January saw the arrival of new faces in Washington on both sides of the aisle following last year’s highly contentious midterm elections. While credit unions still have support in both parties, new members of Congress may or may not be informed about the importance of credit unions in the community, making now a critical time for credit union awareness and advocacy. Indications are that Reps. Maxine Waters and Richard Neal, respectively the chairs of the House Financial Services and Ways and Means committees, plan to prioritize the following initiatives: data breach legislation, regulatory reform, charter enhancements and preserving the tax status. By marshaling the power and voices of the national trade associations and state leagues, addressing public policy issues and blanketing Capitol Hill with the credit union message, credit unions can earn a spot on the legislative agenda.One of the most visible ways credit unions throughout the U.S. bring awareness to the important role credit unions play in their communities is through the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®, which takes place each April in the nation’s capital. The annual event is instrumental in showcasing the value of the credit union community and the credit union movement at a local level. Credit unions throughout the U.S. proudly join together as the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®, which benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. Credit union support for the event is two-fold: volunteers provide the manpower behind the event itself, while financial donations go directly to the millions of children who enter a Children’s Hospital annually for treatment. The race puts credit union community involvement on center stage for members of Congress and other D.C.-area influencers. It also complements the active lobbying efforts of the CUNA and NAFCU trade associations. Many of the race’s 15,000 runners each year are Capitol Hill staffers, all of whom get the chance to witness firsthand the community service and volunteer efforts of this country’s credit unions. All of these groups and participants come together to help ensure elected officials – especially newly elected ones – have a clearer understanding of their role in the industry’s future success and the importance of credit unions in their communities.The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run® is also an opportunity to put the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” into practice. For credit unions and the CUSOs that serve them, the commitment to helping children is a natural extension of that philosophy. Since 2002, the event has raised more than $9 million to aid children suffering from illness. For the 12th year, PSCU is underwriting the title sponsorship expenses for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run® along with CUNA Mutual Group. The sponsorship helps ensure donations raised by participating credit unions and runners go directly to local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. PSCU’s employees and their families hold the cause of children’s healthcare very close to their hearts. Many of them apply for the chance to participate in the race, and the CUSO proudly sends runners to the event each year. This year’s team will be competing as the PSCU Possibilities Delivered race team.In addition to its support of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®, PSCU provides the national trade associations with payments-related data as needed for specific lobbying initiatives, and PSCU representatives serve on various financial services advocacy committees and boards, bringing an industry perspective to important initiatives impacting the entire industry. In today’s political environment, a proactive advocacy campaign is more important than ever. Whether it is behind the scenes or on the frontlines, credit unions everywhere should look for ways to lend their voices to growing the credit union movement. For more information about the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®, the flagship event in the Credit Union Miracle Day Family of Races, visit MiracleDay.org. 59SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Merry Pateuk Merry Pateuk is vice president of industry engagement at PSCU. Since 1989, Merry has served in a wide range of senior leadership roles, each of which were critical to building … Web: www.pscu.com Details
The cause of the crash is currently being investigated. TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG)-I-81 South was down to one lane after a tractor-trailer rollover early Tuesday morning. The lane is back open again. Stay with 12 News as this story further develops. Multiple crews responded to the scene including New York State Police, Broome County Sheriff’s Office along with fire and ambulance services. It happened near Exit 6 around 2 a.m. According to Broome County Dispatch, the driver of the tractor-trailer had to be taken to the hospital for injuries. No word on the extent of the injuries at this time.
(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – It’s a race right now! And it’s between the H1N1 virus and our long-awaited vaccine. Unfortunately, as I write this column, the virus is winning. So will your employees’ best defense against the fast-moving virus ultimately win out? Possibly. But don’t count on it.What does that mean for your organization? In short, plan on functioning without the benefit of much vaccine—and brace for more illness and rising absenteeism. And as I have discussed before, if the virus undergoes any substantial genetic change, the situation could change at any moment. Remember to keep your response proportional to the severity of disease; it’s your best strategy.The current lay of the landI’ll save a thorough analysis of the H1N1 vaccine production and distribution dilemma for another column. For now, suffice it to say the vaccine supply has been overpromised and underdelivered. But we’ve always known that a plentiful supply of effective vaccine was a big variable. No surprise there. And with the severe cutbacks in public health, school systems, and the healthcare system over the past decade, the gaps in our ability to effectively distribute the vaccine should have been apparent as well.Meanwhile, we’re seeing evidence of illness on the rise throughout most parts of the country and the Northern Hemisphere. Will the trend continue? Is this a pandemic wave about to crest? Or is this pandemic like the one in 1957 which had both fall and winter peaks? I wish I could give you an answer. I can’t, and neither can anyone else. But I can suggest that you take steps now to protect your employees to the best of your ability and with the understanding that, outside the workplace, much is outside your control.I realize that some of these steps may seem like no-brainers, others may challenge very fundamental policies, practices, and customs in your organization, and some may seem out of the realm of financial possibility. But I urge you to give each of them serious consideration if you truly want to protect your most precious asset—your employees. And I’ll offer some ideas gleaned from some savvy business leaders who attended the 2009 CIDRAP Summit.1. Insist that sick employees stay home until they are not infectiousI’m sure we’ve all been guilty at one time or another of showing up at work a little sick. Few of us would be where we are if we hadn’t pushed past a little nasal congestion or an annoying cough to meet important deadlines. But this is different.True, thus far the H1N1 pandemic for most people causes illness that is like seasonal influenza. But for some people, including some of your workforce and even essential employees, H1N1 illness can be extremely dangerous. We don’t fully understand why yet. But anyone with an influenza-like illness should not be exposing colleagues to what may be an unpredictable pandemic influenza virus, no matter how mild the symptoms may be.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100º Fahrenheit or 38º Celsius) or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, a flushed appearance, or sweating) without the use of fever-reducing medicines.You’re going to have to model this behavior yourself if you don’t want to give the impression that employees should do what they see rather than what you say.If you decide not to take this step, be sure to let everyone know that your company will not be following CDC guidance so there is no confusion, prepare for employee-relations issues, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.2. Ensure sick workers can stay home without fear of being penalizedThis is probably the hardest of the recommendations. But trust me, organizations who have adopted step 1 are figuring out how to make step 2 possible. As one human resources (HR) executive said during the summit, policies are designed to be big and broad and hard to change; however, protocols based on those policies can be flexible.Here are some of the ways organizations are tackling this step:Allowing employees to exhaust paid time off (PTO) hours and go into negative balancesAdvancing sick time up to a year of accrual (if, for example, the employee normally accrues 5 days of sick time per year and has used all 5 days, then you may want to consider advancing another 5 days)Suspending point attendance policies during the H1N1 influenza pandemicProviding a special time-off allotment for H1N1 Allowing employees to donate leave to othersFor more information on this step, please check out the 2009 CIDRAP Summit page, especially the human resources breakout presentations.If you decide not to take this step, be prepared for a form of “presenteeism” that will surely affect productivity and morale, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.3. Send sick employees home—consistentlyThe symptoms of influenza hit fast. So an employee can leave home feeling fine and arrive at work in terrible shape. And they’ll be extremely contagious at that point. I doubt they’ll be able to hide how sick they are or even want to hide it (unless they are worried about financial security). But they may not be able to get home easily. So they need to be separated from healthy employees immediately. All your supervisors need to know they are legally within their rights to send workers home and should apply the protocol consistently.By the way, this step also applies to you. Don’t try to gut it out. As someone with pandemic planning and response knowledge, you are vital to your organization, especially now. So don’t risk your own health, or anyone else’s.If you decide not to take this step, prepare for lower productivity and disruption from disgruntled employees, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.Bottom line for organizationsNo one knows if your employees will be able to get vaccinated in time to prevent becoming sick from the H1N1. No one knows if the current rise in illness is peaking or will continue to climb. So look closely at how best to protect your employees, even if the steps I’ve outlined push your organization past its comfort zone. Run a cost-benefit analysis if you need an objective measure. I think you’ll find the benefits are likely to far outweigh the risks.