Corporate America began embracing programs to reduce sexual harassment at work nearly 50 years ago, but new research suggests many of the efforts aren’t succeeding and that women’s career growth is suffering.In a paper published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor of Sociology Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University, studied the effectiveness of harassment grievance procedures and training programs over three decades.The researchers looked at survey data on corporate sexual harassment programs at 805 companies from 1971 to 2002 from the Princeton Survey Research Center and annual census figures on the ethnicity, race, and gender of private-sector workers from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).Dobbin and Kalev examined changes in the share of women in management after companies adopted grievance procedures and training programs. Numbers of women managers tended to grow in more supportive work environments.“In existing literature on harassment in the workplace, we see that women who file grievances most often face retaliation and have to leave their jobs because they find their workplaces so toxic,” said Dobbin.Conversely, he said, “You can see that a workplace is getting better for a particular group when you see significant increases in the numbers of a particular group in the management ranks.”According to Dobbin and Kalev, 98 percent of surveyed employers had established grievance procedures for harassment by 2002, while 82 percent had manager training and 64 percent had employee training. Eighteen percent implemented all three.Researchers found that grievance procedures and employee training that focused on preventing illegal or negative behavior were followed by decreases in the numbers of women in management.On the other hand, training that helped managers understand and effectively address incidents of harassment was followed by increases of women in leadership roles. In companies with more female managers, such training was especially helpful for black, Hispanic, and Asian American women. “We’re seeing a growing recognition that workplace sexual harassment isn’t a side issue when it comes to gender equity; it’s one of the central issues.” — Professor of Sociology Frank Dobbin Programs expand commitment to preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based harassment Related “In order for employers to diagnose and address the problems they have, they have to collect more data,” said Dobbin, citing surveys like the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire developed by psychologist Louise Fitzgerald. “But there’s a catch [to that], because if they collect more data, they might get into trouble in court … for allowing a culture of harassment to persist.”Corporate policies alone won’t solve the problem of harassment, said Dobbin. It’s also essential for employers to change workplace culture by recruiting and retaining managers of all genders with proven commitments to ending sexual harassment at work.“We’re seeing a growing recognition that workplace sexual harassment isn’t a side issue when it comes to gender equity; it’s one of the central issues,” he said. “There are long-term negative career consequences for women who face harassment and try to do something about it and for women who face harassment and don’t do anything about it. One of the positive effects of the #MeToo movement is that more people are now realizing that what we have [in place] doesn’t work.” The #MeToo surge against sexual abuse provides opportunities for pivotal societal change, but challenges too Organizers assure participants that ‘we will take their responses seriously and react in accordance with what we learn’ “We see that management training works pretty well to increase the numbers of white women in organizations that don’t have a lot of women in management already, but it works better to increase the numbers of minority women in organizations that do have a lot of women in management,” said Dobbin. “The theory behind that result is that [in general], women respond more positively to training than men do and, following training, are less likely to blame the victim. Men in general are more likely to blame the victim” if approached with a complaint.However, Dobbin cautions that simply growing the ranks of women managers isn’t a silver bullet for halting harassment. When the overall share of women in leadership rose above 15 percent, harassment training for managers tended to have an adverse effect on white women in particular. Researchers theorize that this negative effect reflects resistance by a dominant group to the perceived encroachment of a minority group into their sphere of power. Because there are more white than minority women in corporate management roles, they become viewed as a greater threat.“We see a pattern here in workplaces with a management team of mostly men,” said Dobbin. “As the number of women starts to increase, men start to resist the addition of more women to the management team,” resulting in retaliation against them.In the paper, the researchers offer possible solutions to harassment and retaliation, highlighting potential changes to training and grievance models that increase employee engagement and lessen victim-blaming.As an alternative to the existing grievance process, Dobbin and Kalev point to the growing use of independent ombudspersons, who offer a confidential, third-party resource for people to report harassment and think through feasible and appropriate solutions. This model is also recommended by the EEOC as one that helps mitigate the possibility of retaliation and provides a complainant with an ally.Training programs have continued to proliferate across the country, but many are online and less effective than in-person training, according to Dobbin. He and Kalev recommend bystander-intervention training, which has been adopted in the military and in higher education with positive results.“When it comes to harassment training, the bystander-intervention model is one of the promising avenues,” said Dobbin. “Bystander training can work because it’s not accusatory and starts out by trying to get the people who are being trained onto the side of the person who is facing harassment. It puts people in the position of the third party observing a situation, but it can also make people scrutinize their own behavior.”Dobbin also highlighted the importance of companies collecting and analyzing their own data on harassment and workplace safety, and pointed out that many firms do not track or share information on complaints. The women’s revolt: Why now, and where to Harvard adds to Title IX initiatives New student survey asks about sexual assault and misconduct
Broadway favorite Jeremy Jordan stopped by Good Morning America to chat about filming the recently released The Last Five Years on a low budget, fast schedule and while singing live. There was also the complicated concept of cheating on his on screen wife Anna Kendrick with his real wife Ashley Spencer, who appears in the film as Jamie’s agent’s secretary. And because every morning (and afternoon and evening, to be honest) should start with Jeremy Jordan singing some Jason Robert Brown tunes, the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner did just that—with the maestro himself on the piano. Check out the interview and take a listen to their “Moving Too Fast” below! View Comments
Weeding. “Mulches help control weeds,” he said. “That provides two advantages: One, youdon’t have to pull weeds yourself. And two, you don’t have to spray chemical herbicidesaround your yard.” Watering. “Sunshine and wind will take away much less water if the soil surface is coveredwith mulch,” Garber said. Reduce water needs with pine straw mulch around shrubs and inflower beds. Replenish. Don’t replace. Just add new straw on top of the old to make a layer at least two tothree inches thick. That’s the least it will take to be effective. You could be happy you saved it next spring; for all the reasons it’s so good in yourlandscape, pine straw can be just as valuable as a mulch in your vegetable garden. “In most cases,” Garber said, “pine straw that’s two inches deep after it settles does 90 percentof what you’d expect the fabric or plastic liner to do. Four or five inches of fresh straw willsettle to about two inches.” Don’t just stuff it under the branches. Spread it beyond the drip line, the line right underthe outermost leaves. “Getting it over the feeder roots is the key,” Garber said. Yes, somebody has to rake it all up. But pine straw can be more of a blessing than a chore,said Mel Garber, a horticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. Don’t remove the old pine straw. “One of the benefits of mulching is the organic matter itadds to the soil as it decomposes,” he said. Don’t pile it too thick. “I don’t know that it will hurt so much,” Garber said. “But any morethan about six inches just won’t do any more good.” Pine straw can free you, he said, from having to do so much: “If you use it right, pine straw can actually help you have less yard work to do,” Garber said. Pine straw actually falls year-round, said extension forester Dave Moorhead. But needle-fall isheaviest in fall, winter and early spring. If you have more pine straw than you can use in the fall, just find an out-of-the-way place topile it up and save it. If you think of all it can do, you’ll thank those pines for the pine straw they’re raining intoyour yard. It can also help keep soil from washing from heavy rains, Garber said. That protects waterquality and keeps you from having to repair eroded areas. Here are some tips, Garber said, to help make the most of your pine straw. Mulch young trees. “It’s really important in the first two or three years,” he said. “Withshallow-rooted trees like dogwood or redbud or crape myrtle it’s good to mulch even afterthat.” Don’t push it up close to the stems. Especially with azaleas, he said, mulch piled up aroundthe stems can lead a second root system to develop. That often happens at the expense of thedeeper root system, which leaves the azalea even more susceptible to drought damage. Mowing. Contoured pine straw islands, with just a few plants, can replace large areas ofhigh-maintenance lawn. “Where you already have groups of shrubs or trees, use pine straw totie them together,” Garber said. “Then you won’t have to mow around them individually.” Don’t put plastic or landscape fabric under the straw unless your main purpose is completeweed control. If that’s the case, you won’t need as thick a layer of straw. It can help keep the soil moist in small gardens, raised bed gardens or small beds of vegetableplantings. It can also be good for mulching small fruits, such as strawberries or blueberries.
by Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) May 9, 2011 Democratic lawmakers compromised with little difficulty on their few disagreements over specific expenditures in the capital bill last week. The sticking points ‘ money for a Montpelier biomass plant, funding for replacement plans for the Vermont State Hospital and a commitment to give the Vermont Telecommunications Authority significant funding for broadband ‘ came down to details, all of which were easily surmountable.The biggest change, proposed by Gov. Peter Shumlin, was a practical consideration that lawmakers embraced. Instead of passing a budget that is good for one year, as had been the practice for many years, Shumlin proposed a two-year capital budget. The first year is front-loaded with $92 million so that construction on new projects can continue unimpeded by changes in the political landscape. The second year budget, about $61 million, will be based on a capital budget adjustment that with the exception of a few ‘fenced off’ projects will be subject to re-evaluation in the fiscal year 2012 budget cycle.‘I think it’s a very good bill that is the result of very hard work throughout the session,’ said Sen. Bob Hartwell, D-Bennington.The two-year game plan gave the members of the House and Senate institutions committees some heartburn because the planning process was more rigorous, but lawmakers saw the advantages of the new system right away. Rep. Alice Emmons, D-Springfield, is pleased that particularly important construction projects, like the Colchester health lab slated to receive $28 million, won’t stall because of a lack of state funding. Local communities and local contractors will benefit from the two-year planning cycle, Emmons said.‘It’s really an economic development bill,’ Emmons said. ‘The longer contract has a ripple affect across the state.’Download a spreadsheet of the expendituresRead the conference committee reportThe state’s outlay for construction projects in fiscal year 2012 will include $7 million for the renovation of the Montpelier heating plant after all. (The Senate cut the funding, but restored it after language was added to the bill that tightens reporting requirements.)The Vermont State Hospital, which originally was given short shrift in the House version of the bill (it had been slated for $482,000 in carry forward money only) will now receive $2 million in new money for planning.The state lost federal certification for the Vermont State Hospital in 2003. Every year the state runs the hospital without the approval of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, it loses out on about $10 million in matching funds. CMS has determined that the facility is inadequate for the roughly 50 patients a day who need intensive, 24/7 mental health care.The 40-50 bed facility that would replace the existing hospital in Waterbury would be located on a four to five acre area near Central Vermont Medical Center and would include a basketball court, gardens and walking paths. The building would cost between $50 million and $60 million.‘We wanted to make sure that the Department of Buildings and General Services had the necessary resources to carry out a plan so if it works out it could be built in 2014, which would b e the end of a very long journey,’ Hartwell said.The Vermont Telecommunications Authority will receive $10 million in the first year of the capital budget and nothing in the second. Lawmakers have asked for quarterly reports to mark the VTA’s progress. The authority has been criticized for moving too slowly on the state’s broadband efforts. (Vermont has spotty wireless and fiber networks.)The VTA is authorized to bond for an additional $40 million for projects. This money has not yet been tapped.Lawmakers also included language in the bill that would make it possible for state employees to telecommute. ‘This may become a significant issue if gas becomes more expensive,’ Hartwell said.The state of Vermont maintains 4 million square feet of space for offices, courtrooms, correctional facilities and customer, service and storage areas.The state’s biggest expendituresEvery year the state invests in tangible assets ‘ office space, courtrooms, correctional facilities, information centers, schools, dam maintenance and/or historic buildings.The state’s renovation, construction expenditures and investments in this year only represents about 2 percent of the state’s $4.67 billion budget.The $153 million capital bill is a long list of state investments in a hodgepodge of projects ‘ office building maintenance, statehouse renovations, water pollution control, school construction, park facilities, parking lots, information technology, broadband and affordable housing and conservation.Rep. Alice Emmons, D-Springfield, and the chair of the committee said the bill was challenging to put together, but the long-term planning approach is advantageous. In the past, a major project couldn’t ‘put a shovel in the ground until all the money was in hand,’ she said.‘We’re guaranteeing money for two years, and the state can start construction right away,’ Emmons said.A new $28 million health labThe health lab will be located on land owned by the University of Vermont, and it will be situated near the Colchester Research Facility off exit 16 on Interstate 89. A feasibility study of the project has been completed for the 58,000 to 59,000 square foot structure. The construction will cost $28 million, and the building will include labs for environmental chemistry, microbiology and radiological testing. The health lab will accommodate up to 52 employees. The project will go out to bid in the late fall, and construction is expected to take 18 months.Energy efficiency for state buildings a high priorityLawmakers have also set energy efficiency targets for state buildings. The objective is for the state to reduce energy consumption by 5 percent a year on a three-year, rolling average. The Department of Buildings and General Services will be charged with measuring results. In addition, the state will ask employees to lower their fuel use for transportation by the same amount over the next three years. Emmons said the Vermont State Employees Association is comfortable with the targets.The capital bill also includes the following items:Lawmakers have set aside $200,000 for the renovation of two to three Statehouse committee rooms. The House Speaker will decide which rooms will get a facelift. Last year, House Corrections and Institutions and a small conference room got a facelift.The state is looking to overhaul 120 State St., where the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Education are now located. Some members of the DOE staff are now working at a satellite office on the Barre-Montpelier Road, and the administration wants to bring all those employees back to 120 State St. Lawmakers have set aside $250,000 to renovate historic restrooms on the ground floor of the building and $250,000 for plans to retrofit the whole structure.The Secretary of State’s office will be moving this spring to the newly renovated 128 State St. (where Shumlin’s transition team was briefly housed. The Redstone Building where the offices are currently located will be mothballed for the time being. Emmons said they don’t want to let go of state-owned property until they know for sure the space isn’t needed.The Department of Corrections has asked for $1.4 million for renovations in order to move inmates to new locations. It will cost $454,000 to renovate the Chittenden County Correctional Facility to accommodate women from the all-female St. Albans facility. The state wants to spend $800,000 in retrofits for the St. Albans prison, which will be leased to U.S. Marshals for use as a detention center.Lawmakers have set aside $5 million ($2.5 million in each of the fiscal years 2012 and 2013) for the consolidation of the Rockingham and Brattleboro State Police barracks and construction of one public safety field station.The Department of Information and Innovation is to receive $5.78 million for the upgrade of the human resources computer system.Vermont Public Television will receive $805,750 in fiscal year 2012. There is no money budgeted for VPT in fiscal year 2013. The money is to be spent on field production equipment, energy conservation retrofitting at the Colchester studio and a fixed satellite uplink. Ann Curran, VPT community relations director, said the funding is part of a three-phase plan to upgrade the studio’s digital television infrastructure.The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board would receive $4 million, with a provision that the board make affordable housing preservation and infill projects in or near downtowns or village centers a priority. In addition, $500,000 of the funding must go toward the creation of public inebriate beds and transitional housing for inmates. Up to 20 percent of the total appropriation is to be allocated for conservation awards that maximize the drawdown of federal and private matching funds. Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.org
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Julia Angwin, ProPublicaSome people make dieting resolutions in the New Year. I make security and privacy resolutions, because those are the things that keep me up at night. After all, as a journalist, it’s important for me to give my sources assurances that I will keep their communications confidential. And in today’s world, that is an ever-more-difficult task.Everyone — journalists or not — faces an increasing array of attacks on our security and privacy. Even if you’re not the U.S.’s intelligence chief, whose email was recently hacked, it’s smart to up your game. So this year, I thought I’d share my resolutions.1. Software updatesIt’s not sexy, but at the top of my list is updating my software to the latest versions. Nothing else matters – not fancy encryption or strong passwords – if you’re using software that contains gaping holes that any criminal or spy can penetrate.And I hate to break it to you, but all your software is as holey as Swiss cheese. The software updates you receive are just patches for the holes that have been discovered so far. More holes will be discovered later. What’s more, updates are basically red alerts to hackers, pointing them to the holes.So I’ve just updated my phone and computer operating systems, as well as all my Web browsers, software and phone apps.2. Ditching old, buggy softwareNext up is ditching old, unused or poorly maintained software. Using software is a commitment. If you don’t update it, you are wearing a “hack me” sign on your forehead. So if there are programs or apps that you don’t use, delete them.This year, I decided to ditch my instant messaging client Adium. I was using it to enable encrypted chats. But like many cash-strapped open source projects, it is rarely updated and has been linked to many security vulnerabilities.Instead, I switched to Tor Messenger, an encrypted messaging program that is run by the Tor Project, a nonprofit that makes the anonymous Web browser that I already use. By the sad standards of underfunded open source security tools, Tor is relatively well-financed and so I have some hope that its tools will continue to be updated.Tor Messenger links up with my existing Gmail and Jabber chat accounts, and is encrypted and anonymous by default.For even more privacy, I also signed up for Ricochet, an encrypted chat program that runs on the so-called Dark Web. One downside: You can only chat with other Ricochet users. So far, I have all of two buddies on it. [INSERT SAD EMOJI HERE!]3. Upgrading my passwordsPasswords are, of course, the definition of unsexy. But you gotta have ‘em, and they should be long and unique (no re-using between websites). I use a password manager, 1Password, to generate most of my passwords.But for my most important accounts, such as email and my bank, I use a method called Diceware to generate passwords that are about 30 characters long and made up of dictionary words that I can remember. (Thank you Chase for allowing 30-character long passwords — not all banks do, strangely.)If your passwords are long and unique, you don’t need to change them every few months, as most companies incorrectly force employees to do. But I’d been using the same Diceware passwords for a few years now — and I figured it was time to create new ones.4. Upgrading my encryption keyAfter getting all the basics out of the way, I finally got to the fun stuff: Secret coded messages! Who doesn’t love encryption? Modern crypto scrambles your communications so well that FBI Director James Comey has spent the past year complaining that it’s too hard to crack.Most of my encrypted communications take place on Signal, an easy to use phone app. But for email, I use Gnu Privacy Guard, a much older and more complex program.I’ve long been haunted by the fact that when I set up GPG four years ago, I didn’t create my encryption key in the most secure way. This year, I decided to finally fix it. To set up my keys correctly, I had to find a computer that never touches the Internet and follow the instructions in this helpful guide: “Creating the Perfect GPG Key Pair.”My new key seemed all pristine and shiny. And my old key – which I am now revoking – was like an old sweater that I was tossing. It had served me well, but it was time to go.In fact, closet cleaning is probably the best analogy for my New Year’s security project. At the end, I felt cleaner and lighter — the same way I do when I toss out old clothes. And perhaps that feeling was its greatest benefit. I may not be able to foil all the hackers and spies across theInternet. But I can sleep better at night knowing I have tried my best.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.
Oct 3, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging clinical laboratories to use bacterial culture of stool specimens in suspected cases of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection to facilitate diagnosis and proper control measures.Failure to culture specimens can cause labs to mistake some other pathogen for E coli O157:H7, leading to inappropriate public health measures, the CDC warns in the Sep 29 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.That happened last year in North Carolina, where a clinical lab used enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to look for Shiga toxin—which is produced by E coli O157:H7 and other pathogenic E coli strains—in a specimen from a baby. Test results were positive, leading authorities to take public health measures appropriate for Shiga toxin–producing E coli (STEC) strains. Those included barring the baby and several other sick children from their day care center until two stool cultures showed them to be free of STEC.”Some days” after the EIA result, the lab sent the patient sample to the state public health lab, which tested it and found no STEC, the report says. The sample was then sent to the CDC, where an EIA again showed Shiga toxin, but further tests for Shiga toxin genes were negative. Subsequently the state lab tested more samples from the index patient and four other patients and found they had norovirus.After this finding, authorities changed the control measures, and the sick children were allowed to return to the day care center as soon as they were well, the report says.”As the North Carolina outbreak demonstrates, occasional false-positive results from the Stx [Shiga toxin] EIA test can result in inappropriate and unnecessary public health action,” the CDC states. If the lab had cultured for E coli O157 at the same time as it ran the EIA or immediately afterward, a negative result might have prompted an earlier search for norovirus, the report says.The article also reports on an outbreak in a New York state prison last year that turned out to have been caused by E coli O45:nonmotile, a far less common strain than O157:H7. In that episode, an EIA pointed to Shiga toxin, but cultures were negative for E coli O157:H7. Eventually the CDC tested isolates from three patients and identified the O45 serotype.The CDC recommends that clinical labs use EIA to screen stool samples for Shiga toxins and, ideally, culture samples for STEC O157 at the same time, which facilitates rapid diagnosis and treatment of patients and rapid subtyping by public health labs.Labs that don’t simultaneously culture samples for STEC O157 should culture any Shiga toxin–positive broths for STEC O157 as soon as possible and send the isolates to a public health lab for confirmation and subtyping, the CDC advises. If a Shiga toxin–positive broth does not yield STEC O157, it should be sent to a public health lab for identification of non–O157 STEC. Public health labs should send all non–O157 STEC isolates to the CDC for confirmation, the agency says.CDC. Importance of culture confirmation of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli infection as illustrated by outbreaks of gastroenteritis—New York and North Carolina, 2005. MMWR 2006 Sep 29;55(38):1042-5 [Full text]
A 42-year-old farmer was mauled to death by a Sumatran tiger in the encroached forest area of Mount Leuser National Park in Langkat regency, North Sumatra over the weekend.The farmer, named Ramelan, was found by local people in Pir ADB village, Besitang district on Saturday evening at 11 p.m. in a severe condition.Ramelan was a farmer who lived in the former encroached area located in Sei Lepan district within the National Park. “The victim was mauled by a tiger in the encroached area in the park, the location used to be the habitat of Sumatran tigers,” the park’s spokesman Sudiro told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.Besitang district head Ibnu Hajar confirmed that his resident died in a tiger attack. His office reported the incident to the Langkat regent. The victim’s body was evacuated and laid to rest by his family on Sunday.Pir ADB village chief Ilham Bhakti said Ramelan farmed in areas around Mt. Leuser National Park. He explained that the victim went to his farmland with his partner on Saturday morning. However, he had still not returned home by the evening, prompting local residents to launch a joint search around the Park area. Ilham said the victim was found with severe wounds to his head, hip and thighs.Besitang police chief Adj. Comr. Adi Alfian said that before the incident, several residents had reported that they saw a tiger in the same location where Ramelan’s body was found.“In the afternoon before he was found dead, residents saw a tiger near the farm. We have not seen it again but we will push it back to its habitat to prevent further attacks,” he said.Habitat loss due to deforestation and land encroachment have fueled conflict between humans and the critically endangered big cat on Sumatra island. The Sumatran tiger, the only surviving species of the Sunda Islands tigers, has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2008. Topics :
15 Justin Street, Holland Park West.A four-bedroom, two-bathroom home with an impressive man cave at Holland Park West has sold for $1.07 million at auction.The property at 15 Justin St, went to auction on Saturday.Professionals Style Real Estate – Brisbane selling agent Peter Elisseos said the Art Deco home had a fantastic modern twist, bringing the outdoors in for year-round entertaining. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020Check out the man cave at 15 Justin Street, Holland Park West.The property features a security system, polished timber floors, pedestrian gate and solar hot water. Mr Elisseos said the buyers were an older couple who were keen to move in as part of the next chapter of their lives.“They loved the feel of the area and the place in general,” he said.“The property is low maintenance and there is a nice old world charm about it.” 15 Justin Street, Holland Park West.The auction attracted a crowd of about 50 to 60 people, with five registered bidders.Mr Elisseos said about 30 bids were made throughout the auction battle.The property is close to child care centres, Catholic primary schools, Garden City Shopping Centre and local cafes.Public transport is just a stone’s throw away.
Croatia’s voluntary third pillar pension system may fall victim to the government’s bid to cut its budget deficit.In its 2014-17 convergence programme, submitted to the EU at the end of April, the government has proposed removing the state subsidy that members currently enjoy, arguing that only richer workers can afford to belong to the system.Croatia, which joined the EU last year, ran up a general government budget deficit of 4.9% in 2013.Under the EU’s Excessive Deficit Procedure, it is obliged to address the shortfalls in order to cut the deficit to 3% by 2016. The government wants the third-pillar legislation amended in 2015 and the change implemented from 2016.The tax stimulus amounts to 15% of total annual contributions to a maximum HRK750 (€98), and, along with the abolition of other savings subsidies, would only shave 0.05 percentage points off the deficit.The pensions industry is concerned that the changes will put the third pillar on the same footing as other financial products that do not have to generate annuities, and will further erode a system that, since its start in 2002, has remained relatively small.At the end of March, the six voluntary open-ended funds had a total membership of 208,618 and net assets of HRK2.3bn, while the 16 employer and trade union closed-end funds had 23,813 members and HRK516m in assets.The future for Croatia’s mandatory second pillar looks more assured.At a recent conference, labour and pension system minister Mirando Mrsić spoke of ultimately raising the current 5% contribution to 9%.This came as a relief for the pensions sector after the incorporation, in February’s new second-pillar pensions law, of a budget-reduction measure.Between 2014 and 2015, workers on privileged pensions, starting with the army and police, will have their second-pillar assets transferred to the first pillar, with all future contributions paid into the state system.As the result of this change, some 31,000 members and around 5% of assets had been removed from the second pillar as of the end of March 2014.The total number, including new workforce entries, stood at 1.68m, down from 1.7m at the end of 2013.Total assets stood at HRK58bn.
The suspects were Daryl Infante Banaag, Oscar Infante Banaag and Eric Arroyo Alanza. Joint forces of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Negros Occidental, Aklan, Antique, and Iloilo staged the operation at around 9:45 a.m. on July 18. Recovered from their possession were five sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 60 grams and drug paraphernalia. A police asset initially bought from the suspects a sachet. The buy-bust money was also recovered. BACOLOD City – Suspected shabu valued at around P408,000 was seized in a buy-bust operation in in Barangay 6, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. Three “high-value” drug suspects were arrested and detained at the Kabankalan City police station over the weekend. The three suspects face a charge for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA