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  • Cormell Publications

    • Permalink for 'Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08): Current Status of Benefits'

      Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08): Current Status of Benefits

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 5:18pm CST

      The temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program may provide additional federal unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals who have exhausted all available benefits from their state Unemployment Compensation (UC) programs. Currently, EUC08 benefits are available in all states except for North Carolina. Congress created the EUC08 program in 2008 and has amended the original, authorizing law (P.L. 110-252) 11 times.

      The most recent extension of EUC08 in P.L. 112-240, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, authorizes EUC08 benefits through the end of calendar year 2013. Under P.L. 112-240, the potential duration of EUC08 benefits available to eligible individuals depends on state unemployment rates. Figure A-1 provides the sequence, availability, and total maximum of all unemployment benefits.

      This report summarizes the structure of EUC08 benefits currently available through December 28, 2013 (December 29, 2013, for New York). It also provides the legislative history of the EUC08 program.

    • Permalink for 'Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits'

      Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 5:10pm CST

      [Excerpt] Various benefits may be available to unemployed workers to provide income support. When eligible workers lose their jobs, the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program may provide up to 26 weeks of income support through the payment of regular UC benefits. Unemployment benefits may be extended for up to 47 weeks by the temporarily authorized Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program. Unemployment benefits may be extended for up to a further 13 or 20 weeks by the permanent Extended Benefit (EB) program under certain state economic conditions.

      Certain groups of workers who lose their jobs because of international competition may qualify for income support through Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) programs. Unemployed workers may be eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits if they are not eligible for regular UC and if their unemployment may be directly attributed to a declared major disaster. Former U.S. military servicemembers may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the unemployment compensation for ex-servicemembers (UCX) program. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-164) provides that ex-servicemembers be treated the same as other unemployed workers with respect to benefit levels, the waiting period for benefits, and benefit duration.

      On January 2, 2013, the President signed P.L. 112-240, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. P.L. 112-240 extended the authorization for the EUC08 program through the week ending on or before January 1, 2014, as well as altered the structure and availability of EUC08 benefits in states. P.L. 112-240 also extended the temporary 100 federal financing of EB and the option to allow states to use three-year lookback calculations in their EB triggers through December 31, 2013.

    • Permalink for 'U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations'

      U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 5:03pm CST

      [Excerpt] The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation among 12 Pacific Rim countries. Initiated under President George W. Bush, the TPP concept has wide bipartisan support. As the negotiations progress, provisions concerning textile trade have become a major point of contention, attracting considerable congressional attention and debate. This report examines the potential implications of a TPP agreement, if one is reached, for the U.S. textile manufacturing industry.

    • Permalink for 'Cancellation of Nongroup Health Insurance Policies'

      Cancellation of Nongroup Health Insurance Policies

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 4:58pm CST

      Congress has expressed interest in health insurance cancellations, in light of media reports stating that individuals have received cancellation letters. While cancellations are not a new industry practice, additional attention has focused on the more recent cancellations given that many of the insurance market reforms included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148, as amended) will become effective beginning in 2014. These cancellations and proposals to address them, including the Administration’s recently announced transitional policy, have been discussed in recent hearings and are the subject of legislative proposals.

      This report provides background information about health insurance cancellations, non-renewals and rescissions, including applicable federal rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and ACA. Given that the concern about insurance cancellations has largely focused on the nongroup market, this report discusses federal requirements and implementation issues that apply to nongroup coverage.

    • Permalink for 'Poverty in the United States: 2012'

      Poverty in the United States: 2012

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 4:50pm CST

      In 2012, 46.5 million people were counted as poor in the United States—the number, statistically unchanged over the past three years, is the largest recorded in the measure’s 54-year history. The poverty rate, or percent of the population considered poor under the official definition, was reported at 15.0 in 2012, a level statistically unchanged from the two previous years. The 2012 poverty rate of 15.0 is well above its most recent pre-recession low of 12.3 (2006) and remains at a level not last seen since 1993. Poverty in the United States increased markedly from 2007 through 2010, in tandem with the economic recession (officially marked as running from December 2007 to June 2009). Little if any improvement in the level of “official” U.S. poverty has been seen since the recession’s official end, with the poverty rate remaining at about 15 for the past three years. Some analysts expect U.S. poverty to remain above pre-recession levels through much, if not most, of the remainder of the decade, given the slow pace of economic recovery. The pre-recession poverty rate of 12.3 in 2006 was well above the 2000 rate of 11.3, which marked an historical low (a rate statistically tied with the previous historical low of 11.1 in 1973).

      The incidence of poverty varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors. Under the official poverty definition, an average family of four was considered poor in 2012 if its pre- tax cash income for the year was below $23,492.

      The measure of poverty currently in use was developed some 50 years ago, and was adopted as the “official” U.S. statistical measure of poverty in 1969. Except for minor technical changes, and adjustments for price changes in the economy, the “poverty line” (i.e., the income thresholds by which families or individuals with incomes that fall below are deemed to be poor) is the same as that developed nearly a half century ago, reflecting a notion of economic need based on living standards that prevailed in the mid-1950s.

      Moreover, poverty as it is currently measured only counts families’ and individuals’ pre-tax money income against the poverty line in determining whether or not they are poor. In-kind benefits, such as benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly named the Food Stamp program) and housing assistance are not accounted for under the “official” poverty definition, nor are the effects of taxes or tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC). In this sense, the “official” measure fails to capture the effects of a variety of programs and policies specifically designed to address income poverty.

      A congressionally commissioned study conducted by a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel of experts recommended, some 19 years ago, that a new U.S. poverty measure be developed, offering a number of specific recommendations. The Census Bureau, in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has developed a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) designed to implement many of the NAS panel recommendations. The SPM is to be considered a “research” measure, to supplement the “official” poverty measure. Guided by new research, the Census Bureau and BLS intend to improve the SPM over time. The “official” statistical poverty measure will continue to be used by programs that use it as the basis for allocating funds under formula and matching grant programs. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will continue to issue poverty income guidelines derived from “official” Census Bureau poverty thresholds. HHS poverty guidelines are used in determining individual and family income eligibility under a number of federal and state programs. Estimates from the SPM differ from the “official” poverty measure and are presented in a final section of this report.

    • Permalink for 'Quality of Life in Europe: Social Inequalities'

      Quality of Life in Europe: Social Inequalities

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 4:44pm CST

      [Excerpt] This report uses data from the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) to examine social inequalities in quality of life in the European Union. Four critical domains of life are examined: health, standard of living, productive and valued activities, and individual, family and social life. Variation in these four domains is measured by gender, age, disability status, employment status and citizenship status. The role of other important drivers of social inequalities such as educational status, occupational group, urbanisation, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, income, welfare regime and healthcare system is also discussed. The results of the third EQLS (2011) are compared with those of the second EQLS (2007) to assess the impact of the economic crisis on social inequalities and on the disadvantages experienced by population subgroups in Europe.

    • Permalink for 'Impacts of the Crisis on Access to Healthcare Services in the EU'

      Impacts of the Crisis on Access to Healthcare Services in the EU

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:52pm CST

      [Excerpt] This report is the first output of Eurofound’s research project on the impacts of the recent financial and economic crisis on access to publicly financed healthcare services in the EU. It aims to provide an overview of context and developments, setting the scene for the ongoing research project. A final overview report, incorporating findings from various country studies, will be published in 2014.

      Following a description of the policy context, this report goes on to explore how the crisis has impacted demand for and supply of healthcare services. It characterises different dimensions of access and discusses how the crisis may have impacted on barriers to access. It highlights groups that have traditionally been in vulnerable situations with regard to access, as well as those that may have been particularly affected by the crisis. Examples of past initiatives that have sought to enhance access to healthcare are identified. The final section presents how this research project aims to improve understanding of the impacts of the crisis on access to healthcare and of the ways in which access may be maintained.

      This report takes a broad perspective on access to healthcare services, referring to different understandings of access and various indicators. It draws on a review of the literature and primary data analysis. One key indicator concerns people’s perceptions of difficulties they face in accessing a doctor; in this regard, data are analysed from Eurofound’s 2007 and 2011 European Quality of Life Surveys (EQLS). A second key indicator concerns people’s perceptions of not having received medical care when they felt they needed it. Here, the main source of data is the ‘EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions’ (EU-SILC). These indicators are used to explore how access has changed since the onset of the crisis in autumn 2007. Other perspectives on access are also discussed, including for example legal entitlements and views on appropriate care provision by service providers. Sources of data include complaints to the Ombudsman and surveys of general practitioners (GPs).

      The forthcoming overview report will expand on such sources, and will include more in-depth information from studies of specific countries.

    • Permalink for 'Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Annex'

      Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Annex

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:41pm CST
    • Permalink for 'Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Ireland'

      Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Ireland

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:37pm CST

      [Excerpt] The political system in Ireland is highly centralised, with the vast majority of political and governing power vested in Dáil Éireann (lower house of parliament) and more particularly in the cabinet and the Taoiseach (prime minister). Ireland has what Pollitt and Bouckaert (2004) would call a unitary political system, with the upper house of parliament (Seanad Éireann) and the president having little influence, and the cabinet wielding huge influence over the legislation that is brought before the Dáil.

      The total number of people employed in the public sector grew from around 317,000 in 2001 to 360,000 in 2008, a growth of 14. Excluding commercial state-sponsored bodies, the numbers employed in the public service grew from 270,000 in 2000 to 320,000 in 2008, a growth of 19. Since the financial recession, however, there has been a significant drop in the numbers employed in both the public sector and public service from 2008, with a drop of just under 6 in each case. Numbers employed in the public sector and public service in 2011 were just below 2007 levels of employment.

      Growth in public service numbers from 2001 to 2008 was primarily concentrated in the health and education sectors. Two out of every three people employed in the public service work in either health or education. Numbers employed in the civil service, by contrast, have remained relatively stable over the period 2001 to 2011, increasing slightly from 36,100 to 36,600. Numbers rose slightly from 2001 to 2008, when there were 39,300 people employed in the civil service, but have declined since then.

      The civil service is not large by European standards. An OECD (2010) study comparing eight countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK) showed that Ireland had the third lowest general government employment per 1,000 population (67) in 2006, which was significantly behind Denmark (137), Sweden (125) and Finland (99). A subsequent OECD (2011) study showed that in 2008 in Ireland, employment in general government as a percentage of the labour force (14.8) was around the OECD average.

      In 2010, the OECD undertook a survey of the compensation of central government employees (OECD, 2011). This included not only salaries and wages, but also social benefits and future pension earnings. On average, top managers’ (top public servants below the minister) total compensation in responding countries amounts to just under USD 230,000 (€168,212 as at 17 October 2013) PPP.1 At just under USD 290,000 (€212,159) PPP, the compensation of top managers in Ireland is towards the higher end of the European countries surveyed. For the next level down from the top senior managers, a reduced sample of OECD countries shows compensation levels in Ireland to be close to the OECD average, at USD 184,000 (€134,552) PPP. The survey also examined the compensation of middle managers (defined as those responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the general functioning of a specific administrative unit within a government department or ministry). The average compensation for the European countries surveyed is just under USD 140,000 (€102,390) PPP. Compensation in Ireland for this group is USD 155,000 (€113,350) PPP, a little above the European average. Secretaries’ (defined as general office clerks who perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks) compensation was also examined. In general, the level of compensation varies less across countries than it does for the management positions. Compensation in Ireland for secretaries was found to be somewhat below the average of the European countries surveyed, assessed at USD 44,000 (€32,175) PPP, compared with the European average of USD 49,000 (€35,830) PPP.

    • Permalink for 'Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Finland'

      Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Finland

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:31pm CST

      [Excerpt] Finland is a unitary state where the highest organs of government are the parliament, the president and the government. The Finnish public administration has two tiers: the state administration and the self-governing municipalities (see Figure 1). The state administration operates on all three administrative levels (national or central, regional and local administration level), with the national level being the major area of operation. The municipal administration operates on regional and local levels. Since the majority of the municipalities are rather small (half of them have fewer than 5,000 inhabitants), the most demanding tasks, such as specialised healthcare, are provided through cooperative arrangements. In 2010, there were 342 municipalities and 226 joint authorities in Finland.

      In terms of public employment, a clear majority of public sector personnel work for municipalities. In 2010, municipalities had around 434,000 employees. In the state sector, the number of personnel has been decreasing since the 1990s. In 1988, there were a total of 215,000 government employees. In 2005, the figure stood at 124,000 people, and by 2010, it had dropped to around 86,000. In the early 1990s, the government converted several large agencies and departments into state enterprises, such as the postal services and the railway company. However, the most significant step in this direction was the university reform in 2009–2010. The university sector, comprising 31,000 employees, left the state civil service as of 1 January 2010 and it now lies outside the state budget. In addition, the staff of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Orthodox Church are considered part of the public sector, since they take care of certain public services such as maintaining census registration data and providing funeral services. In 2010, the Evangelical Lutheran Church employed 21,600 people and the Finnish Orthodox Church employed 200 people.

    • Permalink for 'Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Luxembourg'

      Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Luxembourg

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:26pm CST

      [Excerpt] Luxembourg, with a population of 502,066 in 2010, is a unitary state with two layers of government: the dominant central government and the municipalities, or communes. The state is characterised by a highly centralised administrative structure in that all legislative powers are concentrated at central level. The 106 municipalities are the only example of decentralisation. The centralised nature of the administrative structure is also underlined by the fact that the management (recruitment, training, promotion and remuneration) of all the Luxembourgish public employees is the responsibility of the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reform (Ministère de la Fonction publique et de la Réforme administrative), which is in charge of the development and implementation of civil service laws, on the one hand, and the modernisation of personnel and organisational management, on the other. As a state employer, this ministry negotiates with the trade unions on all questions related to remuneration of all public employees in the public sector.

    • Permalink for 'Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Germany'

      Central Public Administration: Working Conditions and Industrial Relations - Germany

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:23pm CST

      [Excerpt] Germany is a federal country made up of 16 federal states (Länder) and the federation (Bund). The Länder are states with sovereign rights and responsibilities that are not devolved from the federation, but are granted to them by the Basic Law. Each state has its own government, parliament, courts and legislative as well as executive powers. Therefore, power is divided between the federation and the states according to tasks and functions. As a rule, the Basic Law stipulates that the exercise of state powers is a matter for the federal states.

      The federation has administrative and legislative power only in those areas laid down by the Basic Law. For example, regarding working conditions for public employees, it has very limited scope for the regulation of state officials. At federal and state level, administrative functions are carried out by the ‘direct’ state administration (by federal and state authorities). However, there are also legally independent administrative bodies and independent or semi-independent agencies that form the ‘indirect’ public administration (Bach, 2012). The legally and organisationally independent institutions of the ‘indirect’ administration are subject only to limited state supervision or are completely independent, as is the case with Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank (German Federal Ministry of the Interior, 2009).

      However, responsibility for public administration does not lie with the federation and the states alone. Under the Basic Law, local matters are dealt with independently by the bodies of local self-government (local authorities). In addition, local authorities also perform state functions on behalf of the federal and state governments (German Federal Ministry of the Interior, 2009).

    • Permalink for 'Eurofound's Definition of Central Public Administration'

      Eurofound's Definition of Central Public Administration

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 2:17pm CST

      [Excerpt] Since Eurofound engaged in more systematic research on the public sector, defining central public administration has become a necessity. While there is a branch of research dedicated to employment and working conditions in the sector, linked particularly to the waves of privatisation of various public services, there have been few systematic studies of working conditions and industrial relations at its core, what can be called central public administration (CPA). The aim of this paper is to deliver a working definition of CPA.

    • Permalink for 'Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress'

      Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 12:04pm CST

      [Excerpt] This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues.

    • Permalink for 'Industrial Relations and Working Conditions Developments in Europe 2012'

      Industrial Relations and Working Conditions Developments in Europe 2012

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 11:53am CST

      This annual review describes the main developments in industrial relations and working conditions in 2012 in the former 27 EU Member States and in Croatia and Norway, at both national and EU level. The report first sketches the current economic situation in these 29 countries, pointing to relevant political and legislative developments in individual countries. It discusses trends in industrial relations, including changes in the role and organisation of the social partners and the impact of government measures and legislation. The report highlights policies and initiatives, legislative developments and collective bargaining landmarks in five areas – employment conditions, wages, health and safety, skills and competencies, and working time – from the dual perspective of working conditions and industrial relations developments.

    • Permalink for 'Developing the Service Sector as an Engine of Growth for Asia'

      Developing the Service Sector as an Engine of Growth for Asia

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 11:46am CST

      [Excerpt] This book takes an in-depth look at the barriers that stand in the way of service sector development in Asia to systematically assess the prospects for the sector to be an engine of growth. It covers a number of themes that are relevant for the sector throughout the region including trade, foreign direct investment, the relationship between services and growth, and the emerging information technology–business process outsourcing industry. It also includes studies on the service sectors of five major Asian economies: the People’s Republic of China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. The book is the key output of an ADB regional technical assistance research project financed by the e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund established by the Republic of Korea at the Asian Development Bank. The project benefited from in-depth collaboration with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, one of the world’s top think tanks.

    • Permalink for 'Social Protection Index Brief: Labor Market Programs in Asia and the Pacific'

      Social Protection Index Brief: Labor Market Programs in Asia and the Pacific

      Posted: December 8th, 2013, 11:36am CST

      [Excerpt] The Asian Development Bank (ADB) report The Social Protection Index: Assessing Results for Asia and the Pacific (2013) documents the negligible role of labor market programs in social protection programs across the region.

    • Permalink for 'Labour Migration and Development: ILO Moving Forward'

      Labour Migration and Development: ILO Moving Forward

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 12:29pm CST

      [Excerpt] This document has been prepared for the Tripartite Technical Meeting on Labour Migration, to be held in Geneva from 4 to 8 November 2013. The goal of the Meeting, as identified by the ILO Governing Body in March 2013, is to enable the Organization “to assess the outcome of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development … and consider possible areas for ILO follow-up”. This paper highlights the key challenges and opportunities in this regard, “bearing in mind the changing landscape of international labour migration and its implications for the world of work, and the findings of the assessment of the ILO’s response, including in respect of the Multilateral Framework”. It draws on research carried out within the ILO and elsewhere, and earlier policy guidance provided by the ILO’s tripartite constituency.

    • Permalink for 'Quality of Life in Europe: Subjective Well-Being'

      Quality of Life in Europe: Subjective Well-Being

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 12:22pm CST

      [Excerpt] How can data on subjective well-being – how people perceive the quality of their lives – be used in policy? And are such data relevant in the context of the economic challenges that Europe is currently facing? This report draws out new policy-relevant findings from the third wave of Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), conducted in 2011–2012. It shows how data on well-being can help policymakers identify the groups and countries that are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis, as well as those that are holding out better than expected, and provides a new layer of evidence to aid policy decisions.

      The report compares countries and groups across the then 27 EU Member States, identifying the determinants of well-being and the factors that might protect individuals from low well-being. It also looks at how subjective well-being has changed between 2007 and 2011 in the EU as a whole and in individual Member States. The report goes beyond the use of reported life satisfaction to consider a full range of subjective well-being concepts, including hedonic well-being (short-term feelings), eudaimonic well-being (how well people are functioning in their lives) and satisfaction with different aspects of life.

    • Permalink for 'Political Trust and Civic Engagement During the Crisis'

      Political Trust and Civic Engagement During the Crisis

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 12:10pm CST

      This policy brief highlights findings on a specific topic from Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) that is of particular interest from a policy perspective. It brings together results from the analysis of EQLS data and evidence from other sources to formulate a number of policy pointers. The focus of this policy brief is findings on trust in national and European political institutions and on civic engagement during the economic crisis.

    • Permalink for 'Household Over-Indebtedness in the EU: The Role of Informal Debts'

      Household Over-Indebtedness in the EU: The Role of Informal Debts

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 12:03pm CST

      This policy brief highlights findings on a specific topic from Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) that is of particular interest from a policy perspective. It brings results of the analysis of these data together with evidence from other Eurofound projects to formulate a number of policy pointers. The focus of this policy brief is household over-indebtedness – in particular, the role of informal debts.

    • Permalink for 'Quality of Life in Europe: Quality of Society and Public Services'

      Quality of Life in Europe: Quality of Society and Public Services

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 11:54am CST

      [Excerpt] Quality of life depends on individual circumstances and on the quality of the society at large; this is in turn partly shaped by the availability of good-quality public services. Services such as health, education and social care enable citizens to lead fulfilling lives. The quality of society is also shaped by social relationships and how well they function: conflict or inequality between social groups, or a lack of trust between people, can affect everybody’s well-being.

      This report is based on the 2011 European Quality of Life Survey conducted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), the third such survey. The global economic crisis, which began after the last survey was carried out in 2007, has meant that public services have been threatened, inequalities have increased and unemployment has risen, with potentially profound implications for the quality of life in Europe.

    • Permalink for 'Guidebook on Public–Private Partnership in Hospital Management'

      Guidebook on Public–Private Partnership in Hospital Management

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 11:38am CST

      [Excerpt] This guidebook is intended to help government and public sector organizations in developing a public–private partnership (PPP) project or enterprise in hospital management. The lessons and insights shared here are based on actual experiences of a technical assistance team in Sarangani and Camarines Norte provinces (in the Philippines) in the development of PPPs in hospital management in the preparatory stage. While this guidebook is mostly based on experiences with local governments in the Philippines, readers from both the public and private sectors and outside the Philippines will find the insights that it contains to be useful, and in many instances, directly applicable.

    • Permalink for 'The Future of the World Trade Organization'

      The Future of the World Trade Organization

      Posted: December 6th, 2013, 11:29am CST

      The continued difficulties of the World Trade Organization to achieve further multilateral trade liberalization in the Doha Round negotiations have raised questions about its continued relevance. This paper firstly identifies and assesses the key developments in the Doha Round that have contributed to the present stalemate. Secondly, it presents several options that the organization could consider for defining its future work program, given the new realities of global economic engagement, especially the emergence of global production networks. Most importantly, the paper assesses the possibility of including new disciplines covering areas that can help the growth of these drivers of global economic integration. Such an initiative could include three sets of issue: trade facilitation measures, an equitable investment regime, and effective disciplines for curbing non-tariff barriers.

    • Permalink for 'A Comparative Analysis of the Uses of Mediation in the Entertainment Industry'

      A Comparative Analysis of the Uses of Mediation in the Entertainment Industry

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] This paper will provide a broad, and by no means exhaustive, overview of some of the unique ways that mediation is, or could be, used in some of the principal fields of entertainment while, identifying the similarities among them and also noting how they differ. The primary focus will be on film, television, and commercial theater and how mediation has been or could be used in situations specific to these disciplines.

    • Permalink for 'Hiring and Firing the Mentally and Psychiatrically Disabled: Advice for HR Professionals'

      Hiring and Firing the Mentally and Psychiatrically Disabled: Advice for HR Professionals

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans aged eighteen and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Contrary to what most people assume, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in both the U.S. and Canada. Thus, the effect of mental disorders on the American workplace is significant.

      In an effort to ensure that physically and mentally disabled persons were not discriminated against in employment situations Congress passed the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Persons entitled to its protection include those with physical disabilities and mental disorders such as anxiety disorder, depression, manic depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychological disorders.

      Almost immediately courts began interpreting the statute to make it difficult for those with disabilities, especially psychiatric disabilities, to prevail in cases claiming discrimination under the Act. As a result, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) in 2008 with the express intent that courts should expand the definition of disabled individuals entitled to accommodation.

      In this article I will discuss the ramifications of the 2008 amendments on human resource professionals who are tasked with following its mandates when interviewing job applicants and managing employees who allege, or are suspected of having, a psychiatric disability.

    • Permalink for 'May the Best (Looking) Man Win: The Unconscious Role of Attractiveness in Employment Decisions'

      May the Best (Looking) Man Win: The Unconscious Role of Attractiveness in Employment Decisions

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] In 1972, Karen Dion, Ellen Berscheid, and Elaine Walster set out to determine whether people hold “stereotyped notions of the personality traits possessed by individuals of varying attractiveness.” The results of the study were astonishing: based only on the photographs provided, participants predicted attractive subjects would be happier, possess more socially desirable personalities, practice more prestigious occupations, and exhibit higher marital competence. Their findings were published in an article entitled “What is Beautiful is Good” and gave rise to an enduring theory of the same name.

      In the decades since the Dion et al. experiment, the “what is beautiful is good” hypothesis has played a particularly meaningful role in occupational studies. Given the high-stakes nature of job acquisition, many researchers have asked, for example, whether attractive job candidates are more likely to be hired than their peers.

      In short, attractive individuals will receive more job offers, better advancement opportunities, and higher salaries than their less attractive peers—despite numerous findings that they are no more intelligent or capable. This article aims to explore the sources and potential resolution of appearance-based employment decisions. In other words, now that we know appearance-based employment discrimination exists, where does it come from and what do we do about it? Part I examines the psychology of attractiveness, exploring what registers as attractive and what unconscious responses attractiveness commonly evokes. It begins with a definition of beauty in terms of both biological and performed traits and concludes with a discussion of beauty facts versus fictions. Part II provides an overview of existing legal remedies to victims of appearance-based discrimination and explains why legal reform is an ill-suited solution. After ruling out the law, this article concludes that appearance-based employment decisions should be curbed internally, via management and human resources efforts.

    • Permalink for 'Workplace Violence: Why Every State Must Adopt a Comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Law' 

      Workplace Violence: Why Every State Must Adopt a Comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Law

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] On August 24, 2012, a fired clothing designer gunned down a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building in New York City. The violent act was the culmination of built up tension between two former co-workers. Their anger towards one another had already resulted in at least one physical confrontation at work that led to both men filing police reports against each other. This case is an extreme example of workplace violence; however, workplace violence takes many forms and occurs with great regularity. Nearly 2 million employees are victims of workplace violence annually.

      The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”) is not well-enforced and therefore fails to provide protection to employees subjected to workplace violence. This article explores what can be done to better protect workers at the state level. Part I of this article reviews the phenomenon of workplace violence. Part II discusses the lack of enforcement of the OSH Act as it relates to workplace violence. Part III of this article describes how some states choose to supplement the OSH Act with their own workplace violence laws. Finally, Part IV proposes that state legislatures should adopt a law in line with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) promulgated suggestions to provide legal protections for workers against workplace violence. Since Congress has yet to enact federal legislation that provides comprehensive workplace violence prevention, all states must enact legislation beyond the OSH Act to protect their workers.

    • Permalink for 'The Future of Human Resources: A Shift to a Network Driven Approach'

      The Future of Human Resources: A Shift to a Network Driven Approach

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] As companies continue to thrive in a global context, the nature of work and organizational relationships will grow increasingly complex. Initiatives will span across traditional functional and geographical boundaries, heightening the need for greater knowledge sharing and collaboration. With a higher premium placed on achieving flexibility and agility, organizations that rely on strong internal networks have been more successful at coordinating efficiency and innovation. From a talent management perspective, organizations will need to adopt a more network-centric approach to foster leadership effectiveness within this new context. Just as the human resources arena has recently evolved from an individual-focused, personnel-service mindset to a team-oriented framework, the next decade may require human capital strategies to further shift to a network-driven mentality.

    • Permalink for 'Where’s the Remote? Face Time, Remote Work, and Implications for Performance Management'

      Where’s the Remote? Face Time, Remote Work, and Implications for Performance Management

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s ban on telecommuting and the subsequent uproar over that decision highlights the need for a deeper understanding of the impact of remote work. Although it would prove comforting to assert that the peer-reviewed findings of the social and managerial sciences are in accord as to the benefits of telework in the face of the discord among organizational leaders, the reality is that little such agreement exists. Consequently, the proponents of remote work in management and HR are given little support in defense of such potentially large-scale initiatives or interventions. To that end, what follows is a discussion of the relative merits of remote work, as compared to the traditional conception of work, and an exploration of the practical implications for HR practitioners in performance management and employee evaluation.

    • Permalink for 'The NLRB’s Social Media Guidelines a Lose-Lose: Why the NLRB’s Stance on Social Media Fails to Fully Address Employer’s Concerns and Dilutes Employee Protections'

      The NLRB’s Social Media Guidelines a Lose-Lose: Why the NLRB’s Stance on Social Media Fails to Fully Address Employer’s Concerns and Dilutes Employee Protections

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 2:16pm CST

      [Excerpt] The expanding use of both personal and professional social media sites has resulted in its growing impact in the workplace. Recently, many examples have emerged where an individual’s use of social media for communicating frustrations or sharing personal information resulted in significant conflict between the individual and their employer. Employment actions arising from an employee’s social media use have become so contentious that a number of employers have been charged with unfair labor practices for overly broad social media policies or implementation of unfair policies. Following several important Board decisions the NLRB issued guidelines, identifying acceptable employer-initiated social media policies. As social media’s popularity will likely only continue to grow, it is important to understand how employer policies impact employees’ social media use and the potential invasion these policies may have on employees’ rights.

      This article concludes that the NLRB’s issued guidance fails to adequately address social media concerns raised by employers and dilutes employees’ rights to communicate workplace concerns. This is because even though the guidance permits employer developed social media policies, the NLRB’s stance permits employers to monitor and analyze employees’ social media use and does not clarify when an employer can act on social media information.

    • Permalink for 'Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing'

      Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing

      Posted: December 5th, 2013, 11:35am CST

      [Excerpt] This book is about two parallel stories. First, it relates the account of the most aggressive campaign ever waged by a global union federation (GUF), a years-long effort of private security guard unions to organize against Group4 Securicor (G4S), the world's largest private employer after Walmart. What began as an isolated battle in the United States blossomed into a worldwide struggle for global unionism impacting hundreds of thou­ sands of workers from over twenty countries. But the global effort also gave rise to deep local struggles. Consequently, the narrative moves among dif­ ferent scales of action, from the global arena, to the national-level context, to the local union office. Throughout the campaign, workers in different places won wage increases, union recognition, benefits, an end to abusive workplace discrimination, and, most importantly, a greater degree of control over their employer's business model. In the United States, security guard union density (8 percent as of late 2012) is now slightly higher than the national private-sector average, and the campaign settlement provides the union with a dearer path to bring more workers into the fold. Rarely have global campaigns meant more than superficial changes in workers' lives-this struggle set a new standard.

      The second story describes a transition to a new spirit of transnational labor activism. The word "spirit" implies a shifting idea about how labor should best confront the problems posed by global capital. In a context of rising corporate power and declining or unenforceable worker rights (publicly enforceable claims), many of labor's tried and true strategies have proven wholly ineffective. In response, since the early 1970s unions have engaged in what I call "governance struggles," a panoply of strategies to subordinate the rules-based logic of private companies to democratic oversight by workers and their unions. The significance of the fight against G4S is the complex and contradictory ways in which those gains at the global level were articulated onto the local context, enhancing worker mobilization and transforming local union movements.

      Most global union campaigns seek to assert universal labor standards and core values within a given company. But the inability to transfer any gains to the local context has often meant that workers' lives remain unchanged. Rather than insist on the incompatibility of global and local levels of activism, the findings in this book suggest a paradox—effective global unionism requires reciprocity with local actors. The conclusions also permit cautious optimism about the prospects for authentic labor internationalism where others have asserted an overriding pessimism (see Burawoy 2010). The question therefore posed here is simple: How can global unions build local power?

    • Permalink for 'Unemployment Insurance: Consequences of Changes in State Unemployment Compensation Laws'

      Unemployment Insurance: Consequences of Changes in State Unemployment Compensation Laws

      Posted: December 4th, 2013, 3:05pm CST

      [Excerpt] This report analyzes several types of recent changes to state Unemployment Compensation (UC) programs. Three categories of UC state law issues are considered: (1) changes in the duration of state UC unemployment benefits; (2) changes in the UC weekly benefit amount; and (3) the enactment into state law of two trigger options for the Extended Benefit (EB) program.

    • Permalink for 'Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356'

      Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356

      Posted: December 4th, 2013, 2:47pm CST

      The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA; P.L. 105-220) is the primary federal program that supports workforce development activities, including job search assistance, career development, and job training. WIA established the One-Stop delivery system as a way to co-locate and coordinate the activities of multiple employment programs for adults, youth, and various targeted subpopulations. The delivery of these services occurs primarily through more than 3,000 One- Stop career centers nationwide.

      WIA includes four main titles that cover employment and training services, adult education and literacy services, the employment service, and vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. The authorizations for appropriations for most programs under WIA expired at the end of FY2003. Since that time, WIA programs have been funded through the annual appropriations process.

      The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a markup of S. 1356 (the Workforce Investment Act of 2013) on July 31, 2013, and ordered the bill reported by a vote of 18 to 3. S. 1356 would reauthorize WIA through 2018.

      S. 1356 would maintain the One-Stop delivery system established by WIA but would make changes to the programs, services, and governing structure of WIA, through changes to Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), state plan requirements, national programs, and alignment and coordination provisions across all titles. Some of the major changes include the adoption of primary indicators of performance across all WIA titles, the requirement of a Unified State Plan that includes all core programs, the authorization of innovation and replication grants, greater emphasis on economic and employment outcomes for adult education programs, and expanded services for youth and students with disabilities. This report provides a comparison of major themes in current WIA and in S. 1356.

    • Permalink for 'Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2012'

      Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2012

      Posted: December 4th, 2013, 2:40pm CST

      [Excerpt] This report describes the labor force characteristics and earnings patterns among the major race and ethnicity groups—Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics—and provides more detailed data through a set of supporting tables. The report also includes a limited amount of data for American Indians and Alaska Natives and for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders—the two remaining race groups—and for people who are of Two or More Races. Due to their relatively small sample size, estimates for these additional groups are not included in all tables. These data are obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of 60,000 households that is a rich source of information on the labor force. For definitions of terms and concepts used in this report, see the accompanying Technical Notes

    • Permalink for 'Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2012'

      Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2012

      Posted: December 4th, 2013, 2:40pm CST

      [Excerpt] This report presents data highlights and statistical tables of earnings data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Information on earnings is collected from one-fourth of the CPS sample each month. It is important to note that the comparisons of earnings in this report are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences. For a detailed description of the source of the data and an explanation of the concepts and definitions used in this report, see the accompanying technical notes section.

    • Permalink for 'Social Protection Index Brief: Social Assistance Programs in Asia and the Pacific'

      Social Protection Index Brief: Social Assistance Programs in Asia and the Pacific

      Posted: December 4th, 2013, 12:24pm CST

      [Excerpt] The Asian Development Bank (ADB) report The Social Protection Index: Assessing Results for Asia and the Pacific (2013) documents the role of social assistance in social protection systems across the region. This brief examines the six major subcomponents of social assistance and draws out policy lessons based on comprehensive data for 35 countries in the region.

      The report uses the Social Protection Index (SPI) as the focal point for its analysis. The SPI is the ratio of total social protection expenditures to the total number of intended beneficiaries. These “expenditures per potential beneficiary” are then compared to a regional poverty line as a reference point (ADB 2012c).

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