Oxford students to sue University over strikes

first_img“Our lecturers have lost pay by going on strike don’t forget, so we need to continue our support for their cause.“Staff were out on the marches with us when we called for free education and students were out on their picket lines during the UCU strikes.“Solidarity is key and should be central to any form of action. We are stronger united than we are divided.”However, one of the Oxford students who has signed up, told Cherwell: “I honestly think the action might positively affect the student-staff solidarity. “Throughout the strike, my fellow students were encouraged by striking professors to reach out to the administration regarding concerns such as the loss of tuition value/teaching time as a way of pressuring the administration to return to negotiations.”More than 100,000 students across the country have already signed petitions protesting against the loss of lectures and other classes they have paid for through tuition fees.Achieving 1,000 sign-ups means the collection action now has a sufficient number of students to apply for a Group Litigation Order. Asserson have confirmed that the University of Kent has the most students signed up overall to the action, making up 13% of those signing up to sue. Students from Cambridge, Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham have also joined the action. 27% of sign-ups are “overseas students.”Asserson also founded a website for students interested in reclaiming part of their tuition fees. Asserson aim to have actin committees in universities to inform people about the class claim. Oxford students are among a group taking substantial collective legal action suing UK universities for financial compensation after teaching time was lost due to recent UCU strike action.Cherwell understands that 17 current Oxford students will make up part of the class action, which has the support of over 1,000 students from universities across the UK. The law firm leading the litigation, Asserson, has claimed universities could pay up to £10m each in compensation over the UCU staff strike. Oxford SU has criticised the action for its “consumer rights” approach.One postgraduate student, who is taking part in the action, said they felt financial loss “particularly acutely”, in addition to “the loss of education and instructional time.”The student, who is on a one year Masters programme, told Cherwell: “I took out a tremendous loan to attend Oxford this year…this was my one chance to receive the teaching of the experts from whom I came here to learn. “As a result of the strike, I lost three of eight lectures for two courses. Feedback on assignments done during the term was delayed which then affected my progress on the the final paper.”They added: “I understand why the professors decided to strike and I support their ability to stand up for their rights.” A spokesperson for Oxford SU told Cherwell: “We appreciate the frustrations raised by students, due to strikes forced by UUK and university management. “We believe, however, in the right to a free and accessible education, in accordance with SU policy, rather than the “consumer rights” approach on which this case predicates itself.” Former Oxford University Labour Club Co-Chair and undergraduate finalist, Hannah Taylor, told Cherwell: “The marketisation of education is damaging to us all. Seeking compensation is thus not the most helpful thing to be doing to combat it. A senior solicitor at Asserson, Shimon Goldwater, told Cherwell:: “You quickly realise there’s millions of pounds of damage here potentially, and universities won’t pay out millions of pounds on the basis of a few petitions, or letters, or dare I say even sit-ins and protests and all the other means by which students normally try to change their University’s view about something.”Goldwater also said: “No other service provider would get away with charging for 25 weeks of a service and cutting that to 22 with no price reduction. “There is no question that universities owe students fair compensation.”He added: “With the UCU estimating in March that strike action affected a million students, with the loss of 575,000 teaching hours that will not be rescheduled, we’re expecting a surge of sign ups over the coming weeks. “This is already one of the largest student group legal actions ever to have been launched in the UK.”“If the class action is accepted, universities would pay out millions of pounds. Over 20,000 undergraduates attend each large UK university. Paying approximately £500 compensation each to 20,000 students would cost £10 million.”Lawyers for those seeking compensation also claimed that universities have saved millions of pounds by withholding salaries for striking staff, and that no university has offered to pay any saved money directly to students affected by the strikes. “Many students do not view this as acceptable,” they argued. A spokesperson for the University of Oxford told Cherwell: “The University will not benefit from any monies accrued through this strike action.center_img “Any deductions from striking staff will be put to use for the benefit of students.”The University did not clarify whether compensation for students has been discussed or suggested among university bosses.Acting President of Oxford UCU, Terry Hoad, told Cherwell: “It is entirely understandable that the commodification of education represented by the tuition fees regime should have led to this kind of response to the recent strike action. “We are grateful that students have supported our action in defence of decent pensions for university staff, and know that they share our view that the long-term effects for our universities if staff salaries and pensions are allowed to deteriorate will be even more damaging than the immediate impact the strikes will have had on students’ work.“We are at one with students in wanting to secure the best circumstances for all who are engaged in and contributing to the processes of learning and research in our own outstanding university and in the country’s Higher Education system as a whole.”Cherwell understands that the class action claim would likely be for a breach of contract. While some universities exclude liability for loss caused by strike action in their agreements with students, Asserson considers that these exclusion clauses could be voided under the Consumer Rights Act (2015). Asserson will also consider a complaint to the Independent Adjudicator, as well as seeking to add several thousand more students to the group action. By signing up on the dedicated website, students are instructing Asserson to act for them. Any decisions regarding the settlement of claims will be taken by the whole group attending the relevant university, the law firm says.last_img read more

Ole & Steen announces third site opening

first_imgDanish bakery Ole & Steen is set to open a third UK site in Canary Wharf, London, British Baker can confirm.The site, which is 2,500sq ft, will be opening at the award-winning Crossrail Place, the most recent leisure development in Canary Wharf, which already houses a diverse range of dining options.The bakery will serve freshly baked breads, including many varieties of rye bread, pastries and traditional open sandwiches.The Danish bakery will be also be opening a site in Richmond from May this year and opened its first UK site in November 2016 at St James’ Market, London.Ally Gordon, UK operations director for Ole & Steen, told British Baker that he was very happy with how the St James’ Market bakery was going. As a result, the company had been looking for other, special London locations.“It’s an exciting opening for us,” he said. “Crossrail Place is perfect for Ole & Steen because it’s rapidly become a vibrant shopping and dining hub for people living and working in and around Canary Wharf.”Stuart Fyfe, head of retail leasing for Canary Wharf, said: “We’re extremely excited to welcome Ole & Steen to Canary Wharf as part of its continual evolution and expansion.”last_img read more

This Week’s Picks! Al Pacino, A View from the Bridge & More

first_imgSavor One Singular Sensation RepeatedlyAvailable October 23The theme of rejection, uncertainty, and unemployment make A Chorus Line (celebrating its 40th anniversary) a perfect candidate for a revival. Until then, we’re going to have to bide our time. No, we don’t mean putting on a workplace version. Tim from HR in tights is a waking nightmare. Instead, available on CD and (fittingly) vinyl, is a remastered edition of the original Broadway recording that features eight bonus track demos. Enjoy a Glengarry Reunion at China DollStarts October 21 at Schoenfeld TheatreA new David Mamet play is a big deal. But when it starts the peerless Al Pacino—who nailed Rick Roma in the movie version of Glengarry Glen Ross—you get tickets at any cost. Dinner with your boss, a date with the super-cute neighbor across the hall, your cousin’s plumber’s niece’s sweet 16. Forget all that. You’re headed to see China Doll, which runs through January 31. Click for tickets! Hey, you, plotting your apple-picking trip! You know you can buy them in the grocery store, right? And unless you plan on baking through Christmas, there is no point to acquiring four-dozen apples. Thankfully, we have less aggravating and far more enjoyable options. There’s a new play from David Mamet, an old favorite from Arthur Miller and Billy Elliot on PBS. Get ready for this week’s picks! Take in A View from the BridgeStarts October 21 at Lyceum TheatreMark Strong is a classic “that guy” whom you have enjoyed in countless movies (Sherlock Holmes, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy). Well, you’re going to remember him now. Strong stars in the acclaimed West End transfer and Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge. Arthur Miller’s classic drama explores a Brooklyn longshoreman’s (Strong) rage over his niece’s romance with a recent immigrant. Click for tickets! Spend Your Weekend with Billy ElliotOctober 23 on PBSFinding theater-related content on television requires as much effort as looking for a new job. It’s a frustration endeavor that ends up with a grown man screaming catchphrases over sports highlights. Thank God for PBS. Today, TV’s smart, dignified representative delivers the goods as Great Performances presents Billy Elliot the Musical Live from the West End. What makes it special? Well, one of the original Billys (Liam Mower) returns, along with “25 current and former Billys.” Yeah! Let Kelly and Jarrod Educate YouOctober 20-23 at Feinstein’s/54 BelowIf you were talking to Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett, you’d ask way better questions than, “What’s it like being married to another artist?” Yet, the two newlyweds are asked that so often that it’s the basis of a new show. The standout performers try to provide an answer via songs from married musical duos—from Alan and Marilyn Bergman to Beyoncé and Jay-Z—in “This is Dedicated: Music’s Greatest Marriages.” Click for tickets! View Commentslast_img read more

Minister: Shining Path Remains A Threat In Peru’s Jungles

first_imgBy Dialogo August 06, 2009 Peru’s interior minister said the Shining Path guerrilla group’s remnants remain a threat to public safety in the jungles of the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, known as the VRAE region. A statement qualified declarations made earlier in the day by Interior Minister Octavio Salazar, who had said the guerrilla group no longer posed a threat to the country. Salazar referred in the statement to an attack last weekend by the Shining Path on a police special operations base in San Jose de Seque, a district in the southern Andean province of Ayacucho, that left three officers and two civilians dead. The interior minister said there was a “perverse alliance” in the VRAE between the rebels and drug traffickers. “Regarding this subject, the security forces and the government have to work and carry out activities with the aim of eliminating this blight from that place. And that perverse alliance, I repeat, that they have with drug trafficking,” the minister said. The interior minister acknowledges that there “exists a latent danger” in the VRAE and that his office was “fully committed to the fight against narcoterrorism in all areas of the country,” the statement said. “What it means (is) that Shining Path continues to represent a threat as long as it is not gone from that place,” Salazar said. Officers Javier Fernandez Guevera, Prudencio Laurico Mamani and Carloto Soto Giuseppi died in the attack early Sunday. Soto’s wife and mother-in-law were also killed. The attack was apparently carried out by guerrillas allied with drug traffickers in the area, which is deep in the VRAE region, where drug cartels and the Shining Path operate. The Shining Path’s remnants regularly stage ambushes and other attacks on the security forces. In May, the La Republica newspaper reported that Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman, who is serving a life sentence for terrorism, called the remaining members of the guerrilla group operating in the VRAE region mercenaries. “It’s a group of mercenaries who look out for their personal interests and not those of the people. They are simplistic, they do not know ideology. They have practically tossed Marxism-Leninism-Maoism into the trash can,” Guzman told National Police intelligence officers. Guzman was referring to brothers Victor and Jorge Quispe Palomino, known as “Comrade Jose” and “Comrade Raul,” respectively, as well as to Leonardo Huaman Zuñiga, known as “Comrade Alipio.” The men are all Shining Path leaders in the VRAE, a jungle area in southern and southeastern Peru that has a strong presence of the group’s remaining members and drug traffickers. The remnants of the Shining Path did not comply with Guzman’s order more than a decade ago to end the armed struggle. Guzman does not recognize the remaining fighters as Shining Path members. The government launched a military offensive a year ago in the VRAE region in an effort to gain control of Vizcatan, considered the Shining Path’s last bastion. The Maoist-inspired group launched its uprising on May 17, 1980, with an attack on Chuschi, a small town in Ayacucho province. A truth commission appointed by former President Alejandro Toledo blamed the Shining Path for most of the nearly 70,000 deaths the panel ascribed to politically motivated violence during the two decades following the group’s 1980 uprising. The guerrilla group also caused an estimated $25 billion in economic losses, according to commission estimates. Guzman, known to his fanatic followers as “President Gonzalo,” was captured with his top lieutenants on Sept. 12, 1992, an event that marked the “defeat” of the insurgency. Guzman, who was a professor of philosophy at San Cristobal University before initiating his armed struggle in the Andean city of Ayacucho, once predicted that 1 million Peruvians would probably have to die in the ushering-in of the new state envisioned by Shining Path. The group became notorious for some of its innovations, such as blowing apart with dynamite the bodies of community service workers its members killed, or hanging stray canines from lampposts as warnings to “capitalist dogs.”last_img read more

Dix Hills Man Gets 25 Years for Sexually Exploiting Child

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 36-year-old Dix Hills man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in federal prison for taking pictures of a child as he molested the victim between the ages of 8 and 10.Thomas J. Carey, Jr. had been convicted at Central Islip federal court of sexual exploitation of a child.“This sentence is fitting for a predator who destroyed the innocence of an 8-year-old child,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Prosecutors said investigators found 161 images of Carey molesting the victim on his computer and digital cameras in his home in 2009.Homeland Security Investigations had raided his home while acting on a tip from the Swiss National Police and Interpol, authorities said.Judge Denis Hurley also sentenced Carey to lifetime supervised release.last_img read more

With Plenty of New Jobs on The Line, Nature’s Bounty Gets Second Chance

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York About six years ago, Nature’s Bounty, the vitamin and food-supplement maker that employs over 2,000 in the Town of Islip, announced plans to open a $32 million, 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Amityville’s New Horizons Industrial Park, located in the Town of Babylon.To run it, Nature’s Bounty would soon hire more than 200 local workers to manufacture energy bars for global sales. A vitamin and food-supplement manufacturer with manufacturing operations in California, China and elsewhere, Nature’s Bounty was, and is, Islip’s largest employer that is not a hospital. It is also one of the largest private employers in Suffolk County.To sweeten the pot for company officials, the Babylon Industrial Development Agency slashed the company’s Amityville tax bill by 60 percent for 15 years. In 2013, when the facility opened, Empire State Development, New York State’s economic-development arm, offered a $750,000 grant of its own.Within just two years, the good vibes soured. In March 2015, Nature’s Bounty closed the plant, axing more than 200 jobs. The plant’s work was outsourced to Nellson Nutraceutical, a California company whose “very special manufacturing capabilities” could “produce more bars and faster,” according to a spokeswoman.Matthew McDonough, Babylon IDA’s chief executive, tried to talk the company into staying. No dice.“California,” he says, “was a done deal.”The state withheld grant payment while McDonough clawed back nearly $294,000 in owed abatements.“Ironically, we ended up leasing one of the buildings to Bloomfield Bakers, from California,” he tells me.By the following year, the company was considering its options. In Fall 2016, Nature’s Bounty told Empire State Development that its 11 Long Island manufacturing facilities required extensive upgrades to keep the company from relocating. Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development’s chief, “assessed the threat of moving the company’s manufacturing and distribution out of state to be real,” according to William Mannix, executive director of Islip’s Industrial Development Agency. Albany then offered a grant of up to $25 million and $10 million in job training and other workforce development programs.In return, the company committed to creating 157 new jobs, retaining 2,042 existing jobs while investing over $142 million on upgrading its Long Island plants.Locally, Islip’s IDA board offered $8.4 million worth of tax abatements to the company over the next decade. The agency also expects to extend an undetermined amount of sales tax benefits as well, based on final capital cost reporting. The retention deal is expected to close within several weeks.Job creation is a key component of any government retention strategy. According to a report in Newsday at the time, Nature’s Bounty’s CEO “pledged” to add the jobs within a year’s time. A spokeswoman says that the equipment needed to run the facilities would be transferred within three months’ time.Since then, the company’s executive suite has had a shakeup. Last July, Nature’s Bounty’s long-time private equity owner, the Carlyle Group, sold a majority-stake sale of the company to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for a reported $3 billion. After the deal the new owners divested most of the company’s European operations, slimming its global work force by about 75 percent.CEO Steve left Ronkonkoma and moved into the corner office of the Kellogg Company, the global cereal maker. Replacing him was Paul Sturman, former worldwide head of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. The company’s best-known brands remain, including the flagship Nature’s Bounty, plus Sundown Naturals, Osteo Bi-Flex, Solgar, Balance Bar and Puritan’s Pride.Despite the upheaval, apparently neither state nor local IDA officials have opened conversations with Sturman to gauge the new CEO’s level of commitment to his predecessor’s pledge. Messages asking about job creation left with Sturman were not returned. Jodi Katz, a spokeswoman, says hiring information “would be made available at such time as we submit a filing” with Empire State Development. That won’t be before the end of the year, at the earliest – a long time for people waiting on jobs.John Lombardo, who runs Suffolk County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing program, tells me: “I know firsthand they are actively participating in every job fair at Stony Brook, Suffolk Community College and the regional labor departments. I’ve every reason to believe they’ve probably already exceeded their original hiring goals.”Hopefully this time the new hires will be permanent.Warren Strugatch is a partner with Inflection Point Associates, a consulting firm in Stony Brook. Contact him at [email protected]last_img read more

College athletic programs presented with unique challenges

first_imgDempsey says the team has Zoom meetings every week, which has helped the team get to know each other better. The NCAA granted student athletes permission to participate in voluntary athletic activities as of June 1. Coach Dempsey says this is a state-by-state decision, and Binghamton University is not ready to welcome students back at this time. “We don’t know how long it’s going to last but we want to do things every single day as coaches and players that whenever the wait is over, we’re going to be ready to go.” Coach Tommy Dempsey says the team’s current slogan is “win the wait.” The “win the wait” slogan is an expectation for the team to be prepared when they return to play. “Like” Nicole Menner on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter. Dempsey says this will slow things down, especially for the high school athletes. “We didn’t see those kids in the spring playing AAU, we’re more than likely not going to see them this summer.” “We’re just trying to be as demanding as we can with the players while they’re away. The expectation is that when you get back, you’re going to be in great shape.”center_img Another challenge is recruiting the 2021 class. For the second time, the NCAA pushed back the recruiting dead period through July 31. “Who you’re going to play for and where you’re going to play are big parts of the decision, but who you’re going to play with are big parts of the decision too,” sad Dempsey. VESTAL (WBNG) — The Binghamton men’s basketball team is one of many teams across the country faced with unique challenges amid the pandemic. Coaches will have to rely on film, which is less effective. “Most coaches are going to trust their eyeballs in person,” adding they are still unsure if they’ll be able to see the kids play this fall. In addition, introducing the team’s newest members was unlike any past season. The team had three athletes sign in the late signing period, meaning they could not have in-person meetings with the team. “last_img read more

2006 SUMMIT COVERAGE: Conference poll: 18% of businesses have pandemic plan

first_img The poll also suggested the importance of telecommuting: an 85% majority agreed strongly or somewhat that employees would be reluctant to come to work in a pandemic. The survey was taken in the afternoon, after the attendees had listened to several presentations about the pandemic threat posed by the H5N1 avian flu virus and the potential effects of a pandemic on business. Not surprisingly, the results showed that the companies take the threat of a pandemic seriously. Thirteen percent of the attendees expressed the view that a pandemic is imminent. Another 44% expect one within 2 years, and 38% expect one within 10 years. Feb 15, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A large majority of about 300 business officials at a conference in Minneapolis believe that an influenza pandemic would significantly affect their business, but only 18% of the companies have completed a preparedness plan, according to a poll taken yesterday. The group evidenced an ambivalent view of the role of government in coping with a flu crisis. A 53% majority said the federal government is definitely not doing enough to prepare the private sector for the threat, while only 3% said the government is doing enough. Eighty-four percent of the respondents said they “definitely” believed that a pandemic would disrupt their supply chains, and 14% called this outcome probable. Forty-five percent were convinced that national borders would be closed during a pandemic; another 30% thought this was somewhat likely. Fifty-nine percent of respondents to the electronic poll said their companies had started working on pandemic preparedness but did not yet have a plan in place. Another 21% said they hadn’t started planning, and 2% said they would rely on their existing crisis management plan. Twenty-three percent said their company perceived the likely impact of a pandemic on its operations as a “crisis,” 40% viewed the impact as serious, and 25% called it important.center_img More than three fourths—76%—of the officials were sure that social unrest would be an “important feature” of a pandemic. Three fourths of the companies agreed that information-technology preparedness, especially having secure remote access to their computer systems, would be a “key issue” for them. Close to two thirds said they were already prepared or somewhat prepared to move employees to remote locations or let them work at home, while 29% said they were not prepared. At the same time, a 73% majority thought government interventions would have a major impact on their business during a pandemic, and nearly as many—68%—thought that impact would be unfavorable. And an overwhelming 92% agreed that developing relationships now with local governments would help them respond to a pandemic. The meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center drew representatives of more than 200 companies with a total of more than 7.5 million employees and $2.6 trillion in annual revenue. The healthcare sector was the most heavily represented, supplying 22% of the attendees, according to the poll. The retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing, professional services, and financial and insurance sectors each accounted for about 15%. The poll was taken during a national meeting sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP web site, and the US and Minnesota Chambers of Commerce. Respondents had 10 seconds to answer each question, and the results were tabulated and reported immediately. Communication was listed as the most important planning area by 52% of the respondents. Smaller groups chose supply chains (28%) and information systems (16%) as most important.last_img read more

I do declare …

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Biden, Trump scramble to replan nomination speeches

first_imgElection oracle’s message Despite Trump’s claims to have internal polling showing him ready to repeat his 2016 surprise victory over Hillary Clinton, a professor who has become known as something of a US election oracle says otherwise.Allan Lichtman, who teaches history professor at American University and has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1984, said in a New York Times op-ed that Biden will prevail.Lichtman uses an analytical process that he calls the 13 “keys to the White House,” focusing less on the actual candidates as the broader political standing of the two competing parties.Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told CNBC that Lichtman shouldn’t be believed.”This is an election like no other in history,” he said. “American voters will decide this election, not academics or professors.” The US election plunged deeper into unprecedented territory Wednesday when challenger Joe Biden announced he would accept his nomination virtually and President Donald Trump suggested breaking tradition by holding his own ceremony at the White House.Citing coronavirus health risks, the Biden campaign said he would make his speech — the high point of a candidate’s race — from his Delaware home where he has spent most of the last months.He had planned to attend the August 17-20 Democratic convention in Milwaukee, which was already heavily scaled-down from the massive event typical before US elections. But the party said the risk was still too high, and switched to a fully virtual affair.”From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first,” said Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.”That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves.”Trump, whose reelection bid is struggling with a badly wounded economy and surging COVID-19 pandemic, signaled he may also accept his nomination from home — in his case, the White House. ‘This thing’s going away’ The president railed, as he does almost every day now, against increased use of mail-in ballots, which states are rolling out so that people don’t have to go in person to polling stations.Trump says this would lead to a fraudulent election.There is no evidence that this would happen and several states already rely heavily on the mail-in method, without any significant problem.Democrats say Trump fears more mail-in voting because this will increase turnout and would hurt his chances.According to Trump, a big increase in mail-ins will swamp the system, meaning no clear winner can be announced for possibly “months or years. They will never be able to tabulate their votes.”He also insisted that schools should reopen in September — a major step in reinforcing Trump’s message that the country has to move on from the pandemic, but many health experts and teachers says it would be too dangerous.Trump again said the virus would soon vanish, repeating his numerous sunny predictions about a health crisis that has so far killed 156,000 people in the US.”This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away and my view is that schools should be open,” he said.center_img “I love the building. I’m there right now. I spend a lot of time here,” he told Fox News.Trump’s August 27 acceptance speech was originally planned for North Carolina, but that was scrapped due to the coronavirus, as was the back-up location, leaving the Republican scrambling for alternatives.However, presidents are required to separate their campaigning from taxpayer-funded governing. If he goes ahead, Trump would be breaking at the very least with presidential decorum by turning the South Lawn of the iconic building into his personal campaign stage.Trump defended the idea as “by far the least expensive” and said that logistically it would require far less movement of staff and guests.He said he would rethink “if for some reason someone had difficulty with it.”In the interview with Fox News the president acknowledged that his reelection had got harder.”The election was going to be a walk, a walk in the park,” he said.With characteristic optimism, he cited polls that have not been made public and insisted that “we’re doing well.” Topics :last_img read more