If Indiana had passed a right-to-work law in 1977, the impact by 2008 would have been nearly $3,000 more in per capita income — or almost $12,000 more for a family of four. Going forward, a right-to-work law passed this year would generate a projected $968 per person or $3,872 for a family of four by 2021.
Do Hoosier voters support right-to-work? By a 3-to-1 margin (69% to 23%) in a scientific poll of 800 registered voters. That support comes from Republicans, Independents, Democrats and across all demographics — age, income, gender, occupation. Despite a constant and inaccurate propaganda campaign for their bosses, even 44% of union members are supportive of RTW.
The bottom line: Pass RTW — and pass it now. Workers, families and the state of Indiana will be the beneficiaries.
Sick of polls? Hope not. Because during the legislative session, we’ll post a weekly poll question on our blog (top, right) and try to gauge your thoughts on some of Indiana’s most critical issues.
To kick things off, we’re asking: "There is a proposal to model an Indiana immigration law after the one that has been implemented in Arizona. Do you support that proposal for Indiana?" You can simply vote, or leave a comment regarding the topic as well. As usual, please keep it civil and germane to the topic.
Additionally, we have a question up on the site of BizVoice magazine asking about your favorite Indiana sports movie. This poll complements this article, as well as an upcoming segment on Inside INdiana Business next weekend.
The following is an update of a very important bill currently being considered by the Indiana House:
Bill # and Title: SB 1002 – Charter Schools Authors: Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) and Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D-Indianapolis)
Summary: Allows private universities and mayors of second-class cities to serve as charter school authorizers. Creates the Indiana Charter School Board to serve as a statewide authorizer. (Continues authorizing authority for state universities and the Indianapolis mayor.) Makes unused and underutilized public school facilities available for charter school use. Eliminates limits on charter schools approved by the Indianapolis mayor and on virtual charter schools. Increases funding for virtual charter schools from 80% of average state tuition support to 90%. Cancels interest payments on loans from the state that charter schools have acquired as the result of delayed tuition payments. Makes additional changes.
Chamber Position: Support
Status: House Education Committee considered 15 amendments out of 30 that were filed. Three amendments were accepted, including a substantial amendment developed by the co-authors and two additional amendments offered by Democrats. After eight hours of testimony and debate – five hours last week and three additional hours this week – the committee voted 8-5, along party lines, to recommend the bill’s passage. It is now eligible for consideration by the full House.
Update/Chamber Action: Despite the partisan vote from committee members, it certainly cannot be suggested that this bill has not had extensive consideration and debate. Nonetheless, House Democrats offered a Minority Committee report when the committee action was delivered to the full House. That effort failed, but not before a contentious floor debate in which Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) and Rep. Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) portrayed the charter bill as an attempt to undermine collective bargaining. (In reality, the bill allows teachers in charter schools to bargain collectively if they so choose; but most charter teachers choose not to join a union.) This bill is likely to draw dozens of proposed amendments and a long, contentious debate as it moves to the full House. The Indiana Chamber will continue working with the bill’s authors and other charter school supporters to analyze amendments, fend off detrimental changes and drive the bill to final passage. Meanwhile, we are pleased to note the steadfast support of Rep. Sullivan, who was the only Democrat to buck her caucus on the Minority Committee report. We also noted this editorial from Democrat Mayor Tom McDermott of Hammond, who has called for the bill’s passage.
Twenty-two states have said "No, we’re not going to allow paying union dues (or require becoming a union member) to be a condition of employment. Indiana is among the other 28
The 22 have experienced greater economic activity, population increases and income growth
Many companies and site selection experts refuse to consider non-RTW states for their business relocations and expansions
What will the Indiana Chamber be sharing at an 11 a.m. press conference on Monday (at our offices)about RTW and Indiana as the result of a new study and recent polling?
How much higher Hoosiers’ per capita income would be if a RTW law had been in place
How much the state would have benefited from increased tax revenues (hint: bye-bye budget shortfall)
What passing RTW in 2011 will mean for the next decade
How many Hoosier voters support the passage of RTW
More to come (including video) on Monday. The numbers are guaranteed to make everyone take notice. Or, if you’re already convinced that RTW needs full legislative consideration right now, contact your legislators.
Indiana avoided the national rush to move up the date of its 2008 presidential primaries. And national attention ended up being focused on the Hoosier state. Don’t expect any change from Indiana’s early May vote, and for a variety of reasons others are looking to fall back in the pack for 2012.
The modern presidential nominating process, in which candidates must compete in primaries throughout the country to have a chance to win, dates to 1972. After that, it only took a few election cycles for states to realize that the ones voting first had the biggest say in the nomination. By 1988, the push to “frontload” had begun in earnest.
Almost immediately, political scientists began complaining that the primary schedule was becoming perilously compressed. If too many states vote too early, they argued, only the best-funded candidates can compete. Candidates can effectively wrap up nominations in a matter of weeks, before the press and the public have time to scrutinize them. Then, states with primaries and caucuses later in the spring don’t matter. “A lot of states are not just less influential, but have no effective voice in the process,” says William Mayer, a Northeastern University political scientist who co-authored a book on frontloading.
Both the national Democratic and Republican parties have tried to impose some order on the process. But the parties don’t set the dates of primaries. State legislators do — because it’s the states who actually administer the elections, along with local governments.
Legislators’ foremost concern has been maximizing the influence of their own states. Even those who agree with the political scientists about the problems with a frontloaded calendar don’t want their own state to be the one left behind.
The results are dramatic. In 1976, on the Democratic side, the Iowa caucuses were in January and the New Hampshire primary was in February. Four more states voted in March and three more in April, with the other 20 primary states scattered later into the spring.
In 2008, six states voted in January. They included Florida and Michigan, which moved up their primaries in violation of Democratic Party rules. By the end of February, voters in nearly three dozen states had already cast their ballots in primaries or caucuses on both the Democratic and Republican side.
Consultants can play a vital role in assisting a wide variety of organizations in a number of ways. Or the relationship could turn sour with long-term consequences. How do you help ensure the former and avoid the latter? BizVoice magazine has a guest column with practical advice.
Consultant selection Hiring the right consultant or consulting firm is the most important step in a strong consulting relationship. It is critical that you find a person competent to meet your needs in a way that’s aligned with your firm’s culture.
Your first order of business is to determine what kind of help you require. Then, you can begin your search for someone with the right background. A great place to start is with colleagues – word of mouth is the best type of reference. Universities can also assist in identifying resources in a given area. A third source is other professionals you use – your accountant, attorney or banker. These professionals know your business and may have used (or have clients who have used) the kind of consultant you need.
Once you have narrowed down the list, interview candidates with the same rigor you apply to screening potential employees. Also, in many cases you share confidential information with consultants, so be certain you pick one who is worthy of your trust.
Discuss confidentiality first. Unlike other professionals (lawyers, accountants, doctors, therapists), consultants do not have a common set of ethical standards. Ask that any information disclosed is kept confidential or define exactly with whom it can be shared. If needed, ask the consultant to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Next, provide enough information so that the consultant knows what you hope to gain in the engagement. A great consultant will guide you through this process. It’s also important to learn about his or her background and expertise. Discuss what approach the consultant would take in the engagement, and be open and honest about any concerns you have about that approach.
If you are considering moving forward, ask the consultant to prepare a proposal summarizing the work to be done. It should reflect your discussion and include a clear definition of the scope of the project, your responsibilities as a firm, the consultant’s responsibilities and an estimated budget. This will serve as a starting point for discussing the engagement.
A friend of mine shared this link on Facebook and I had to post it, as there is a lesson here somewhere for businesses about shaping consumer behavior — or at least promoting wellness to your staff. Thanks to the FunTheory.com for telling the story of this staircase in Sweden. Here’s the skinny:
There is a set of stairs, with a moving escalator next to it …. both of which lead to the same spot on the floor of the upper level. At first no one took the stairs, almost 97% of the people took the escalator. Okay. I think that could be a normal expected result. Then a group of engineers got together, and decided they wanted to change the percentage around. Notice what these scientists did. Clever huh. And now they have reversed the percentages, as a whopping 66% more people take the stairs, than ride the escalator.
Although, my friend did add: "They tried this in America but someone broke their ankle, sued, and a politician tried to outlaw stairs."
As is standard practice, Indiana’s congressmen and senators released their thoughts on last night’s State of the Union speech. Here are a few samples, courtesy of Inside INdiana Business:
Sen. Richard Lugar
“More jobs, now, in private industry are essential to strengthen our country. The President spoke of his strong interest in job creation, but his State of the Union address needs immediate follow-up with very specific proposals and personal negotiation to bring bi-partisan legislation and encouragement for all businesses that are prepared to hire more people. This is job number one for President Obama and the U.S. Congress.”
Rep. Andre Carson “I hope my colleagues on the Republican side recognize that leadership is more than just slashing spending. It’s also recognizing the importance of making investments in areas that are crucial to keeping the United States at the forefront. The President has committed to cutting the deficit as well as improving resources for infrastructure, education and research. This approach is bold, necessary and one that I support.”
Rep. Todd Rokita: The President’s proposals to freeze discretionary spending does not go far enough. Rokita told WIBC the federal government should follow Indiana’s lead. He says the state reverted to 2008 spending levels and then cut another 15 percent across the board.
Rep. Pete Visclosky “President Obama made clear tonight, and I agree, that our nation’s economic security is a critical component of ensuring our broader national security. As we rebuild our nation’s economy, we must defend our existing industries, invest in our public infrastructure, and address the problem of our massive federal debt. Meeting these worthy goals can help ensure access to solid employment, expanded economic opportunities, and a good quality of life for residents of Northwest Indiana.”
So maybe your signature Larry King suspenders gave out and your pants fell down during an important meeting, or you "accidentally" punched your boss’ wife in the face during one of your trademark drunken flailing fits at the office Christmas party. But a recent survey from OfficeTeam says you’re not alone in committing an embarrassing act at work.
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than
1,300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.
“Nearly everyone has had an embarrassing situation at work,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Although these moments can be awkward, it’s best not to dwell on them, or you risk drawing more negative attention to yourself.”
Wardrobe malfunctions were a top cause of discomfort for survey respondents. Following are some examples:
“I was late getting to the office and realized I wore my bathroom slippers to work.”
“I conducted a training session with my zipper down.”
“My skirt got stuck in my pantyhose.”
“I came to work with two different shoes on.”
“My trousers tore in front of my team members.”
“My shirt was on backward.”
Fortunately, OfficeTeam offers a few tips to help you deal with your predicament:
Remain calm. It’s easy to lose your nerves after a slipup, but try to keep your composure. Take a deep breath and collect yourself.
Own up. Acknowledging a blunder before someone else does can alleviate any awkward tension that may arise. If appropriate, address the situation in a humorous way to make everyone feel more at ease.
Make amends. If your accident affected another person, immediately apologize and take steps to ensure a similar mistake does not happen again.
Move on. Rather than dwell on a misstep, focus on getting back on track. The faster you recover, the less memorable the incident will be.
Still looking for a job at a reputable Indiana business? While job searching can be painful and frustrating, there are ways to optimize your ability to land work. Staffing firm Robert Half offers five tips for revitalizing a lengthy job search:
Reconsider the chronological resume. A new format, such as one that highlights skills versus work history, may be more productive.
Invest in new packaging. If an extended search in a particular industry or field isn’t yielding results, focus on how you could repackage your transferable skills for a different industry or type of role.
Switch up your networking. People tend to focus on certain groups or techniques (e.g., using LinkedIn to make connections or attending regular trade association meetings). Look for different groups to join, and new ways to meet people outside of your usual circle.
Get a second opinion. Do you get lots of interviews, but no second calls? Ask a friend with good professionals judgment to give you feedback on your interview performance. Or perhaps your resume hasn’t landed you any interviews. Have a recruiter or trusted friend give you their ideas.
Expand your reach. Some parts of the country are recovering faster than others. If your search isn’t working in a particular area, could you look at a move to a different city? Large staffing firms who have offices nationwide can connect you with jobs outside of your immediate locale.