Work Contracts – Win Win Lose http://winwinlose.net/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 03:23:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://winwinlose.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-9.png Work Contracts – Win Win Lose http://winwinlose.net/ 32 32 The largest freight rail unions split over the contract vote and raised concerns about the strike https://winwinlose.net/the-largest-freight-rail-unions-split-over-the-contract-vote-and-raised-concerns-about-the-strike/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 01:45:02 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/the-largest-freight-rail-unions-split-over-the-contract-vote-and-raised-concerns-about-the-strike/ Separately, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen voted to accept a tentative agreement reached on September 15. The White House did not directly answer questions about its involvement in the attempt to negotiate a new deal between the railroads and the union, saying its preferred option is for railroad companies and their […]]]>

Separately, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen voted to accept a tentative agreement reached on September 15.

The White House did not directly answer questions about its involvement in the attempt to negotiate a new deal between the railroads and the union, saying its preferred option is for railroad companies and their unions to work out an agreement themselves. The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment.

Three of the 12 unions involved in collective bargaining had already voted against the agreement. The SMART Transportation Division represents about 30 percent of the approximately 125,000 railroad workers involved and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen represents about 20 percent of the workers. The reflection period ends on December 4th for some of the 12 unions involved and on December 8th for others.

The Association of American Railroads asked Congress to intervene if an agreement cannot be reached with the unions that opposed the contract agreement.

“Let’s be clear, if the remaining unions don’t accept an agreement, Congress should be ready to act and avoid catastrophic $2 billion a day in damage to our economy,” Jefferies said in a statement.

Background: In September, on the eve of a deadline that would have allowed a possible strike, rail freight companies and unions brokered a deal with the help of the Biden administration. That deal then went to union members for the ratification vote, which has taken place over the past three months.

In recent weeks, an all-union group called Railroad Workers United has been urging union members to do so reject the proposal because it doesn’t go far enough to address the working conditions that have led to severe attrition at the country’s largest airlines. Union members have been pushing hard for contracts to include sick leave and other quality of life changes for the understaffed industry.

But union leaders fought hard to persuade their members to accept the deal, claiming they had left nothing on the table and that the one extra day off they won from the railroads in September’s eleventh-hour talks could be anything the railroads would admit.

What’s next: Three unions previously voted against a deal, but negotiations are ongoing and a vote could be rescheduled before December 5, when the earliest reflection period ends.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, Congress will likely be forced to intervene. While lawmakers from both parties would prefer both sides to resolve the matter alone, Republicans are ready to intervene and force sides to legislate to accept the recommendations of a Biden-appointed board to avert the possibility of a strike. The board recommended pay rises and health care changes, but did not address crew size requirements and time off policies, which unions have criticized for years.

Congress doesn’t meet until Nov. 29, giving the House and Senate a short window to pass potential legislation before a strike is possible from early December.

Rail freight customers are beginning to make plans to circumvent a looming work stoppage — and shipping restrictions that could start as early as next week — to ensure volatile materials don’t sit unattended on idle railroad cars for long periods of time.

Shipments of hazardous and safety-sensitive materials – including chemicals for drinking water, fertilizers and hospital-grade disinfectants – were halted four days ahead of a possible strike in September, and the same would likely happen again.

Agricultural hauliers would rely entirely on waterways and trucks to transport, for example, grain and meat and ground flour – where possible.

Chemicals used to purify drinking water and in healthcare as disinfectants could also be restricted days ahead of a possible strike.

Retail Industry Leaders Association Supply Chain Vice President Jess Dankert said: “This year’s holiday gifts have already landed on store shelves, but a disruption to rail transport poses a significant challenge to the delivery of items such as perishable food and e-commerce shipments Time and it will no doubt add to the inflationary pressures already hitting the US economy.”

Eleanor Mueller contributed to this report.

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Angels are offering contracts to seven players eligible for arbitration https://winwinlose.net/angels-are-offering-contracts-to-seven-players-eligible-for-arbitration/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 19:03:17 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/angels-are-offering-contracts-to-seven-players-eligible-for-arbitration/ The Los Angeles Angels offered seven eligible players contracts for the 2023 season before the Friday deadline. That Angels made a small move on Friday, acquiring infielder Gio Urshela from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a minor league player, Alejandro Hidalgo. Urshela was added to the list of players offered a contract, in addition […]]]>

The Los Angeles Angels offered seven eligible players contracts for the 2023 season before the Friday deadline.

That Angels made a small move on Friday, acquiring infielder Gio Urshela from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a minor league player, Alejandro Hidalgo. Urshela was added to the list of players offered a contract, in addition to right fielder Taylor Ward, first baseman Jared Walsh, infielder Luis Rengifo and starting pitchers Patrick Sandoval, Griffin Canning and Jaime Barria.

Walsh, Ward, Rengifo, Barria and Patrick Sandoval all made important contributions to the Angels in the 2022 season. Despite some bumpy spots in his production, Walsh remains a candidate to be a powerful influence on the Angels roster once he’s figured out what’s been troubling him for a good chunk of the season.

Barría was a welcome surprise for the Angels, posting a 2.61 ERA in 79 innings in spot duty or as a long reliever. Manager Phil Nevin has given up the interim tag for the full-time position and will have Barría available wherever they need to deploy him.

Walsh earned $730,000 in the 2022 season and following the 2020-21 breakout, the Angels will be banking on a return to form after a poor year that saw him undergo very tricky chest surgery. His contract is too cheap to be handed back by general manager Perry Minasian.

The Angels have to round out their list with Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, who will be healthy for the first time in years. So with a number of experienced players in the market, Minasian should cut its work out for itself.

Angels among teams interested in free agent Kodai Senga

The Angels caused a stir in free agency by adding Tyler Anderson to their starting rotation, and they’ve reportedly expressed interest in it SoftBank Hawks’ Kodai Senga at the NPB.

The 29-year-old turned 30 in January, showed his talent during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, posted a .82 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 11 innings and has been one of the Hawks’ aces ever since. After refusing to post Senga for the past few years, he is finally available for Major League Baseball teams to sign as their new international free agent.

The post Angels are offering contracts to seven players eligible for arbitration appeared first angel nation.

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Musaned from Saudi Arabia starts second phase of service to document domestic employment contracts https://winwinlose.net/musaned-from-saudi-arabia-starts-second-phase-of-service-to-document-domestic-employment-contracts/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 05:31:22 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/musaned-from-saudi-arabia-starts-second-phase-of-service-to-document-domestic-employment-contracts/ RIYADH – The Musaned platform of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has launched the second phase of the service documenting domestic workers’ contracts in the Kingdom. This is a continuation of the first phase of the service, which was launched outside of Saudi Arabia and is aimed at domestic workers coming […]]]>

RIYADH – The Musaned platform of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has launched the second phase of the service documenting domestic workers’ contracts in the Kingdom.

This is a continuation of the first phase of the service, which was launched outside of Saudi Arabia and is aimed at domestic workers coming to the Kingdom to work.

The second phase of the service includes private employment contracts for domestic workers who do not have valid and documented employment contracts through the Musaned platform.

The ministry urged employers employing domestic workers to use the Musaned platform to ensure the existence of an existing contract of employment and to document contracts for those who do not have a valid contract in order to uphold the rights of all parties to the contract.

She also urged ensuring that the contract includes all the necessary items, in a move that would help improve the contractual relationship and reduce risks in the domestic job market.

The service documents each party’s duties and responsibilities, records salary levels, and determines the length of time domestic help has been employed. In addition, through standardized and documented contracts throughout the working hours of domestic workers in the Kingdom, the service will help monitor contract processes and improve their governance, increasing the attractiveness of the legal environment for working in the Saudi market.

The domestic employment contract documentation service is provided through the Musaned electronic platform at the following link: www.musaned.com.sa/app/contracts.

The Musaned Platform is an integrated electronic system initiated by the Ministry to facilitate domestic worker recruitment procedures and improve the level of protection of the rights of all parties.

The platform confirmed the continuation of its work on the development of the recruitment market and the provision of several services aimed at improving and facilitating the quality of services for individuals, resolving complaints and disputes that may arise between the parties to the contract, as well as ensuring their rights.

© Copyright 2022 The Saudi Gazette. All rights reserved. Powered by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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PRC Legal Update: Termination of Employment in China and Issues to Consider During the Covid-19 Pandemic | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner https://winwinlose.net/prc-legal-update-termination-of-employment-in-china-and-issues-to-consider-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-bryan-cave-leighton-paisner/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 19:08:53 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/prc-legal-update-termination-of-employment-in-china-and-issues-to-consider-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-bryan-cave-leighton-paisner/ The termination of the employment relationship by the employer in China is practically never easy, even without a crisis situation. When it comes to the economic downturn, terminating employees becomes much more sensitive. Three years of unprecedented developments in China stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have presented major challenges for multinational companies with local offices […]]]>

The termination of the employment relationship by the employer in China is practically never easy, even without a crisis situation. When it comes to the economic downturn, terminating employees becomes much more sensitive. Three years of unprecedented developments in China stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have presented major challenges for multinational companies with local offices in China, including the need to properly manage labor relationships with local employees. In this article, we lay out the basics of termination of employment under PRC law, including reasons and procedures for termination of employment, calculation of severance pay, and some practical issues related to terminating employees during the pandemic.

Reasons and procedures for termination of employment by the employer

Under the Labor Contract Law of the PRC, an employer may only dismiss an employee under the circumstances specified by law, and where a union has been established within the employer’s organization, that union must be notified in advance of any unilateral termination of employment by the employer. The following are the main circumstances in which an employer may lawfully terminate an employee’s employment.

Employer and employee can terminate the employment contract by mutual agreement.

  • Termination with 30 days’ notice or payment of one month’s salary in lieu of termination

An employer may terminate an employee with 30 days’ notice or one month’s salary in lieu of such notice if (“Article 40 Circumstances” of the Labor Contract Law of the PRC):

  1. the objective circumstances have changed so significantly that the original employment contract cannot be fulfilled and no agreement can be reached between the employer and the employee on changing the employment contract;
  2. the employee is unable to return to his or her original job or another job arranged by the employer after the specified period of medical treatment due to illness or injury sustained during his absence; and
  3. the employee is unfit for the job and remains unfit after training or reassignment to another job.
  • Termination due to employee’s fault

The Employment Contracts Act allows an employer to terminate an employee without notice or payment in lieu of termination if the employee:

  1. fails to meet the hiring conditions during the probationary period;
  2. seriously violates the internal rules and policies of the employer;
  3. is corrupt or negligent in the performance of his duties and causes serious harm to the interests of the employer;
  4. fraudulently enticed the employer to hire him or her by means such as fraud, deception or coercion;
  5. is simultaneously employed by another employer, which significantly impairs the performance of his duties, or he refuses to remedy the situation after receiving the employer’s request; or
  6. is convicted of a crime.

If, due to bankruptcy restructuring, operational difficulties, transfer of property or change in the way of business, etc., termination of employment contracts involving more than 20 employees or more than 10% of the total number of employees (whichever is the lower), the employer must give at least 30 days prior to such termination, inform the union or any employee of the Company of the termination plan and, after obtaining the union or all employees’ opinion, report the proposed termination to the local labor authorities.

  • Dismissal due to voluntary termination of an employer

If an employer decides to disband before the end of its operating period, the employment contracts with its employees will be terminated. In such circumstances, the employer must complete the legal procedure for voluntary liquidation and notify employees of the liquidation decision in advance. Since the liquidation process can take a long time (up to a few months), in practice the employer will usually negotiate with the employees and terminate the employment contracts with their employees in advance, either by mutual agreement or with 30 days’ notice. Termination or payment of one month’s salary in lieu of termination.

Calculation of severance pay

Under the Labor Contract Law of the PRC, in most cases the employer is required to pay severance pay when proposing or initiating the termination of the labor contract, including the situations described in the section above.

The severance payment is based on the monthly salary of the employee and the total number of years of service with the employer. A period of between six and twelve months is counted as one year of service, and a period of less than six months is counted as half a year of service.

The economic compensation to be paid by the employer to each employee is equal to the average monthly salary of the employee in the last 12 months before the termination of the employment contract, multiplied by the number of years of service of this employee.

However, if the average monthly salary of the employee is more than three times the average monthly salary of the employees of the region where the employer for the past year as announced by the local government, the basic monthly salary is used for the calculation of the severance pay of this employee is three times the average monthly salary for employees in the region, and the number of years counted for severance pay is also capped at 12 years. [1]

Questions about annual leave not taken

Under the PRC Employees’ Annual Paid Leave Regulations and Measures, an employee who has worked for an employer for at least 12 consecutive months is entitled to annual leave with pay (“statutory annual leave”). In general, an employer is obliged to compensate for unused statutory annual leave in the event of termination of employment.

The number of days of statutory annual leave is determined based on the employee’s cumulative length of service with the employer. An employee’s statutory annual leave days shall be (i) 5 days if his/her accumulated years of service is more than 1 year but less than 10 years, (ii) 10 days if accumulated years of service are more than 10 years but less than 20 years, and (iii) 15 days in the case of at least 20 years.

However, in the event that any of the following circumstances apply to an employee, he/she is not entitled to statutory annual leave: (i) an employee is legally entitled to summer and/or winter vacation longer than his/her annual vacation, (ii) an employee takes at least 20 days of leave for personal matters and salary is not deducted in accordance with the employer’s company policy, or (iii) an employee whose cumulative years of service is 1-10 years is at least two months’ sick leave, or 10-20 years is at least three months sick leave, or over 20 years is at least four months sick leave.

If an employer terminates the employment contract with an employee, the employer should compensate the employee for any unused statutory annual leave days equal to 300% of the employee’s daily salary income, where:

  • the daily salary = monthly salary / 21.75
  • the number of statutory annual vacation days not taken = (the number of calendar days in the company in the current year / 365 days) × the number of statutory annual vacation days that the employee should enjoy in the whole year – the number of statutory annual vacation days in the current year being used became

The above compensation of 300% does not apply to contractually agreed paid annual leave in excess of the statutory annual leave days. If the remuneration for the paid annual vacation days specified in the employment contract or in the employer’s company regulations is higher than the statutory norm, the contract or company regulations shall apply.

Termination of employment in light of Covid-19

Since 2020, several public policies and regulations regarding employment issues during the Covid-19 pandemic have been announced by the PRC government. The Supreme Court of the PRC and some local high courts have also issued judicial interpretations to provide guidance on employment issues and disputes arising from the current pandemic situation.

These newly released regulations, guidelines and judicial interpretations demonstrate that PRC regulators are more willing to encourage cost-effective measures to be taken by employers than simply enacting layoffs when employers are in financial crisis.

The government of the PRC has specifically stated that an employer shall terminate the employment contract with a worker who is a Covid-19 patient, a suspected patient and a close contract and is undergoing isolation treatment or medical observation and a worker who is not in able to work normally may unilaterally resign due to quarantine or other emergency measures imposed by the government based on certain termination grounds such as Article 40 Circumstances and Article 41 Circumstances of the Labor Contract Law of the PRC. For those workers in the above cases whose employment contracts expire during the Covid-19 Prevention and Control Period, the expiry date of these employment contracts must be extended until the end of the worker’s medical treatment, medical observation or isolation, or until emergency measures are lifted.

For other employees who are not categorized as employees with Covid termination restrictions under these regulations, the termination procedures remain the same as those set forth in the PRC Labor Contract Law as explained in the sections above.

Conclusion

Multinational companies with operations in the PRC must exercise caution when terminating employees during the pandemic, especially when considering mass layoffs. To mitigate negative business impact resulting from inappropriate termination of employment, employers must remain aware of the latest government regulations and guidance in this regard, and proactively and carefully assess the complexities and potential legal risks before proceeding staff reduction strategy. Legal procedures must be followed at all times to avoid possible labor disputes and severance pay.

[1] These rules apply to the calculation of the severance pay of an employee whose tenure with the employer began after the entry into force of the Labor Contract Law of the PRC on January 1, 2008. For employees whose period of service began before this date, the severance payment for the period before January 1, 2008 is calculated according to the slightly different regulations then in force.

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5 key contracts for entrepreneurs https://winwinlose.net/5-key-contracts-for-entrepreneurs/ Tue, 08 Nov 2022 10:55:55 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/5-key-contracts-for-entrepreneurs/ Welcome to another episode of Started & legal With Dayna Thomas, Esq., Entrepreneurship Advocate and Legal Coach. Launched & Legal is an Atlanta Small Business Network original series providing entrepreneurs and business owners with the best practices and tips for strategizing, legalizing and monetizing their ventures. Today, Dayna shares five key contracts for entrepreneurs. If […]]]>

Welcome to another episode of Started & legal With Dayna Thomas, Esq., Entrepreneurship Advocate and Legal Coach. Launched & Legal is an Atlanta Small Business Network original series providing entrepreneurs and business owners with the best practices and tips for strategizing, legalizing and monetizing their ventures. Today, Dayna shares five key contracts for entrepreneurs.

If you have any questions or comments about tonight’s show, message Dayna or comment on her on Instagram @daynathomaslaw.

Transcription:

Dayna Thomas, Esq.:
An important aspect of a solid legal basis are contracts. Contracts are essential for protecting the rights and limiting the liability of entrepreneurs. But with so many different types of contracts, how do you even know which ones you actually need? While it’s best to consult an attorney to determine the specific contracting requirements for your business, there are some contracts that are essential for almost every business owner. So in this episode I share five key contracts for entrepreneurs.

First, I’m going to talk about a copyright assignment agreement. A copyright assignment agreement is essential, and it’s actually something I didn’t even know about until I became a lawyer. So I can even imagine that many of you have no idea what that is, especially why it’s on the Essentials list. So, a copyright assignment agreement is a contract that transfers copyright ownership from the creator or copyright owner to the person who will own it.

For example, think of your logo in terms that best describe your business. A logo is protected by copyright. Copyright protects original works of authorship recorded on a tangible medium. Well, that sounds very fancy, but essentially the artwork means it, right? And not necessarily just art that you paint. It could be lettering, it could be a logo. It can be many different forms of art or writing fixed in a tangible medium, meaning it is a tangible form, not just an idea.

The default rule is: Whoever creates it, owns it. So think about your logo. Did you create your logo or hire someone else to do it? Have you asked a friend to create your logo for you? By law, whoever creates that logo owns that logo, and even if you paid them money for it, even if they said, “There you go, you can have it,” you only have a license, an implied license at that to use this logo for your business. It is very important that you retain ownership of all intellectual property rights for your business, including your logo and the copyright to it.

So you need a copyright assignment agreement to transfer ownership of your logo if you didn’t create your logo to you or your company, preferably your company. So, copyright assignment agreements don’t just apply to logos. It can refer to anything that is or may be copyrighted. So that’s number one, a copyright assignment agreement.

The second one I have on the list is a customer service contract. This is for those of you who sell services and not products, which is what a lot of business owners out there are. So if you provide a service to a customer, you must enter into a customer service contract. A customer service contract is essential as it ensures you set expectations for your customers. Nobody wants to have an argument with a customer and we hope for the best. But the reality is that sometimes your visions don’t match, or maybe your thought processes don’t match, and you might disagree. So if a dispute does arise, it’s great to have a customer service agreement so you can always go back to the contract to ensure you can resolve any disputes that arise.

So, some of the most important terms in a customer service contract are the term and the specific services you will provide. Notice I said specifically. We don’t want to generalize. We would like to list the specific benefits that are included. But not only that, the services that are not included can be just as important. The Payment Plan and Pricing, Cancellation. So if the situation doesn’t work, how can you terminate this agreement, fire your customer, or how can your customer fire you? You should ensure this is stated in your contract to avoid unnecessary disputes. So a service contract.

Number three. An independent contractor agreement. I can honestly say that in my time as a lawyer I have drafted more independent contractor contracts than any other contract in existence. It’s because it’s often needed and often used. So, essentially, an independent contractor agreement is a contract that you use when you hire someone to perform services for you. Not an employee but a person you hire to perform services for you, which is distinct from a customer service contract where you perform the services. If you hire someone like a virtual assistant or someone to create marketing content for you, that person will likely be considered an independent contractor and you should have a contract that details what that service will be and their exact duration , pricing.

A key term here is a work-for-hire clause, meaning that any content your independent contractor creates for your business or as part of their service belongs to you or your business, whoever is the party to the contract. This is very important because if you remember, from contract number one onwards, whoever creates the content belongs. So make sure you have an independent contractor agreement in place, especially if that contractor is creating content for you, to include all of these clauses. Employment relationship, termination, length of tenure, all those important details that make up what your relationship will be like.

Number four is an operating agreement. Well, an operating agreement is a contract between the owners of an LLC, a limited liability company, that details how the business will be conducted. A works agreement is no longer required by law. Nowhere do you have to submit your operating agreement. It is an internal document that helps regulate how a limited liability company is run. Well, an operating agreement is very important because almost every state has a law that governs how limited liability companies are run, unless you have an operating agreement that dictates how you run your own business.

In essence, the law respects your operating agreement when making decisions for yourself. But if you don’t have an operating agreement that specifies how your business should be run, then the states have a code of statutes that dictate and rule that for you. So it’s very important, although it’s optional, I would say it’s not even optional if you have a business partner. If you have a business partner, they should really be your top priority in starting and running your business. Nobody wants arguments with business partners, and it really isn’t easy to put a business partner out of business when things aren’t going well.

So it’s best if you start out by essentially coming together, determining how you want to run your business, what are the roles and responsibilities, how you will transfer ownership of your business, and how the business will be terminated if it doesn’t work , and so many other miscellaneous clauses that go into potential running a business. So an operating agreement, although it’s optional if you have a limited company, I’d say it’s super important, especially if you have a business partner and want to dictate how you run your business.

And number five, your website’s terms and conditions. So if you look at almost every website, not every website but many websites if you scroll down you will see a link that often says terms and conditions or conditions of sale. If you click on it, that is an actual contract that you are entering into when you browse or make a purchase on this website. Now, I know it’s not realistic for every single business owner to have a written contract with every person you do business with, especially if you’re selling goods, is it? It is not realistic for every customer who purchases a product from you to physically sign a contract stating the terms of purchase for that product.

So what you can do is have terms and conditions on your website that spell out your policies, your procedures, your return policy, and many different terms for running your business, what content is on your website, where they don’t copy the content lets your site know that it is copyrighted. Sometimes many websites even have links to third party websites. So please disclaim that you do not control or are responsible for what you see or learn from this third party website. Disclaimer of Warranties, Governing Law, which means that if there is ever a dispute with your company, it will be dealt with legally. Because with a website, there can literally be people from all over the world engaging with your business. So it’s important to have applicable law in your terms and conditions to say if a dispute ever arises where you will deal with it.

Again, with terms and conditions, this isn’t a requirement, but it’s excellent to have as you build your business and make sure your contracts are in place. If you even have a way for your users to check a box, click “yes” or “I agree”, it becomes even more enforceable as it shows that you have done your due diligence in enforcing this contract.

So these are the five key contracts for entrepreneurs. Again, this isn’t a complete list of all the contracts you’ll need. I definitely recommend that you consult an attorney to determine what your specific needs are, but this is definitely a good place to start.

Dayna Thomas, Esq.:
Well, I hope that today’s show will help educate and inspire you as you pursue your business goals. Be sure to share tonight’s show with someone who may benefit and visit MyASBN.com and subscribe. If you have any questions or comments about tonight’s show, I’d love to hear from you, message me or comment on Instagram at @daynathomaslaw. Remember to tune in next week and each week to make sure your business is up and running.

The Atlanta Small Business Network, from inception to success, we’re your one-stop shop for small business news, expert advice, information and event coverage.

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Business associates, who received a $49,140 city contract, contributed to Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.’s campaigns https://winwinlose.net/business-associates-who-received-a-49140-city-contract-contributed-to-little-rock-mayor-frank-scott-jr-s-campaigns/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 09:03:54 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/business-associates-who-received-a-49140-city-contract-contributed-to-little-rock-mayor-frank-scott-jr-s-campaigns/ The business partners, who received a city contract that has now set Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. on fire over transparency, contributed to Scott’s 2018 campaign and continued to support him financially during his re-election. In addition, a city spokesman on Friday acknowledged that the only tangible work product owned by the city related […]]]>

The business partners, who received a city contract that has now set Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. on fire over transparency, contributed to Scott’s 2018 campaign and continued to support him financially during his re-election.

In addition, a city spokesman on Friday acknowledged that the only tangible work product owned by the city related to the $49,140 contract is a draft slideshow presentation that has never been presented to the city council.

In Little Rock, contracts under $50,000 can be signed for approval by the City Manager and do not require formal City Council review as long as the purchase has been subject to a competitive bid.

Records tied to the contract are now at the center of a row between Scott and Ward 4’s town manager Capi Peck that blew up in public this week.

Peck has accused Scott of ordering the city’s planning and development director, Jamie Collins, to withhold a document related to the bid that had been requested by one of Peck’s constituents, Kent Myers.

According to Peck, Collins told her late last month that Myers’ request was “lazy,” that it might be related to the Nov. 8 election, and that Scott didn’t want him to put it to Myers.

Little Rock City manager Bruce Moore confirmed at a city council meeting Tuesday that Peck had conveyed the exchange to him during an Oct. 28 phone call.

Scott has denied ordering Collins to withhold anything. The mayor has argued that Myers is not only a supporter of Scott’s leading opponent in the race, Steve Landers Sr., but also serves as an advisor to the retired auto dealer.

Likewise, Collins has denied the claim. “I was not directed by the mayor or any official not to release information,” the planning director wrote in a recent email to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Peck, a restaurant owner who has represented Ward 4 since 2017, is not up for re-election until 2024.

According to city records, in July 2020, the city applied for Qualification No. 840 to seek development consulting services.

“The City of Little Rock is seeking a plan with recommendations to strengthen our neighborhoods and improve opportunities for our residents, day workers and employers, and visitors,” the document reads. “To that end, the city is requiring three comprehensive development plans for the following areas: 1) The greater downtown business, government, and entertainment district; 2) The I-630 corridor; 3) The historic portion of Southwest Little Rock.”

Email records show that Collins wrote to Scott on July 1, 2020 to propose membership of a selection committee related to the bid opening.

In addition to himself, Collins proposed that the committee consist of Scott’s then-Chief of Staff Charles Blake, Interstate Relations Manager Emily Cox, then-Parks and Recreation Director John Eckart, and Scott’s then-Senior Adviser Kendra Pruitt.

Scott approved the list that same day.

Records show the city received five responses. They were sent by the following offices listed as primary contacts: Urban Design Associates, Tunnell-Spangler & Associates, Design Workshop, Pfeffer Torode Architecture and A Squared.

A Squared’s offer response of July 29, 2020 suggested that the permanent partnership is with Cromwell; Jones Lang LaSalle; olin; VCC construction; and Con Real.

In its response to an Arkansas Freedom of Information Act request, the city provided a video of a Little Rock purchasing official, Derrick Rainey, reading out responses received as part of Request for Qualifications #840.

A Squared is not among the five entities that Rainey names in the video and submitted the responses.

Despite this, A Squared ultimately got the nod. An assessment document provided by the city shows the company received a score of 192 — the highest score among five bidders — followed by Urban Design Associates at 188.

Public records indicate that A Squared Global, LLC was incorporated in Texas with Alley as the registered agent on July 29, 2020, but as of June 24, 2022 the company ceased to operate in the state.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website states that A Squared Global’s registration or certificate ended involuntarily due to a tax or administrative forfeiture.

Blue Hog Report’s Matthew Campbell, who recently went to court to obtain records from Scott’s administration, first reported Wednesday on a timeline of events surrounding the A Squared contract, including campaign donations.

The two business partners behind A Squared were Gerald Alley and Sam Alley. They are not related to each other.

Gerald Alley is President and Chief Executive Officer of Con-Real, based in Texas. Sam Alley resigned as chief executive officer of VCC Construction last year but remains chairman.

Both men have endorsed Scott as mayoral candidates.

In October 2018, Gerald Alley contributed $1,000 to Scott’s first campaign. Sam Alley contributed $500 that same month. Haitham Alley, Sam Alley’s brother, also contributed $500 that month.

During the current election cycle, Gerald Alley donated $2,000 to Scott in August; his wife, Candace, contributed $1,000 in February.

Sam Alley’s son, Derek, contributed $1,000 to Scott’s reelection campaign in February, and Sam Alley himself contributed $1,000 in late March.

Another person listed in the company’s bid response among the proposed A Squared employees was Chris East, who contributed $1,000 to Scott’s reelection campaign in August.

When asked if those contributions gave A Squared an advantage in its bid, Scott’s spokesman, Aaron Sadler, wrote in an email Friday: “The committee that selected this proposal more than two years ago did so without regard to whether anyone had donated to a campaign, and the mayor is not involved in the city’s procurement process.”

When asked if officials were trying to circumvent city government considerations with a contract amount that fell below $50,000, Sadler wrote, “Contract prices were provided by the contractor, not the city, and represent the cost of the scope of work by the project.”

The Democrat-Gazette obtained a copy of the same slide show Collins finally provided to Myers on Oct. 30 — two days later, when Peck said Collins told her about the mayor’s alleged order.

The presentation of A Squared is stamped Draft and is dated February 22, 2022. It consists of a total of 23 slides, many of which contain a map of one type or another.

A summary of key results for the three Little Rock zones calls for more multi-family housing in downtown as well as additional multi-family housing near War Memorial Park due to strong demand there.

The slideshow shows a small supply of multi-family homes in Southwest Little Rock, although it says certain lots are available for development. It also cites growing retail and industrial sectors in southwest Little Rock.

The presentation recommends that the city launch a bidding process for the development of workers’ housing in the Medical District.

When Collins provided him with a link to the slideshow on the morning of October 30, Myers said he was looking for another plan or report.

In a response to Myers, Collins said the city had “determined a phased approach to the proposed areas.”

“The first phase was just looking at the three areas and providing a market analysis to determine and balance supply and demand with the highest and best use of the properties,” Collins wrote. “At the end of the first phase there should be a presentation to the board. The project has been put on hold prior to this presentation. No final presentation is available at this time.”

At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, when asked by Ward 3 City Manager Kathy Webb about the War Memorial Park, Scott said he couldn’t remember anything related to the study.

Scott recalled that consultants had prepared some plans that examined downtown, the I-630 corridor and Southwest Little Rock as part of the “Rebuild the Rock” tax proposal that failed in the September 2021 election.

He couldn’t remember seeing the market analysis.

A city seller payment sheet shows A Squared was paid $49,140 on May 6, 2022.

“All invoices must be approved by the department and submitted to Accounts Payable so they can be processed and paid. My understanding [is that] this happened in April and the bill was paid in May,” city spokesman Spencer Watson wrote in an email on Friday.

“The presentation is just that, a presentation,” added Watson. “It is intended to be a distillation of all data collected, synthesized and analyzed by the contractor over the course of contract performance to present a concise conclusion with actionable recommendations. It is the only work product owned by the city.”

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KNOT Offshore Partners: Prepare for a Cut in Distribution (NYSE:KNOP) https://winwinlose.net/knot-offshore-partners-prepare-for-a-cut-in-distribution-nyseknop/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 10:19:35 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/knot-offshore-partners-prepare-for-a-cut-in-distribution-nyseknop/ Inna Dodor introduction The elimination of incentive distribution rights is usually viewed positively by investors, although in the case of KNOT Offshore Partners (NYSE:BUTTON), it appeared to be heading towards a cut in distribution in the future way the transaction was structured for their parent company, like my previous article explained. After a weak start […]]]>

Inna Dodor

introduction

The elimination of incentive distribution rights is usually viewed positively by investors, although in the case of KNOT Offshore Partners (NYSE:BUTTON), it appeared to be heading towards a cut in distribution in the future way the transaction was structured for their parent company, like my previous article explained. After a weak start to 2022, there are worrying prospects for their charters as we move into 2023 and as such it is now prudent for shareholders to brace for a payout cut, possibly as early as the forthcoming third quarter 2022 results, as discussed in this updated analysis.

Coverage summary and ratings

As many readers are likely to be short on time, the table below provides a brief summary and ratings for the main criteria assessed. If interested this Google Doc provides information on my rating system and, more importantly, links to my library of equivalent analyzes that share a comparable approach to improve comparability between investments.

Reviews from KNOT Offshore Partners

author

Detailed analysis

Cash flows from KNOT offshore partners

author

Unfortunately, despite their robust cash flow performance during the economic turmoil of 2020 and the bumpy recovery of 2021, 2022 got off to a weak start as their operating cash flow of 54.1m in H1 2021. On the surface they posted H1 2022 despite their otherwise weak operating cash flows still have strong payout coverage of 131.50%, although that was simply due to their almost non-existent low capital expenditures of just $1m, which is obviously unsustainable.

Looking at their distributable cash flow, which is on an accruals basis, their maintenance investments for both the first and second quarters of 2022 were $19.1 million, as shown on slide eight second quarter of the 2022 earnings presentation. These total $38.2 million but include their dry dock costs of $11.3 million which were already included in their operating cash flow resulting in an estimated maintenance investment of $26.9 million leads. If subtracted from their $54.1 million in operating cash flow, it would have left their free cash flow at just $27.2 million, very weakly covering about 69% of their $39.7 million payout. USD provided.

KNOT Offshore Partners Operating Cash Flow

author

Even excluding the impact of working capital movements, their underlying operating cash flow was virtually flat from reported results in H1 2022 as a result of the working capital build of 9.2 million in the second quarter. Interestingly, this is similar to a year earlier in the first half of 2021, when the $10.5 million working capital draw in the first quarter largely offset the $11.2 million build in the second quarter. That means her weak cash flow performance in the first half of 2022 was fundamental, driven by her unusually high number of dry docks.

Fleet of KNOT offshore partners

Presenting KNOT Offshore Partners second quarter 2022 results

Reviewing the deployment of her fleet, three dry docks were completed in the first half of 2022 and two more started due for completion in the third quarter, resulting in her weak financial performance. While this was only a temporary setback, the prospects for their charter deals are troubling and therefore create greater problems as they look ahead, risking their poor financial performance being prolonged.

If they cannot secure new charter deals quickly, they face a large portion of their fleet being idle as of Q4 and deteriorating throughout 2023, as indicated by the red markers in the chart above. This is a total of six of her fleet of 18 vessels, with a further five at the charterer’s option at risk of lying idle as indicated by the blue markers in the chart above. Combined, that’s more than half of their fleet either losing or likely to lose work, which would likely have an even worse impact on their financial performance than the three to five dry docks in the first half of 2022. Not to mention, they’re standing in 2023 also ahead of two other dry docks, which entails additional costs, as denoted by the green squares in the graphic above.

The oil market is still very strong and therefore supportive, although this is nonetheless a very large part of their fleet looking for new charter contracts at the same time. Even if possible, given the laws of supply and demand, the scope for less profitable terms increases, with more available vessels equaling lower prices. When they release their forthcoming Q3 2022 results, new charters will be the most important aspect to monitor as unfortunately they do not have the financial resources needed to fill the ongoing gap in their distribution coverage that otherwise occurs would these vessels are idle. While the third quarter saw another Drop-down acquisition the Synnove Knutsen, which happily sees charter coverage through 2027, this alone cannot possibly offset ten or more vessels potentially idle.

Capital structure of KNOT Offshore Partners

author

Thanks to its near-non-existent investments helping to offset its otherwise weak cash flow performance, its net debt was still falling, albeit by a very small amount, in the first half of 2022, surpassing its last level of $893.1 million .USD was slightly below its previous level of $904.8 million at the end of 2021. Following the release of its upcoming third quarter 2022 results, its net debt should increase by an additional $119 million, net of all immaterial ones, due to the Synnove Knutsen acquisition associated retained free cash flows. As they look ahead to the fourth quarter and 2023, their net debt is likely to rise and put pressure on their financial position unless they sign more charters or cut their payouts.

Leverage from KNOT offshore partners

author

As 2021 ended, their leverage spread across the high and very high territories as their net debt to EBITDA of 4.48 and net debt to operating cash flow of 5.44 are still either side of the 5.01 threshold for the very high area. Unsurprisingly, given their poor financial performance, both climbed higher to 5.40 and 8.34 in the first half of 2022, now apparently crossing the very high area threshold.

Whilst this instance of very high leverage would not normally be too worrying as it is due to an unusually high number of dry docks, the questionable outlook for their charter contracts creates uncertainty which could result in continued very high leverage. Disappointingly, this leaves little to no room for debt to fund distributions, even for a year, at least not for sure, and is further compounded by the rapid tightening of monetary policy and, as discussed later, the lack of available debt financing.

Debt Service Ability of KNOT Offshore Partners

author

Due to their poor financial performance, their debt-servicing ability followed in tandem with their indebtedness and deteriorated in the first half of 2022, which is increasingly important given the rapid rise in interest rates. This sees its interest coverage in comparison to the EBIT with a result of 2.06 only just sufficient, compared to the operating cash flow, however, a better, but still only sufficient result of 3.62. Given the prospects of continued weak financial performance, their ability to service their debt could decline slightly and become dangerous in 2023, putting further pressure on their financial position.

KNOT offshore partner liquidity

author

Thankfully, despite their very high leverage, their liquidity still has a current ratio of 0.94 and, more importantly, a liquidity ratio of 0.76. On the surface this appears positive, but as mentioned, significant issues remain when looking at their available debt financing following the acquisition of Synnove Knutsen, which has used up most of its available credit facilities, as reflected in the quote below.

“As of June 30, 2022, the partnership had $123.5 million in available liquidity comprised of $88.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $35.0 million in capacity under its revolving Credit facilities were in place, a portion of which was used to purchase Synnøve Knutsen on July 1, 2022.”

-KNOT offshore partners Q2 2022 6K.

The total cost of $119 million for the Synnove Knutsen acquisition includes $87.7 million of debt assumption and thus sees the cash cost at $31.3 million, nearly complete the availability of $35 million of credit facilities is used up. As a result, they depend almost entirely on their cash balance, which at $88.5 million is breathing room, to survive, but at the same time pulling it down to plug holes in distribution coverage is risky, even in the short term. If they decide to go this route, their currently high level of liquidity would quickly deteriorate and the company’s continued existence might be jeopardized.

To make matters worse, it’s hard to imagine debt markets being willing to provide more funds to allow an already heavily indebted company struggling with demand for its ships to return cash to its shareholders, especially as central banks tighten monetary policy tighten quickly. Meanwhile, they also face $332.2 million in debt in 2023 that obviously can’t be repaid through free cash flow, regardless of their payouts. Aside from turning to the debt markets for help funding their payouts when their ships are idle, they still go to the debt markets and ask for refinancing as well, making this an even bigger hurdle.

KNOT Offshore Partners Debt Maturities

KNOT Offshore Partners Q2 2022 6-K

Conclusion

Failure to quickly secure new charter deals for a larger proportion of their fleet makes distribution likely to be cut as 2023 approaches, as they clearly do not have the financial resources needed to fill a prolonged gap in their coverage . While their third-quarter 2022 results could show decent financial performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if management took preemptive action to shore up its financial position by cutting its payouts sooner rather than later. While they offer a double-digit payout yield, I still believe a downgrade to sell is appropriate as the risks are on the downside.

Notes: Unless otherwise noted, all figures in this article are from KNOT Offshore Partners’ SEC Filingsall calculated figures were performed by the author.

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Matty Foster under five new St Helens contracts, squad numbers revealed – TotalRL.com | Rugby League Express https://winwinlose.net/matty-foster-under-five-new-st-helens-contracts-squad-numbers-revealed-totalrl-com-rugby-league-express/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 21:09:36 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/matty-foster-under-five-new-st-helens-contracts-squad-numbers-revealed-totalrl-com-rugby-league-express/ MATTY FOSTER has been handed a new one-year contract at St Helens despite an injury that will likely sideline him for much of 2023. The young forward has had terrible injury luck throughout his senior career, limiting him to just one first-team appearance for Saints in 2020. Foster played six times for Leigh the following […]]]>

MATTY FOSTER has been handed a new one-year contract at St Helens despite an injury that will likely sideline him for much of 2023.

The young forward has had terrible injury luck throughout his senior career, limiting him to just one first-team appearance for Saints in 2020.

Foster played six times for Leigh the following year but then suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that required surgery.

He returned to the field for the St Helens reserve team in July but immediately injured the same knee again, putting him on course for another period of recovery that could take almost a year.

The club said at the time they would continue to support him throughout this recovery and have now committed to doing so in the form of a new deal.

“Matty has been really unlucky over the past few seasons,” said the Saints’ new head coach, Paul Wellens.

“He picked up a couple of injuries that really limited his playing time but we have some of the best people here to get him through this situation.

“He didn’t fold once; He came every day with a smile on his face and worked really hard to get back on the field.

“The resilience he has shown during these difficult times has strengthened his character and that will serve him well in the future.”

Like Foster, fellow youngsters Taylor Pemberton and Jumah Sambou have signed new one-year deals with the club.

Both made their first-team debuts at Easter this year, and Wellens added: “Jumah and Taylor both played important roles for us last season and having developed at our academy they know what’s coming of them as Saints players are expected, and that means consistency, showing work ethic and commitment.

“Having both made their first-team debuts last season, we expect them to work hard for more opportunities.”

Fellow Academy graduates McKenzie Buckley and Ben Lane have both signed their first professional contracts.

Buckley, who made his debut against Castleford Tigers alongside Pemberton and Sambou, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further season, while Lane, who played in the Saints’ last two Super League games of the regular season, has signed a two-year contract.

Meanwhile, another Academy product has received a significant promotion in the Saints’ 2023 roster numbers, with Jon Bennison inheriting the number five jersey from outgoing Regan Grace.

The number 25 was not awarded with the club hinting at the possibility of a re-signing.

St Helens squad 2023: 1st Jack Welsby, 2nd Tommy Makinson, 3rd Will Hopoate, 4th Mark Percival, 5th Jon Bennison, 6th Jonny Lomax, 7th Lewis Dodd, 8th Alex Walmsley, 9th James Roby , 10 Matty Lees, 11 Sione Mata utia, 12 Joe Batchelor, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Joey Lussick, 15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16 Curtis Sironen, 17 Agnatius Paasi, 18 Jack Wingfield, 19 James Bell, 20 Dan Norman, 21 Ben Davies, 22 Sam Royle, 23 Konrad Hurrell, 24 Lewis Baxter, 26 Dan Hill, 27 Jumah Sambou, 28 Matty Foster, 29 Taylor Pemberton, 30 George Delaney, 31 Daniel Moss, 32 Ben Lane, 33 McKenzie Buckley.

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Fair pay agreements herald a new dawn for employees – but what exactly are they? https://winwinlose.net/fair-pay-agreements-herald-a-new-dawn-for-employees-but-what-exactly-are-they/ Thu, 27 Oct 2022 11:12:33 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/fair-pay-agreements-herald-a-new-dawn-for-employees-but-what-exactly-are-they/ The passage of the Fair Pay Agreements Bill yesterday afternoon could be one of the most significant changes in New Zealand’s industrial relations landscape in years. So what’s the point? On Monday, many (but not all) New Zealanders enjoyed a day off on Labor Day. The public holiday was first observed on October 28, 1890 […]]]>

The passage of the Fair Pay Agreements Bill yesterday afternoon could be one of the most significant changes in New Zealand’s industrial relations landscape in years. So what’s the point?

On Monday, many (but not all) New Zealanders enjoyed a day off on Labor Day. The public holiday was first observed on October 28, 1890 to commemorate the struggle for an eight-hour workday – a colossal win for workers at the time.

Fittingly, in a historic moment for workers’ rights in Aotearoa, the not uncontroversial Fair Wage Agreements Bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament, just two days after the holiday, by a vote of 76 to 43.

Since the bill’s introduction in March this year, the casually named FPA has found favor with unions that see potential to improve the working and living conditions of workers, while it has been mostly icy from employers’ organizations that believe it will create additional complexity is included, costs, disruption and reduced flexibility.

Ahead of the bill’s passage yesterday, Labor Relations and Safety Secretary Michael Wood paid tribute to the years of work of the late trade unionist Helen Kelly, who pushed for the Labor Party to adopt the directive. Wood later turned the focus to “those who clean, those who care, those who drive, those who serve, workers who have been left in the shadows of our deregulated labor market for thirty years”. Noting the collective gratitude to key workers over the last three years of the pandemic — cleaners, bus drivers, supermarket workers, nurses and teachers — Woods signaled the influence of that time on the drafting of the bill. “It’s time to recognize the work of these people,” he said. “We’ve come a step closer to the goal of making work fairer.”

When the wheels of fair pay arrangements really start to turn, we’ll likely be hearing a lot more about them. In fact, many of us will end up participating in the processes around us. So there’s never been a better time to brush up on the basics.

What is a Fair Pay Agreement?

In short, the aim is to create a ‘floor’ of minimum rights for workers in certain sectors. It could include wages, guaranteed breaks, vacation time, opportunities for a raise, safe working hours, procedures for dealing with bullying and sexual harassment, health and safety, resolution procedures, headcount, penalties, meal allowances and more.

Fair pay agreements bring employers and unions together within an industry to jointly negotiate minimum conditions for all workers in that industry or occupation. In practice, legislation will create legally binding documents, agreed by workers and employers, setting minimum wages and conditions for a sector.

Industrial Relations and Security Secretary Michael Wood. (Image: Included)

Seems to be a big shake!

It’s definitely a big shock, but at the same time it’s kind of not. We’ve had similar systems in the past. While negotiating your own individual contract has become a natural part of working in Aotearoa, this has not always been the case. Prior to the Labor Contracts Act 1991, New Zealand had a similar system of ‘national awards’ which gave base wages and conditions to entire industries, which was abolished in favor of today’s system where employees have individual contracts or collective bargaining agreements with a single employer. Over in Australia, a similar system of what they call “Industrial Awards” grants all wage earners in a given industry the same minimum wage rates and conditions.

Who will this cover?

In the future, a fair pay agreement could give you absolute security as an employee. There is a possibility that the majority of New Zealand workers will eventually be covered by an FPA. Although there is no ban on certain professions from creating a fair pay arrangement, the legislation is aimed at low-wage industries. “It’s these low-paying jobs that really need support and lack collective bargaining,” says CTU President Richard Wagstaff. “So I think the effect will be mostly for low-income people.”

What advantages could these fair pay agreements have?

The government sees the system as a necessary correction of 30 years without sector-based collective bargaining, which it says has negatively impacted productivity and helped widen inequality across the country shrinking share of the country’s earnings trickle down to the workers. In a press release earlier in the week, Wood said the legislation will help “stop the race to the bottom and ensure some of our lowest paid workers get a fairer deal.” This completes an important election commitment for 2020 and speaks to our focus on improving the lives of working people in New Zealand.” Addressing employers during the third reading, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said: “If you are a good employer, you are the good news, you won’t be dragged down by those trying to undercut you”.

In response to yesterday’s passage of the law, Wagstaff called it “the most significant industrial relations law in a generation.” Fair wage agreements, he said, will be particularly important for low-wage workers. They’re “a really important step, not just for workers in those industries, but for those industries as a whole, so they can rise up and be more attractive places to recruit and retain employees.”

A protest against the Employment Contracts Act in 1991 (Image: John Nicholson, Evening Post via the National Library)

So will everyone be happy about this?

Not at all. As mentioned above, workers’ groups and business organizations have harshly criticized campaigns against FPAs and even spent money on campaigns – until significant criticism. Both National and Act have made repealing the law a priority if they make it into government in next year’s election.

In a press release, National Party spokesman for workplace relations and security Paul Goldsmith said: “These misnamed agreements will reduce flexibility, choice and agility in our workplaces, precisely when we need to be agile in a competitive world .” In a separate Yesterdsy press release, ACT Small Business spokesman Chris Baillie said: “ACT has a simple message for unions concerned about Fair Pay agreements: do not bother yourself. Fair pay arrangements will be over before the ink dries.”

How will this work?

Once the FPAs receive royal assent (probably December 1st), it will take about five steps from start to finish. If you want to participate in the process, contact the union that covers your industry (tip: type “[type of job you do] union NZ” in Google) or the business association that covers your industry.

  1. Unions will start the process by collecting either 1000 signatures or 10% of workers in a sector (whichever is lower) to agree. Or the union must demonstrate that there is a significant public interest in initiating an FPA. Unions in various sectors have already begun collecting enough signatures and powers of attorney to get the wheels moving.
  2. All employers in a sector are informed that the FPA process has started. These employers will then ask their employees if they agree to sharing contact information with the unions leading the process. Unions will then contact those who agree to see what they would like to include in an FPA.
  3. Negotiations begin with the unions representing the workers and the representatives elected by the employers. The two sides will negotiate what should be included in the FPA, with some issues requiring mandatory agreement and others only requiring mandatory discussion. This is an obligation to ensure representation of Māori workers and employers.
  4. Once workers and employers reach an agreement, the entire industry will vote on it. The final fair pay agreement for a sector will require majority support from workers and employers, but will be limited to two rounds of negotiations. The terms agreed are independently checked by the Employment Relations Authority and MBIE to ensure that the terms are legal. If negotiations fail, the Industrial Relations Board will step in to decide the final terms.
  5. It is finally implemented through secondary law.
H&M workers protest outside the Commercial Bay store (Photo: Michael Andrew)

Do I have to join a union?

Although ACT’s Chris Baillie describes FPAs as “mandatory unionism” in a press release, the FPA Act emphasizes voluntary union membership – meaning workers do not have to be union members in the process. You can, however, join a union if you wish.

When is all this supposed to happen?

The fair pay agreement scheme is expected to begin shortly after the law is passed, likely in December. It is estimated that the process from negotiations to a final agreement on fair pay could take around a year.

So the law is passed, are there any obstacles to it now?

There are unknowns about how the system will keep up with the additional work that comes with the FPA process. The National Party and Act have committed to this repeal of the bill when they are elected next year.

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Small businesses awarded 297 contracts worth $24.4 million • St. Pete Catalyst https://winwinlose.net/small-businesses-awarded-297-contracts-worth-24-4-million-st-pete-catalyst/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 19:11:57 +0000 https://winwinlose.net/small-businesses-awarded-297-contracts-worth-24-4-million-st-pete-catalyst/ Pinellas County officials implemented a small business promotion program as the area experienced explosive growth; it now exceeds expectations. Corey McCaster, the district’s new department head for the Office of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, repeatedly expressed his excitement at sharing the success of the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program with the commissioners during Thursday’s […]]]>

Pinellas County officials implemented a small business promotion program as the area experienced explosive growth; it now exceeds expectations.

Corey McCaster, the district’s new department head for the Office of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, repeatedly expressed his excitement at sharing the success of the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program with the commissioners during Thursday’s working session. Now in its third year, 716 vendors have registered to participate, exceeding the set target by 119%.

McCaster said the program couldn’t have come at a better time given the recent escalation in redevelopment and new construction across Pinellas.

“It gave companies an opportunity to deliver on our commitment to creating an environment conducive to small business,” he said. “So we’re very excited about this environment where small businesses feel like they have access to Pinellas County contracts.”

The SBE program is experiencing exponential growth. In fiscal 2020, participants received $17.994 million in contracts. That number rose to over $29 million last fiscal year and is up to $24.4 in 2022 so far. While the latest numbers show a decline, McCaster noted his department expects more financial data this year.

The discrepancy between bonuses and payments, McCaster explained, stems from contractual details. He is also awaiting further financial data for 2022. Screenshot.

Dozens of county offices are working closely with the SBE, McCaster said, supporting the program by considering their vendors for projects. He said the number continues to grow, and these internal partners also attended the annual “reverse trade show” and recurring matchmaking events.

“I am pleased to report that the program is delivering positive results for the third consecutive year,” McCaster told the commissioners.

He shared that SBE participants received 93 Prime contracts in 2022, a 30% increase. The total number of small business contracts in the region increased from 232 to 297, a 28% improvement. “And we’re excited about that,” he added.

According to McCaster, program executives hosted 51% more SBE events this year and attendance increased by 75%. He added that as the program continues to grow, so will internal and community outreach, further fueling its success.

“The more we can connect with partners and businesses in the community, the more we will participate in the program,” he explained. “And the team is really committed to that.”

McCaster recently became SBE director after leaving Hillsborough County’s economic development division, where he focused on minority and small business development. Upon accepting his new role, McCaster said he stressed that he would like to track the average “project goal,” or the percentage of money that participants in the program would receive from the total bounty.

The industry average is about 10%, according to McCaster, and SBE companies got 11.6%. Passing on his enthusiasm for the achievement, he said program officials plan to ensure it continues to move forward.

While the program is focused on Pinellas County, County Administrator Barry Burton noted that companies participate in a regional database, an intentional aspect that increases opportunities. Economic development director Cynthia Johnson said it also allows the county to diversify its supply chain through neighboring counties’ departments and organizations.

A graphic with SBE partners. Screenshot.

“So you can work here in Pinellas or in Pasco or in Hillsborough (counties),” Commissioner Dave Eggers said. “It’s about better jobs.”

McCaster also presented some of the program’s most notable success stories. On the private contract side, RJP Enterprises, Inc. exceeded its goal as a partner, using SBEs on over 18% of its projects and awarding nearly $800,000. Manhattan Construction Group volunteered to use program participants, McCaster said, and paid out $653,065.

Small business highlights include Bayshore Construction winning a nearly $6 million tender this year. Suncoast Development of Pinellas County was awarded a five-year, $19 million contract.

“That’s called credibility,” said Eggers. “People who believe in the program.”

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