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Student election upcoming

first_imgThe National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) acceptance of an election agreement between Harvard University and the Harvard Graduate Student Union-United Auto Workers (HGSU-UAW) clears the way for eligible students to vote Nov. 16 and 17 on whether they want the union to represent them on issues related to employment.This election follows a recent NLRB ruling that students in teaching and research positions at private universities can now be considered employees for the purpose of forming a labor union. Harvard students supporting unionization decided last year to affiliate with the UAW to form the HGSU-UAW. While students at other private universities also are organizing as a result of the NLRB decision, it appears that Harvard will be the first private university to vote following the NLRB action.An estimated 3,500 Harvard graduate and undergraduate students, across 11 Schools and more than 50 programs, are eligible to vote because they are in teaching or research positions. Undergraduate research assistants are not included. Students will cast secret ballots at locations in Cambridge, Allston, and the Longwood Medical Area, and the NLRB will manage the election. Students eligible to vote will receive information on where and when they can do so.“Only students eligible for union representation will be voting in this election,” said Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber. “But the entire Harvard community should understand the importance of this vote. The results of this election will have consequences for our community for years to come. So we all have a responsibility to encourage full, open, and informed discussion.”The election will be decided by a majority of students who actually vote, not a majority of those eligible to vote. According to NLRB rules, if a simple majority of voters choose to unionize, then all individuals in positions covered by the bargaining unit would be represented by the union. There is no way an individual student can “opt out” of union representation.If the students vote to unionize, the University and HGSU-UAW would negotiate one contract to cover the approximately 3,500 students in the bargaining unit on “wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.” However, it is not clear what subjects would be considered negotiable, since the NLRB has not provided guidance in this area.At New York University (NYU), the only private university that chose to recognize a student union prior to the NLRB ruling, the union covers less than half the number of students who could be covered at Harvard. Among student unions in the United States, the breadth of the proposed HGSU-UAW bargaining unit appears to be unprecedented.“The time to ask questions and seek answers is now, before a single vote is cast,” said Garber. “Since all eligible students will be bound by the results, the day after the election is too late. We encourage students to examine the issues that matter most to them and cast informed votes.”last_img read more

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A lesson from the lemmings*

first_imgWe have worked with organizations that have used the concept of social norms to, among other things, reduce loan delinquency rates, increase the number of members who vote in board elections, improve staff participation in training programs and to increase the number of hours their teams contribute to volunteer programs. How might your organization leverage this science?*Yes, we know that the legend of a mass of lemmings following each other off a cliff is just a myth, but still! When I was little and asked to do something my friends were doing, my mother often responded, “if all you friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?” Even a casual study of human behavior would suggest that in many cases the answer to that question is YES, and behavioral scientists have a very clear understanding of how social norms and peer pressure impact the behaviors of consumers of all ages.Social norms are the informal, unwritten rules that govern and influence behavior among members of a group; research, experiments and practical applications have demonstrated just how powerful social norms can be. Some industries really leverage this science to shift behaviors. Most of you likely receive a quarterly or annual statement from your local utility provider, showing how your use compares to your neighbors. Much of the genesis for this process came from a large study in San Diego where a variety of methods were tested to get consumers to use less electricity. Messages touting cost savings, environmental protection or society benefit generated almost no measurable reduction in use. But the message that their household was using more energy than their neighbors generated an overall 10% reduction among consumers who received that news. Think about that – a reminder that focused on cost savings had no impact, but the news that you did not compare well with your neighbors shifted behavior significantly! That is powerful.So how might credit unions use this technique to help shape better financial behavior in their members? As an example, how might we use this to help our members save more? One way would be to highlight the difference between an individual household’s savings balance and the average balance of a group of your members that the targeted household is part of.There are some guidelines for leveraging social norms to shift behaviors.For the purposes of social norms in behavioral economics, members tend to identify with a societal group because of the characteristics the group represents. And most individuals have at least 7-10 of these sorts of groups to whom they relate. So make sure that the societal group you use reflects a group that your target is part of or aspires to be part of. Specificity is important, and studies show the narrower you can draw the societal group the more powerful the impact. Using an average for your entire membership is good, but specifying a neighborhood, an age range, family size, or a S.E.G. is likely to have a stronger impact in your effort to shift behaviors.As powerful as the established behavior of someone’s societal group can be, even more powerful in effecting behavior change is the news that the behavior of your group is shifting. Shifting behavior in your societal group sends a message that something is changing and provides a stronger impulse to evaluate your own behavior. For instance, telling your members that their societal group is beginning to save more will usually have more impact than simply telling them that their societal group saves more.Messages that a household trails it’s societal group should not focus on the shortfall, but instead offer encouraging tones and offer simple, straightforward suggestions for improving performance. Similarly, households that are exceeding the performance of their group should receive positive messages that encourage continued strong behavior. 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Rick Leander Rick Leander is Founder and Managing Partner of LFB Holdings, a behavioral insights consultancy that works with established and startup enterprises.At LFB Holdings we teach clients how to leverage … Web: www.lfbholdings.com Detailslast_img read more

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Fan dies after staying up for 3 nights to watch World Cup

first_imgA football fan in China has died of a stroke that doctors believe was brought on by him staying awake for three successive nights to watch the World Cup.Zhou Meng, a 39-year-old from Shanghai, collapsed on his sofa after suffering a stroke while watching the Saturday night match between Uruguay and Costa Rica.He had previously stayed up for the whole of Thursday and Friday night to watch live coverage of the tournament – which is being held in Brazil – while working during the daytime.Mr Zhou collapsed on the sofa in his living room while watching the match on Saturday.He was rushed to the Shanghai No. 10 People’s Hospital after suffering a stroke and was pronounced dead several hours later.According to Gao Liang, director of the hospital’s neurosurgery department, the patient had a history of high blood pressure. Mr Gao said people with high blood pressure and heart conditions are more vulnerable to brain haemorrhages when events make them excited or emotional. Unfortunately Mr Zhou wasn’t the only person to suffer serious health complaints after watching coverage of the World Cup.Shanghai’s hospitals reported an larger number of emergency cases than usual last weekend – the first weekend of the World Cup.These included football fans feeling the effects of staying up late and sacrificing sleep to watch the tournament.According to an accident and emergency doctor at the Huashan Hospital, they saw the number of patients increase by 50 percent over the weekend.Some 40 per cent had respiratory or stomach problems, often caused by irregular eating and sleeping patterns. The 11-hour time difference between China and Brazil means 2014 FIFA World Cup matches are kicking off at unsociable hours for China’s football fans.Most group games start at midnight, 3am, 4am and 6am, leaving Chinese fans struggling to balance their football fix with their daily routine.’I’ve been watching games every day for the past three days, mostly the 3am and 6am games,’ said Liu Yitao, a 29-year-old officer worker.Liu admitted that by yesterday he was feeling tired at work and now plans only to watch live coverage of group stage matches at weekends.On Saturday a 50-year-old man – who is said to have stayed up all night watching football – and four passengers in his vehicle died after colliding with a bus in a tunnel in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. And the cities Suzhou and Dalian have both also reported different cases of football fans dying while watching World Cup matches.last_img read more