Stuff co.nz 1 April 2015Parents taking time off work to care for their children will have more money in their pockets – but compared with those in other developed countries they are getting a rough deal.On Wednesday the Government’s paid parental leave increases by two weeks to 16 weeks.This puts New Zealand in 29th place, equal with Spain and Turkey, out of the world’s 34 developed countries in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rankings.The only developed countries lagging behind it are Switzerland and Mexico with 14 and 12 weeks respectively and the United States, which doesn’t offer any paid parental leave.From April 1 next year, it will increase by another two weeks, putting New Zealand on par with Australian parents. That should bump the country up to 26th equal on the OECD rankings.Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse said not only had the Government committed to extending paid parental leave, it had also confirmed measures to improve access to it.http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/67570569/NZ-behind-in-paid-parental-leave
Press Association QPR have announced plans to move into a new 40,000-capacity stadium as part of an ambitious project to be constructed at Old Oak in west London. Rs chairman Tony Fernandes revealed late on Thursday night that the club intended to leave Loftus Road because there was “no option of expanding” at their present home. The new stadium is set to be built as part of a “major regeneration” of the Old Oak area, with plans for the creation of a residential and commercial precinct larger than Canary Wharf. London Mayor Boris Johnson recently announced that turning Old Oak into a new world-class city quarter was one of his main regeneration priorities. “We look forward to working with the Mayor and local authorities and we will, of course, be consulting our loyal and passionate supporters, as well as the local community, on our exciting plans early next year,” Beard said. “We will look to build a stadium QPR fans and local residents can be proud of. “Loftus Road is renowned for its atmosphere and with the help of our supporters, replicating that at our new stadium will be one of our top priorities.” Antony Spencer, who is developing the masterplan for the Old Oak site, said it was hoped planning permission would be secured early in 2015 and that work would begin on the project soon after. Spencer also revealed “world-class architects” were being consulted for the project – which is reportedly set to cost $10billion – to “design iconic tall buildings akin to New York, the Far East and London’s finest, as well as improving and incorporating the waterside environment of the Grand Union Canal”. He added: “We know we still have a long way to go in dealing with the planning, infrastructure funding challenges and business relocations but we are now in a position to forge ahead as we have secured strategic land holdings in excess of 100 acres. “We are confident of securing a planning permission by early 2015 and starting development shortly afterwards.” While there is likely to be some fan backlash over leaving Loftus Road – a ground QPR first used in 1917 – Fernandes believes the project would cement the club’s place in west London. QPR chief executive officer Philip Beard also said that the club’s fans would be consulted over any move. “Loftus Road is – and always will be – a special place for the club and our supporters, but we need more than an 18,000 capacity,” Fernandes said in a statement on the club’s official website. “With no option of expanding here, we have to look elsewhere and we welcome the (London) Mayor’s and Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s commitment to regenerate the area, which includes an option to develop a new stadium at Old Oak as a key catalyst to bring forward redevelopment, cementing our future in this part of west London. “Not only will this give us a top-quality stadium to cater for QPR’s needs as the club progresses and grows over the years ahead, but we are very excited about being the driving force behind creating one of the best new urban places in the world. “This will be the catalyst for the regeneration of a forgotten area – ultimately bringing new transport, 24,000 homes and at least 50,000 jobs. “It will create a vibrant new destination in London, boosting local businesses, attracting new visitors and tourism and creating a thriving community.” Thursday night’s announcement came after QPR and their partners, Stadium Capital Developments, concluded a letter of collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to “bring forward an early and very significant private sector investment into the Old Oak Common regeneration area”.
“I definitely saw a significant change in the rigor of my academics when I came from my old school … My transition was a little rough,” Chuang said. A resolution aiming to ease the academic transition for transfer students was proposed during an Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday. The resolution advocates extending the Freshman Forgiveness program to transfers. The program currently allows first-year students to retake up to three classes in which they received a grade of D+ or below. Sen. Emily Johnson said that the testimonials from workers motivated her work on the resolution and emboldened her to educate other students through clipboarding campaigns. Commitment to the pact encourages prioritization of academics and self- care practices such as using mental health resources at Engemann Student Health Center during the elections process. McMorran hopes the resolution bolsters support for the union and encourages students to respect the workers at USC. “These people are not invisible,” McMorran said. “They are here, we interact with them every day. “ One of the proposed changes limits slates to a maximum of three people. Slates involve multiple candidates running together on the same platform points. Assistant Director of Elections and Recruitment Julia Katcher said that since slates have a historic advantage during elections, reducing the number of people allowed on a slate campaign team will level the playing field. Additionally, senators proposed a resolution declaring formalized support for the 800 housing and hospitality workers during their new contract negotiations. The resolution stated that “the workers represented by Unite Here! Local 11 deserve good-faith contract negotiations and support from the University community.” Later during the meeting, the Election and Recruitment team presented changes to the 2020 USG Elections Code. The team incorporated feedback from senators in their proposal to change parts of the election process. Sen. Angela Chuang, who transferred from George Washington University, was inspired by her difficulty adapting to the environment at USC to help author the resolution. Chuang believes that extending the policy would be an important step in improving the transfer experience. “I have heard several people talk about how it’s great that they get benefits, but that shouldn’t be a substitution for a livable wage, especially one that doesn’t keep pace with the increase of living in Los Angeles,” Johnson said. The resolution cited multiple studies on the “transfer shock” phenomenon, which theorizes that the change in academic environment for transfer students results in a GPA dip during their first semester at a new institution. The team also changed the definition of a write-in candidate. Write-in candidates will need to be written on the ballot. Previously, write-in candidates names would be printed on the ballot and received many of the same privileges, such as USG advertising their platforms. If passed, the resolution will allow transfer students to retake up to one course of any undergraduate level from their first semester at USC. It referenced data from a survey conducted by the USC Transfer Student Community that revealed 89.4% of the 565 respondents believed extending the forgiveness program “would help transfers if provided.” In lieu of advice from senators, workshops administered by the Election and Recruitment team will provide insight for candidates on how to run a successful campaign. Sen. Christopher McMorran said he appreciated the inclusion of the wellness pact in the proposed changes, saying that running for office took a toll on his mental health. The wellness pact is a voluntary agreement candidates can sign that emphasizes “the importance of prioritizing the mental health and well-being of candidates during the stressful elections process,” the presentation read. Other personal testimonials from transfer students who struggled during their transition to USC were also included in the resolution. One student said that struggling to raise their GPA after underperforming during their first semester at USC led to lower self-confidence and contributed to a harsher transition. “It’s supposed to be designed to help alleviate students of that stress, knowing that they can possibly retake a class if they’re not doing well and, hopefully, focus efforts on what they need to,” Chuang said. The changes also prohibit USG senators, executives and members of the marketing team from publicly endorsing candidates as well as counseling candidates during the race. USG senators discussed resolutions regarding a potential Transfer Forgiveness policy and supporting union-protected USC staff during a meeting Tuesday. (Ally Wei | Daily Trojan)