As the Douglas Administration began the process of laying off 30 state workers ahead of an expected 400 more, the Legislature passed a joint resolution today to send the process to mediation. The House passed the Joint Resolution, JRH 26, calling for the administration and the Vermont State Employees Association to enter into a formal mediation process to resolve differences regarding state payroll savings. Since the beginning of the legislative season, the administration has said that the state needs to save an addition $17 million in payroll to help reduce the cost of state government. In the current fiscal year, the nonunion (exempt) state workforce has been reduce by 3.5 percent to 586 workers and nonunion workers have had their pay frozen, with those making over $60,000 taking a 5 percent pay cut. Meanwhile, the union workforce has been reduced 2.7 percent to 7,597 workers without any adjustments to pay or benefits.The Douglas Administration has the ability to lay off workers, but under the collective bargaining process it cannot change pay or benefits without the approval of the union. The state was expected to notify 30 workers today that they were being laid off, but the union has some ability to transfer those layoffs to other unionized workers. The administration has said it needs to lay off an additional 400 or so workers if a pay and benefit deal is not struck with the union.At the beginning of the session, Douglas said at least 600 state workers would need to be laid off. According to press reports, rank and file members of the five unionized bargaining units are themselves divided on the issue of whether to suffer the layoffs, or instead cut pay and benefits. The administration wants to reduce overall costs for future fiscal years rather than taking the union offer of just reducing costs in the next fiscal year, through furloughs and other one-time cost saving measures.Senate leaders, meanwhile, have offered up a couple of different plans as compromise to avoid layoffs, including furloughs for two years and some pay reductions of 3.5 percent. The administration’s non-layoff proposals have included a 5 percent wage cut and a health insurance premium increase from 20 percent to 30 percent. The Senate plan has included a cut in the number of communications positions within the Douglas Administration from 10 to five. There has been an on-going battle between the administration and the Legislature over these positions. Democratic legislators have seen these positions as part of the public relations machine for the administration. The Democrats see these cuts as a way for the administration to shoulder more of the pain. The administration has always bristled at the notion that these are just PR positions and instead insist that they perform the vital role of informing the public of what is happening in state government.The joint resolution calls for the mediation process to be completed no later than Tuesday, May 5. With two weeks left in the session and further revenue downgrades today, it is imperative that the Administration and the union find a way past the gridlock to find payroll savings, preferably without laying off workers, said Speaker Shap Smith. In these difficult times, we all must make difficult choices and I hope that, with a formal mediation process, the Administration and the State Employees Union can reach a compromise.
NZ Herald 7 September 2016Family First Comment: The usual list of suspects – drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown……“Drug addiction, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect, struggling parents and alcohol abuse are the most common reasons children end up in their grandparent’s care.”Terry Kopu has taken care of her great grandson since he was lifted from a home of drinking, violence and neglect when he was six weeks old.Her story is similar to the majority of the 1350 grandparents surveyed by charitable trust Grandparents Raising Grandchildren who released a report today. Drug addiction, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect, struggling parents and alcohol abuse are the most common reasons children end up in their grandparent’s care.Researcher Liz Gordon said the grandparents and great-grandparents get huge love and joy from their grandchildren, but the costs are great.The children are not easy children, there are often P babies, fetal alcohol babies, the victims of physical and sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress and other issues Gordon said.“Unless they are reasonably well-off and have one, two or more spare bedrooms, the arrival of the grandchildren has immediate impacts on the family – not enough resources, not enough space. Some grandparents find themselves sleeping on their couch.”The families vary greatly in ages from 35 to over 85. The report found most of the families are worse off financially as they drop work to take care of the child. Two-thirds of the families were on or below the poverty line and 74 per cent suffered from health issues Gordon said.“The grandparents often face ongoing sacrifices to deal with the health and education needs of the children, all the time their own health may be getting worse, their retirement savings disappear and they have to give up work, change jobs or reduce hours to meet the needs of the children.”CYFS have been very involved with many of these children, Gordon said, but grandparents have many criticisms of the organisation. Usually for urging the families to get custody, then closing the case and leaving very needy children without support.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11704830
Captains Affairs.Real Madrid’s Captain Sergio Ramos and Barcelona’s talisman Lionel Messi have another El Clasico date barely three days of the Copa del Rey clash A fascinating game lies in prospect in the Serie A when the defending champions, Juventus host Inter Milan in the Derby d’Italia at the Juventus Stadium on Sunday. The game will be aired live on SuperSport Select 2 and 5 at 8:45pm.After eight seasons of total dominance, Juventus are finally facing stiff competition in the league and their Milan rivals are one of their challengers.Also on Sunday, a fierce football rivalry will be rekindled in La Liga when Real Madrid host defending champions, Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in the El Clasico. The game kicks off at 9pm and will be broadcast live on SuperSport Select 4.Real Madrid lost the top position in the league to Barcelona after a surprise defeat to Levante last week, and their week was compounded after they lost to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. Los Blancos, however, will want to use the game overcome the two-point deficit established by their rivals.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Football fans will be treated to a bumper package this weekend as big derby games from the Serie A and La Liga, as well as games from the Premier League will be aired on GOtv this weekend.The games, scheduled to hold from February 28 – March 1, will be broadcast live on SuperSport Select 2 to GOtv Jolli and GOtv Max subscribers, and on SuperSport Select 4 and SuperSport Select 5 exclusive to GOtv Max subscribers.Bournemouth will continue their fight to escape relegation from the Premier League when they host Chelsea at Dean Court today. The game kicks off at 4pm and will be aired live on SuperSport Select 2.
Wisconsin volleyball’s Lauryn Gillis was an afterthought for a starting spot a few short months ago, but now the sophomore-transfer’s hard work has separated her from the pack.And she’s doing it all with a glowing smile on her face.During Wisconsin’s season opening loss to Western Kentucky, Gillis’ dedication to the team was on display as she desperately tried to stave off defeat and help lead the Badgers to victory.Despite the loss she delivered a solid performance in the match, registering 14 kills and a .314 attack percentage. Her success continued over the next two matches over the weekend, solidifying her place on the Badgers pecking order, but it still wasn’t a good enough performance in her mind.“Obviously there’s more I could have done, more I should have done,” Gillis said about the weekend. “But now we just have to look forward to the next weekend because that’s better competition and we need to get better this week.”Her dissatisfaction with not coming away with three victories is something head coach Kelly Sheffield admires about his new player. He said he liked her team-oriented attitude and desire to win.“[Gillis] had a really nice weekend,” Sheffield said. “She came in here with a lot of confidence this weekend and played with more and more energy as it went along. She really carried us a lot at times. I liked her demeanor. She wasn’t up and down, just very consistent, and that’s what we need out of her.”Brought in to help bolster a roster that graduated six players from arguably the best regular season in program in history, Gillis has a tough task at hand.The 2014 squad was a team that appeared in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, won the Big Ten Championship, and had First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention All-Americans.As an outside hitter she fell right into the most decimated part of that lineup where three seniors, Ellen Chapman, Courtney Thomas and Dominique Thompson, used to occupy front-line spots. A unit that averaged 2.61 blocks per set, held opponents to a .158 hitting percentage, and devastated foes with 14.34 kills per set.From the get-go Sheffield said these gaps would be filled by the likes of junior Lauren Carlini, a 2014 First Team All-American, and sophomore Kelli Bates, fresh off the 2015 Big Ten Foreign Tour, playing larger roles. And that fierce competition for remaining outside hitter spots would brew between players with past UW experience such as Romana Kriskova or exciting new prospects like Madison Duello.Yet there was never any mention of Gillis at the time, who now finds herself in the middle of the fray with six players competing at her position.“She’s going to be huge for us,” Sheffield said after last Saturday’s matches. “She’s a great kid. She has an awesome work ethic. People love playing with her. I think we’re just getting started with her here.”Now, Gillis has stepped into that once-vacant role and was named to the HotelRed Invitational all-tournament team after compiling 40 kills, averaging 4 kills per set, and attacking at .341 percent while starting every set.And those numbers are a product of a solid all-around game, Sheffield said.“Every day she’s getting her mojo back a little bit, where we need it,” Sheffield said. “Offensively she was awfully good. Passing has gotten stronger as we’ve gone through the preseason. She was getting more confidence in that, in a match environment as we were going. She’s learning a new serve that was really giving people fits.”Gillis even sparked a dead attack to life in the Badgers’ second match of the invitational against Colgate where she tallied 17 kills and only three errors on 35 attempts. Hitting at a clip of .400, she helped bolster a Badgers attack that similarly fizzled out the previous night against WKU.Yet this time, her efforts ended in a win and Sheffield and teammates credited her with jump-starting Wisconsin’s attack in their final match of the invitational against Charleston.With all of the uncertainty that initially surrounded her career at Wisconsin, Gillis is now certain that she made the right choice.“Being at home for the first weekend especially was a great experience, with all the fans,” Gillis said. “Unbelievable crowd, unbelievable for a weekend tournament for the first weekend. They were awesome and that was awesome to play in front of them. It was a great experience.”Still flashing that same smile.
It’s one thing to make it to the top of the WWE Universe. It another thing to stay there. Just ask “The Man.”It’s been nonstop Becky Lynch — the current “RAW” women’s champion — over the last year when her WWE’s career exploded to another level behind her sharp tongue and relentless work ethic both in and out of the ring. For her to come out and talk about how much it means to her to get a title shot against her friend, I’m not your friend anymore. I’m your opponent. You’re trying to take away something I’ve worked my entire life for, something I care about more than anything. I’m going to beat the hell out of you in your home country and snap your arm in front of your family if that’s what it comes down to.SN: Considering how the two of you were tied together for so long, do you miss not having Ronda Rousey around WWE?BL: Do I miss her? Absolutely not. If she wants to come back, I’ll still be holding onto the championship and happy to face her. I didn’t run. She ran. I still want that singles match. I still want that singles match so whenever she wants to come back and face me, I’ll be right here waiting, carrying this division that she abandoned. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearLynch had her defining moment at WrestleMania, winning both the “RAW” and “SmackDown” women’s championships as women headlined the annual mega-event.Now, she’s trying to enjoy the fruits of the labor, but there is no stop. But there are perks that come with the job. That includes donning the cover of the upcoming WWE2K20 video game alongside fellow WWE superstar Roman [email protected] just announced that The Man @BeckyLynchWWE & The Big Dog @WWERomanReigns will be on the cover for #WWE2K20!! https://t.co/JPkWvEa492 pic.twitter.com/Di37NOL6Nl— WWE (@WWE) August 5, 2019This Sunday at SummerSlam in Toronto, Lynch will put her “RAW” women’s championship on the line in a submission match against Toronto’s own Natalya in front of what should be a raucous crowd at the Scotiabank Arena.Just hours before the Aug. 5 edition of “RAW” in Pittsburgh, Sporting News spoke with the “Irish Lass kicker” about making the cover of the upcoming WWE2K20 video game (out on Oct. 22 and available for pre-order now), trying to stay on top of the mountain, her upcoming SummerSlam match and her arch-nemesis Ronda Rousey.SPORTING NEWS: You are on the cover of the new WWE2K20 video game alongside Roman Reigns. What was your reaction when you found out?BECKY LYNCH: You know, “The Man” doesn’t shriek but I may have shrieked when I found out. It’s pretty cool. There’s certain things you want in your life. One of them is main-eventing WrestleMania, one of them is to be a playable character in a video game. And to be on the cover of the video game — stop it. That’s next level stuff. SN: You wanted this spot, these opportunities for a long time. Now you’ve had them for close to the last year. Has it been everything you thought it would be?BL: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s a lot of targets on your back. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of no sleep. It’s a lot of running on adrenaline and I love it.SN: There’s always a process of getting to this stage in a career. Now that you’re there, that you’ve main-evented WrestleMania, you’re on the cover of the new WWE 2K video game, how difficult is it to maintain this position?BL: Yeah, it’s probably harder, you know because you’re always the hero on the chase to the villain and the victory, right? Everybody wants to support you when you’re climbing but once you get there, everybody kind of wants to knock you down a peg or two … or three or four or five. So, the work gets harder. We are in the business of how have you entertained me lately.OK, yeah, you did something cool last week but what have you done this week? What did you do on Twitter? What did you do in Instagram? So, it’s always constantly thinking of more ways to evolve and then you’ve got more attention, you’ve got more eyes on you. You always have to be thinking. You always have to be creative and working and trying to evolve.SN: This huge boom in your career really began a year ago at SummerSlam when you attacked Charlotte Flair following your match. Did you think that was going to be a career-altering moment?BL: Yes, I actually did at the time because I knew that the people were there supporting me and that I knew once you decide that you’ve had enough and you’re not going to take crap anymore, people can feel that because we’ve all felt like that. We’ve all been in that position where we’re taking so much and we’re just sick to death but finally, one day, you wake up and say enough’s enough. I’ve done things the right way — now let me do them my way and see where that gets me. And let me tell you from experience, it gets you pretty far. SN: Obviously, you had success in WWE before that moment but it had never been to this level. Is there any part of you that wonders ‘what took them so long to really get me like this?’BL: The fans were always behind me. Fans were always with me. The reason why I got where I am was because of them. It was them telling the people behind the stage ‘She’s got something. We like her. We have a connection with her.’ When I was on top of that ladder in Chicago at Money in the Bank (in 2018), the crowd went mad and that showed everybody that I have something.People that thought I was destined to be good but not great, a good hand, somebody who can make people look good, somebody that can make people into stars but wasn’t necessarily a star herself. The crowd and the reaction, that changed everybody’s perception backstage which then pushed me to the next level. SN: We all know that you and Seth Rollins are in a relationship and we’ve seen you work together in WWE including a match teaming up at Extreme Rules in July. We haven’t seen you together on TV since then. Would you like to work together or is it better to go your separate ways on screen?BL: I think it was cool to see us side-by-side but we both have our own divisions to carry right now. So, I think let me go and do my own thing, let him go and do his own thing. We’ll be fighting and defending for my championship and hopefully his championship after SummerSlam.I think when you see two bad asses fighting together, that’s cool. When you hear about them being in a relationship every few minutes, maybe not so cool. (laughs)SN: Is it tough to have that kind of a spotlight? It’s one thing to be seen together in public but it’s another when you’re doing your job together and the job is in the WWE, which is very unique and brings a different kind of spotlight. BL: Yeah, it is what it is. It was cool to work with him and he is the best at what he does and I’m the best at what I do. Side-by-side, I think that’s awesome. I think when we put the focus on the wrong thing, then things can get a little bit skewed.Knock knock @NatbyNature #summerslam #canadasnewhero pic.twitter.com/6289wmoHTF— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) August 5, 2019SN: You’re going to facing Natalya at SummerSlam for your “RAW” women’s championship. Do you think the buildup and the match will be more satisfying considering the history between the two of you and that you’ve known each other for more than a decade?BL: We’ve known each other for 14 years. I had my first tour with Nattie 14 years ago in Japan. Before that, I met her, I think in September in Canada and we’ve got through a lot. We were the closest of friends and then she stabbed me in the back. When I got my face broken, when I was concussed, she held my hand when I was getting stitches and then she goes off and trains Ronda Rousey to try and beat me. When she knows all that I’ve been through to get where I am, it busted my heart a little bit.