anderson and U.S. News & World Report to count the funding. The magazine allows medical schools to include NIH money received by their affiliated hospitals but offers no guidelines on what constitutes such a hospital. Without the inclusion of affiliated hospitals, schools whose grants are primarily run through their affiliated hospitals, such as Harvard, would fare poorly.

Baylor shares some programs with M.D. Anderson, which is part of the UT System, but the relationship is nowhere near as integrated as the college’s affiliations with Texas Children’s, Ben Taub and the Veterans Administration. Those institutions are wholly staffed by Baylor faculty.

Ronald Ehrenberg, the director of the Cornell University Higher Education Research Institute who has written frequently on the U.S. News & World rankings, said the incident marks the first time he’s heard of an institution urging another to change its data.

The U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings often are criticized as popularity contests but remain hugely influential, touted by rising schools and feared by falling schools. They measure four primary areas — peers’ assessments, student selectivity, faculty resources and NIH research funding. The latter constitutes 30 percent of a school’s ranking.

M.D. Anderson funding
Baylor began counting M.D. Anderson’s NIH funding in its 1998 U.S. News & World Report submission, following a conversation between Dr. Ralph Feigin, the medical school’s president at the time, and Dr. John Mendelsohn, the cancer center’s president.

Baylor actually got a little bump at the time from the added funding, just less than $57 million. It moved from 15th to 13th in the next two years — it takes that long for the full effect to show up because the magazine averages the last two years of funding — but in that time its own NIH grant money also increased significantly.

Baylor stayed in that range for the next decade, peaking at 10 in 2006 and 2007. M.D. Anderson’s NIH funding for both those years was more than $150 million.

It was after the 2007 rankings came out that Shine called Traber.

“I asked him what the justification was for (including M.D. Anderson’s funding), and he said that they’re an affiliated institution ... and that other medical schools include such research,” recalled Shine. “I pointed out to him that that may be true in circumstances when the faculty is actually the faculty at that medical school, but in this case the faculty at M.D. Anderson is actually University of Texas faculty.”

Baylor stopped the practice in the submission reflected in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 survey, after three calls during two years by Shine and a request from Mendelsohn.

What’s unclear is whether Baylor will claim any M.D. Anderson numbers in the future. It eliminated all M.D. Anderson grants from its past two submissions, even though the two institutions share programs from which it easily could claim grants.

Bassett said that question will be up to Baylor’s incoming president, expected to assume the job Sept. 1. She said she didn’t know what priority the rankings would take.

If it is a priority, Baylor would appear to have the right person for the job in its presumptive next president, sole finalist Dr. Paul Klotman of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Since 2005, that school has risen from 32 to 18 in the rankings.

Daily Finance, June 14, 2010, Monday

Daily Finance

June 14, 2010, Monday

Daily Finance

Americans Are Quitting Jobs Again. Is That Good News?

After a deep recession that saw the loss of some 8 million jobs, the U.S. unemployment rate lingers near its highest levels in decades. But that isn't stopping some people from telling their bosses they've had enough and are calling it quits. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in the past three months, more people have quit their jobs than have been laid off.

Quitting a job in this economy would seem to fly in the face of common sense. But some analysts say the resurgence of growth has some workers feeling more confident about the future. "I think that people are less frightened. I think that people now feel as if the jobs they wanted are starting to open up," Clark University labor economist Gary Chaison, told the Marketplace radio program.

Still, with 9.7% of Americans unemployed, according to the Labor Department's latest report, the U.S. employment picture has a long way to go before it once again appears anywhere near normal. Things are just starting to move in the right direction, says John Bishop, associate professor of Human Resource Studies at Cornell University's ILR School.

Still Far From the Comfort Zone

In a typical month during the past year, 4 million people were hired on average, while another 4 million either quit or were laid off, Bishop explains. Over a 12-month period, that works out to be about 50 million people. "The turnover in the American labor market is really large," he says. Contributing to the churn rate are such things as short-term employment or workers who start jobs that they soon find they don't like or that otherwise last only briefly.

While more Americans quitting jobs may seem a positive sign, the U.S. labor market is months if not years away from getting back to where it should be. "We're moving away from an even more-abnormal situation," Bishop says. "But we're still not back to a place we can be comfortable with."

The Labor Department jobless number accounts for only those who are actively seeking work. After factoring in unemployed workers who have given up on their job searches and adding those working part time until something more substantial comes along, about 16.5% of the population is either unemployed or underemployed.

"Just Sick and Tired" of Working Longer Hours?

Still, there is some good news. The economy has seen substantial growth in GDP, which has been climbing much more rapidly than employment or the number of hours logged by workers.

Rather than hire new workers, employers have been content to simply give the existing work force more hours. "Consequently, people are just working longer or harder in order to get the work done," Bishop says. "That's how we accomplished big increases in GDP."

And that's got another expert wondering if those workers quitting their jobs aren't just plain overworked. "Could it be that people/workers are just sick and tired of producing more and more only to see executive pay increase?" asks Michael Brandl, professor of economics and finance at the University of Texas at Austin.

He may have a point. After years of recession and financial distress, it's no wonder many Americans are fed up. They've watched as home foreclosure rates and the numbers of jobless have skyrocketed. All the while, many on Wall Street and in corporate executive suites have been largely unaffected.

Maybe in quitting those jobs, some Americans are taking a stand, echoing the words of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, who once said, "I'm sick of being tired."

See full article from DailyFinance:

The Montreal Gazette, June 14, 2010, Monday

The Montreal Gazette

June 14, 2010, Monday

The Montreal Gazette

Bullying at work worse than gender, racial harassment

Just as Ontario is set to pass a new bill making workplace harassment illegal, new research from Queen's University's School of Business indicates that workplace bullying can be more damaging than racial or gender harassment.

"While ethnic harassment and gender harassment can both be attributed to prejudice, general workplace harassment is a subtle form of mistreatment that masks underlying motives, and is not as easily attributed to bias," say report authors Jana Raver of Queen's School of Business and Lisa Nishii of Cornell University.

Caucasians reported higher levels of general workplace harassment than minorities, and women were not more likely than men to experience either gender harassment or general workplace harassment.

Raver and Nishii also found that general workplace harassment may be especially detrimental because unlike gender and ethnic harassment, it is not illegal in most of North America. A study released by Queen's University in 2008 also found workplace harassment to be more harmful than sexual harassment because of a lack of recourse for victims.

Bill 168, which comes into effect in Ontario this month, requires employers to develop and communicate workplace violence prevention policies, assess the risks of workplace violence, and take reasonable precautions to protect workers from domestic violence in the workplace. Ontario will be the third province to legislate against workplace violence and harassment, along with Quebec and Saskatchewan.

The Queen's University study looked at more than 735 employees from a range or organizations and occupations over a period of four weeks. Participants completed the measures of harassment and demographics in the first survey and then completed measures of job attitudes, turnover intentions, psychological well-being and health in the second survey four weeks later. The results were published in the March 2010 Journal of Applied Psychology.

© The Financial Post

Democrat and Chronicle, June 13, 2010, Sunday

Democrat and Chronicle

June 13, 2010, Sunday

Democrat and Chronicle

Mayor Robert Duffy, unions engage in new battles

Brian Sharp
Staff writer

On the day he named Mayor Robert Duffy as his running mate, gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo praised the Rochester native for standing up to public employee unions.

"He was not a pushover. He was not a rollover," the state attorney general said. "Yes, he tangled with public employee unions. Guess what? We are going to be tangling with public employee unions going forward."

No doubt the strain of a bad economy has led to new or intensified turf battles over pay and benefits between the Duffy administration and city unions, particularly those representing police officers and firefighters. Most often, the conflicts — be it about overtime, staffing assignments or reorganization — have involved provisions in labor contracts agreed to years ago but which the city now deems too costly.

Duffy has avoided raising taxes despite massive budget gaps, thus needing to find new revenue or cut expenses. That led him to labor contracts, to tangling with unions, and to calling for reform of New York labor laws that he claims favor the unions at the expense of taxpayers and a state pension system he says will bankrupt the city.

Now on the state's political stage, Duffy finds himself with a vastly larger audience if elected lieutenant governor.

Back home, labor leaders are grumbling — and have been for some time. This is the mayor they helped recruit into politics, and who won election to his first term with near-unanimous union support.

"The frustration out there is this is not the way the mayor portrayed himself to labor when he got the endorsement and got elected," said Jim Bertolone, president of the Rochester Labor Council. "There is a real issue of credibility and trust."

But Duffy is only adding his voice to a growing chorus of protest.

Unions representing public employees are getting hammered statewide and nationally about pay, benefits and pensions.

The last time Cuomo and Duffy were together at a local podium, Cuomo was in Rochester raising questions about pension padding by public employees — saying they were "defrauding taxpayers." And Gov. David Paterson is threatening layoffs after deadlocking with four public-sector unions over his plan to furlough 100,000 workers one day a week.

To be clear, not every public employee union is at odds with the Duffy administration.

The labor leader representing part-time library workers claims his relationship with City Hall has never been better. Other leaders say the relationship tends to be cyclical and define the conflict as being more with others in the administration than with the mayor himself.

"To be honest, I don't know who the real Bob Duffy is," said Jim McTiernan, president of the firefighters union. "Is he a pleasant person face-to-face? Yeah. Do I believe everything he tells me? Probably not."

In the past year, the tone of labor relations in city government has swung from back-slapping over a historic health care agreement to incendiary exchanges over job assignments.

Police and firefighter labor contracts expired in June 2008 and now are headed for arbitration. At one point, all the major city employee unions were without a contract.

"Why are we always fighting?" McTiernan asks. "Well, jeez, it's because they pick the fight."

After Duffy began his push for mayoral control of city schools, city unions joined with school unions to picket City Hall and the Mayor's Ball. The SEIU union representing Rural/Metro Medical Services workers and nurses at the University of Rochester also joined in the picket but say they have a good relationship with Duffy and joined out of a show of solidarity.

Then came Cuomo's introduction of Duffy as his running mate.

"Do you need executives and leadership and management that are willing to stand up and disagree and work through difficult issues? Yes," Cuomo said. "That is what Mayor Duffy did in Rochester. Yes, he tangled with the public employee unions. I respect him for doing it."

Not a union town

New York is the most union-dense state in the country, and the public sector accounts for the largest bloc of members. On May 26, when Cuomo announced his selection of Duffy, a reporter asked the attorney general if public sector unions were too powerful. Cuomo responded: "I don't know how you calibrate too much power. Are they powerful? Yes."

Labor traditionally is the backbone of the Democratic Party. But it is a long time to Election Day. And management battling with labor is nothing new, particularly in a tough economy.

Such tensions have manifested nationally in the revolt against increasing taxes and public-sector benefits, said Art Wheaton, director of western New York labor and environmental programs with Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations School.

"It's a sign of the times that people are just frustrated ... they are looking for someone to blame," Wheaton said.

Rochester never has been a union town like Buffalo, Cleveland or Philadelphia. Eastman Kodak Co., Bausch + Lomb Inc. and other chief employers never unionized.

City government workers only began organizing in 1945-46, with water and sewer, trash and cemetery workers. The city promptly fired them, triggering a citywide general strike on May 28, 1946, that also shut down buses and taxis, clothing factories and movie houses.

Police and firefighters formed bargaining units in the 1950s and '60s.

"They weren't around in the Great Depression," local labor historian John Garlock said of local public-sector unions, "so some of what is going on is new, at least on this scale."

Today, there are 60 public- and private-sector unions in Monroe County. Seven of those represent city workers, including police, firefighters, building inspectors and refuse haulers. Union membership has slipped countywide from 65,000 to about 60,000 in 10 years, mirroring a national trend.

But Duffy says the system — at least for the public sector — is tilted in labor's favor, empowering the elected labor leaders to balk at concessions.

"The pendulum has gone too far to the extreme," Duffy said, "... and what is happening now is there is anger among taxpayers and citizens when they see what public sector (workers) have and receive."

Duffy, the city's former police chief, came under fire this past week for receiving both his $127,694 mayoral salary and a $70,255 police pension. Duffy spent 28½ years on the city's police force, rising to the rank of chief before retiring in 2005 to run for mayor. GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio said Duffy was double-dipping, and called the mayor "a walking, talking example of abuse."

Duffy's pension is based on his $109,716 final average salary as police chief.

The mayor has railed against pension padding, in which a person works exorbitant overtime just before retirement to inflate their pension. Take, for example, a retired city firefighter who worked more than 1,600 hours in overtime in his last year on the job and now — despite a $60,121 base salary — receives a $103,952 annual pension, on which — like Duffy — he pays no state taxes.

Duffy and the union both have written Cuomo seeking review of overtime practices among firefighters and management, respectively.

"We cannot keep going down the same road with enormous costs ... that are on the backs of people that make a fraction of what our employees make," Duffy said of taxpayers. "And they're the ones that pay taxes. They're the ones that support us. There has to be a whole lot more give."

Mayoral control

Duffy says he supports frontline workers and enjoys a good relationship with the building trades. His beef is with the elected leaders of some public-sector unions, and a system that he argues is broken. He and his staff have downplayed strife with labor, insisting in the weeks leading up to Cuomo's announcement that there was nothing out of the ordinary at home.

The latest uproar, they say — about the proposed change in school governance, in particular, and pensions and overtime — is all about contract negotiations and control.

"When you're union, you try and drag in everything to distract your opposition," says Mike Keane, labor liaison for the city, "to put pressure back onto management."

These relationships started out strong.

"We campaigned for (Duffy) when he first ran for office. When I was elected union president, he came to my victory party. We had a relationship," said Dan DiClemente, president of the union representing such employees as kitchen workers and sentries in the City School District.

The school unions say Duffy's voiced opposition to mayoral control was key in securing their endorsement back in 2005. The police union was one of the few, possibly the only, public sector union not to support Duffy in 2005 — instead backing challenger and Democratic Party nominee Wade Norwood, who supported mayoral control.

At the time, Duffy said of mayoral control: "It has nothing to do with student performance and graduation rates." Today he says it does and has vowed to work for the school governance change until his last minute in office.

"What I lacked in 2005 when I made that statement was four-plus years of experience and observations that the current system is not providing results that match our investments," Duffy said, adding: "Let's be clear that the current proposed legislation is not 'mayoral control,' but instead it is a hybrid system that provides for city governance, an independent budget office, and a variety of appointed citizens and parents — all who have decision-making authority."

Mayoral control would change the dynamics of labor relations in the city, said former mayor William A. Johnson Jr.

"One of my reasons for questioning why the mayor would want to take over the schools," Johnson said, "is that the relationship with those (school) unions — and there are about a half dozen over there — is more contentious and a lot more time consuming."

Legislation was introduced last week in Albany proposing a July 1, 2011, implementation date (at which point Rochester might have a new mayor if Duffy is elected to state office).

Looking ahead

Within days of Duffy's designation as the Democrats' lieutenant governor candidate, New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes contacted the Rochester Labor Council's Bertolone asking about Duffy.

"Right now," Bertolone said, "it's a mixed bag."

Should Duffy be elected lieutenant governor and resign as mayor, he would leave local labor relations "in a little worse shape" than when he arrived, Bertolone said. Again, though, much of that has to do with the recession, he said.

Grievances — which had fallen during Duffy's first term — are up 57 percent between fiscal year 2008-09 and 2009-10 to total 60, which is back on par with when Duffy took office, according to city estimates.

"This administration is the most difficult we have ever worked with as unions," said McTiernan, president of the firefighters union.

And from police: "You hear words like, well, the unions have to make concessions," said Mike Mazzeo, president of the police officers union. "The unions are aware of the state of the economy. It affects all of us. But it's difficult to make concessions when there is one thing missing, and that's trust."

Back in mid-2008, Duffy and the police union had a memorable exchange after an arbitrator awarded officers $296,000 in back pay for a temporary redeployment meant to stem a rash of city violence.

Duffy and his team blasted the "out-of-town arbitrator" for inconsistent and flawed logic, promised an appeal, and released a list naming all 65 officers, the additional wages earned and owed, and whether each lived in the city.

The union was furious. Duffy later backtracked, saying the city would not appeal, and that he never meant to impugn the arbitrator's integrity — a man whom he had known personally and professionally for 10 years.

But, as Bertolone said, labor relations with Duffy are a mixed bag.

"My experience has been completely different from what I hear from fire and police, and I have to tell you, their concerns are legitimate," said Ove Overmyer, who represents part-time library workers. Overmyer said his relationship with City Hall has never been better, and that Duffy always has been "honest and truthful" with members.

So what's the difference? "They (police and fire) have always advocated very strongly. I have always taken a very collaborative approach."

Tony Gingello is president of the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1635, the largest of the city employee unions.

"Compared to other administrations, they are not as good," Gingello said. "They make us wait months before they will meet with us. I'm not happy with them, I'll tell you that. But I just roll with the punches."

Ultimately, officials say, both sides need one another to succeed.

"Even if you disagree with the mayor, he is still the mayor, and he deserves both the respect and the attention," said Adam Urbanski, who emerged as one of the main forces of opposition to mayoral control as president of the Rochester Teachers Association.

Urbanski said his interactions with Duffy have been and remain civil and fair. "I think the relationship with the mayor will survive the disagreement on these issues," he said. "I don't think either one of us has a choice in that matter."

Additional Facts
Union reform
Much like mayoral control, many of the reforms Duffy seeks must come at the state level.

Under state labor laws, the city cannot make changes to an expired contract and workers will continue to get step pay increases — except police and firefighters, who can avoid concessions and take their chances with arbitration.

Duffy wants pension reform, arguing that overtime should not be calculated into retirement benefits.

Duffy would like some control board powers but doesn't elaborate. Such power would provide overriding authority on labor contracts. "You cannot control spending unless you can say no to things," he said.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Investment Weekly News, June 10, 2009, Thursday

Copyright 2010 Investment Weekly News via
Investment Weekly News

June 10, 2009, Thursday

Eric Hosken Joins Compensation Advisory Partners

Compensation Advisory Partners (, an independent executive compensation consulting firm, announced that Eric Hosken has joined the firm as Partner.

Mr. Hosken has more than twelve years of executive compensation consulting experience working with senior management and Compensation Committees on all aspects of executive and director compensation. His expertise includes compensation strategy development, evaluating the relationship between pay and performance, annual and long-term incentive plan design, performance measure selection and Board of Director compensation.

Peter Chingos, Senior Partner, Compensation Advisory Partners said: "We're excited to have Eric join the team as we continue to grow our business by providing best-in-class, independent executive pay advice with a fresh perspective. Our clients value CAP's collective market knowledge across broad industries and adding talented consultants such as Eric helps reinforce our commitment to providing them with an unmatched level of service."

Prior to joining Compensation Advisory Partners, Mr. Hosken was a principal specializing in executive compensation consulting at Korn/Ferry International. Prior to that, he worked at Mercer in New York and SCA Consulting in both Dallas and New York.

Mr. Hosken's consulting experience ranges from work with large, mid-size and small publicly-traded companies to privately-held companies across a wide array of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, professional services, retail and telecommunications. He has also assisted companies in the development of compensation programs to address special situations including mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, and IPO's.

Mr. Hosken is a frequent speaker on compensation and performance measurement issues, recently presenting at WorldatWork and Financial Executives International. He has a Master of Science in Labor Economics from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a bachelor's degree in Economics with Honors from Oberlin College in Ohio. About Compensation Advisory Partners LLC Compensation Advisory Partners is an independent ex-ecutive compensation consulting firm that possesses a unique combination of deep expertise and intense client focus. Comprised of senior industry veterans who built and led the compensation consulting practices at Mercer and KPMG, Compensation Advisory Partners has advised many of the world's largest and leading companies and counseled on some of the most complex areas of executive compensation. The firm's breadth of experience and clientele keep it at the forefront of trends and practices in all areas of executive compensation. For more information, please visit

Keywords: Compensation Advisory Partners LLC. This article was prepared by Investment Weekly News editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2010, Investment Weekly News via

LOAD-DATE: June 9, 2010

The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2010, Thursday

The Chronicle of Higher Education

June 3, 2010, Thursday

The Chronicle of Higher Education

For Innovation to Occur, Colleges Need a Big Push, Scholars Say

By David Glenn

A diverse array of scholars gathered here on Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute for a conference on "Reinventing the American University: The Promise of Innovation in Higher Education." There is, of course, no shortage of material on that theme, but the speakers at Thursday's meeting gamely tried to say something new.

The structural incentives within higher education "seem to push against innovation," said Dominic J. Brewer, an associate dean and professor of urban leadership and education at the University of Southern California. "They seem to push toward mimicry."

That theme ran through the conference's first two panels: The structure of higher education makes it difficult to improve the quality of teaching. But the speakers did not always agree about which structural factors are to blame for the purported institutional sclerosis. Some pointed fingers at faculty-governance systems, which they said slowed down the pace of change. Others blamed regional accreditors for being too inflexible about, for example, standard models of credit hours.
Missing Incentives

In a draft paper written with William G. Tierney, director of Southern California's Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, Mr. Brewer argued that because most government subsidies for higher education are tied to enrollments, there is little incentive for colleges and universities to improve their graduation rates or other student outcomes.

William F. Massy, a former vice president of Stanford University who now works as a consultant, said that colleges need to become much more sophisticated about measuring the teaching productivity of their departments and the quality of student learning. (In his own conference paper, he sketches a proposal for how to do that.)

"The key thing at the systems level is that top-level people need to insist that campuses make these changes a high priority," Mr. Massy said. "I don't mean 'encourage.' I mean 'insist.' It's only when presidents and provosts start talking about this at every stage within the institution that we'll get it done."

Mr. Massy singled out for praise the new health-sciences program at the University of Minnesota at Rochester. (He has served as a consultant there.)

"What they have done is to turn the box upside down," Mr. Massy said. He praised that program for embracing instructional models that are based on cognitive-science research, and for structuring its faculty in a way that rewards teaching more than disciplinary research.

But the Rochester program is also old-fashioned in some ways: Its students all live on the campus. They are expected to form intense bonds with one another and to follow a fixed curriculum for two years, as in a traditional liberal-arts program. In those respects, the Rochester campus is at odds with the enthusiasm for distance education and for radical redefinitions of the credit hour that was sometimes voiced at Thursday's conference.
A Less-Educated Faculty

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, a professor of economics at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, offered a rather gloomy analysis of changes in the faculty profession.

Outside of elite research universities and liberal-arts colleges, Mr. Ehrenberg said, most institutions of higher education are likely to see a "de-skilling" of faculty jobs in the coming years, as fewer instructors will have Ph.D.'s.

"That doesn't necessarily mean that the quality of education will go down, if there's more effort put into the selection, evaluation, and training of instructors," he said. "But it will have an adverse effect on the research that undergraduate students get to do."

Two speakers dissented, in part, from the basic premise that there is too little innovation in higher education. Jack H. Schuster, a professor emeritus of education and public policy at Claremont Graduate University, said there is plenty of experimentation at American colleges; he expects higher education to be substantially transformed within the next decade.

And Candace Thille, director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, said the problem is not a lack of innovation but a failure to carefully study the experiments that do take place. Thousands of college instructors make good-faith efforts to improve their teaching, she said, but there are usually no resources for evaluating or replicating those innovations.

The conference was organized by Kevin Carey, policy director of Education Sector (and a columnist for The Chronicle); Andrew P. Kelly, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and Ben Wildavsky, a senior fellow in research and policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. It was supported in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Human Resource Executive Online, June 9, 2010, Wednesday

Human Resource Executive Online

June 9, 2010, Wednesday

Human Resource Executive Online

Temp Contretemps

Two studies show that the presence of temporary employees in the workplace can increase feelings of job insecurity and dissatisfaction among full-time workers. Experts disagree, however, on what to do about the findings.

By Andrew R. McIlvaine

If your organization is planning to hire temporary workers in the near future, you might want to keep the results of two recent studies in mind as you seek to preserve harmony in the workplace.

Companies tend to ramp up hiring of temporary workers in the wake of recessions, and this economic recovery -- sluggish though it is -- is no exception: Temporary assignments accounted for 76 percent of the job growth in the private sector last month, according to the American Staffing Association.

However, two reports -- one from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the other from the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management -- find that the presence of temporary workers can have a negative effect on the attitudes of full-time employees.

The presence of temporary employees in the workplace leads to increased feelings of job insecurity and lower levels of job satisfaction among their full-time counterparts, according to the Cornell ILR study, which analyzed the findings of the Workplace Employment Relations Survey, a poll of British workers conducted every few years by the United Kingdom's Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

"One of the implications of our findings is that, if employers want to use temps, they need to think about how to reassure their permanent employees that they're not about to be laid off and that their jobs are not at risk," says Pam Tolbert, professor and chair of the ILR School's department of organizational behavior.

"Our analysis suggests that the presence of limited-contract employees has little effect on standard employees' perceptions of work overload, but strongly, negatively affects perceived job security," she says.

However, the University of Arizona study suggests that increased workload is, indeed, a factor in full-time employees' negative perceptions of temp workers.

"Having more temporary co-workers makes full-time workers' jobs more complicated, since they end up having to train these new people on a regular basis," says Associate Professor Joseph Broschak, who conducted the study.

Broschak and Alison Davis-Blake, of the University of Minnesota, interviewed 300 employees at two locations of a global financial-services company that made regular use of temps for its back-office operations and call centers.

Full-time workers who were part of work groups that included large numbers of temporary employees reported less satisfaction with their colleagues and supervisors than employees in work groups that did not have a large presence of temps. Additionally, full-timers said they were routinely expected to help train temps on company-specific processes, which often got in the way of their regular job duties.

"What really bothered the full-timers was that they weren't getting compensated or recognized for these extra duties," says Broschak.

Tolbert says HR leaders can lessen full-timers' anxiety about temps by keeping the groups separate from one another, whenever possible. However, Broschak argues for the opposite approach.

"Treating the population of [temporary] employees as a separate workforce can have unintended consequences for everyone," he says, adding that HR should ensure temporary workers are included in company social events.

"Allowing workers who are employed under different work arrangements to develop social ties at work is a key to developing a cohesive and well-functioning workforce," Broschak says.

A strong partnership between HR and staffing vendors is also key, says Jorge Perez, senior vice president of Manpower Staffing North America in Milwaukee, one of the largest staffing firms in the world, adding that his firm typically works closely with clients in screening temps and designing onboarding programs to help them get up to speed in new assignments.

Debbie Tidwell agrees that full-timers are often frustrated about having to help train temps. Tidwell, director of strategic accounts at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based global staffing firm Spherion, says her company also works with clients to help design orientation and training programs for temps in order to minimize the likelihood that permanent employees will be stuck with that role.

Ideally, both Tidwell and Perez say, companies will hire temps with the intent of bringing them on as full-time employees within a set time frame should they meet expectations.

"I think all of our employees would want to be permanent," says Tidwell, "if they had that option."

June 9, 2010

Copyright 2010© LRP Publications

States News Service, June 9, 2010, Wednesday

Copyright 2010 States News Service
States News Service

June 9, 2010, Wednesday

Charlottesville Attorney Named Young Lawyer of the Year

The following information was released by the Virginia State Bar (VSB):

The Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference will give the 2010 R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award to Robert E. "Bob" Byrne Jr. of Charlottesville.

The award recognizes young lawyers who demonstrate dedicated service to the conference, the legal profession, and the community. It will be presented on June 18, 2010, at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Byrne has a statewide general litigation practice with MartinWren PC, which has offices in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg. He has been an active volunteer in the Young Lawyers Conference.

The conference board of governors credits him with revitalizing the YLC Professional Development Conference - an annual program that offers practice management and substantive law training to young attorneys - in 2008.

"Rather than just adding another activity to his resume, ... Bob was conscientious [in] crafting a detailed program that would actually give young attorneys the practical skills to help them in their individual practices. ... [H]e dedicated himself to organizing a conference that would make the attendees better attorneys," wrote Monica A. Walker, who co-chaired the Professional Development Conference with Byrne last year.

Board members also cited his contributions to the YLC's Docket Call newsletter and his community involvement. Byrne is a youth basketball coach and a member of the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club. He recently helped found a church in Zion Crossroads. He served a chair of the Regent University Executive Alumni Board in 2006-07.

Byrne is a native Tully, N.Y. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a law degree from the Regent University School of Law.

LOAD-DATE: June 9, 2010