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We note the results of the ballot to effect constitutional change in the University and College Union as communicated by you in March. We believe this ballot was conducted in undue haste following your re-election as general secretary in pursuit of a narrow political agenda to stifle legitimate opposition within the union, including by elected national executive committee members. There was insufficient time to debate what are critical issues for members.
Subsequent to the ballot, we note that there has been a marked increase in “personal” communication between you and the membership on major issues – most recently the Universities Superannuation Scheme. As a union we would not tolerate management engaging individually and directly with our members and bypassing established collective and democratic machinery, and we are thus concerned about such an approach from our union. We are opposed to the individualistic turn that the UCU appears to be taking, since it undermines collective processes and is being falsely counterpoised to building inclusive and participatory activism in the workplace.
This year’s UCU congress voted to adopt motions 63, 64 and L5, which raise concerns about the misuse of membership surveys to bypass democratic structures and encourage “timidity and inertia” (in the wording of Motion 63), particularly in the absence of proper time for discussion within branches and committees. Motion L5 calls for union officials and structures to abide by congress decisions, and to use online surveys subsequent only to their debate by congress, sector conference or the NEC (and as sanctioned by the NEC).
Motions 65 and 67, in support of your proposal to reduce the NEC’s size, were defeated. However, as part of your congress speech, you promised to continue to campaign for the reforms regardless of the congress decision. This has worrying implications for union democracy.
South African tertiary institutions are being crippled by disruptive and destructive strikes spear headed by academically under achieving students occupying high posts in our SRC's.
These people stay for years in these institutions so they can enjoy many benefits including free fees, etc.
Why are people consistently failing on the one thing that got them in the institution being allowed to lead fellow students ?
In high schools we see bright kids excelling in their studies and sports but also head their Learners Representative Councils, what happens to this aspiring leaders when they arrive in institutions of Higher Learning ?
Lets call on the Department of Education to pass Legislation that will force tertiary institutions to set out clear and sensible criteria for students' eligibility in occupying seats in the SRC's.
Councilmember David Couch introduced a resolution that has 3 prongs:
1. Declare English the official language of Bakersfield.
2. Investigate city services currently being utilized by undocumented immigrants.
3. Declare that Bakersfield will never become a sanctuary city for immigrants.
The Social Justice Task Force is asking concerned residents of Bakersfield to oppose David Couch's resolution. These resolutions would do nothing to effect Federal Immigration Law.
Instead this would increase racial profiling and racial hate crimes in an already divided city. Please sign petition below.
Bakersfield City Council will discuss and possibly vote on these resolutions on Wednesday, September 26th.
Each Year Hundreds of thousands of horses are slaughtered in United States and are transported to Canada for inhumane consumption.
Wild horses, ponies, race horses, pleasure horses, sick, old, even healthy are all unwanted or no longer needed will be slaughtered because owners demands change.
Sold through auctions horses will then be sold from the killer buyers by the pound.
The fatter and bigger the horse it's chances are at higher risk to go for meat.
The horses are then packed in double decker trucks which should only be used for pigs and cattle.
The ceilings do not meet there needs as they are to low for the horses to lift there heads comfortably.
The horses being transported for slaughter are not properly rested, fed or given water.
The long rides are approx 36 sometimes more.
Alot of times when the driver reaches his destination most of the exhausted horses end up being injured or dead from cramming too many horses in the trucks.
The dead ones end up being left behind.
The law states that horses be unconcious before having this awful practice done but in most cases that doesn't happen.
Many investigators have witnessed horses still consious and were improperly stunned.
Usually with a device called a captive bolt gun which shoots a metal rod in to the horses brain.
The conditions in the slaughter house are stressful and frightning.
France, Holland, Mexico, Europe, and Japan are just some of the countries that eat horse.
The over breeding such as race horses and pleasure horses has got to stop it has made a higher risk for slaughter.
In the states 92.3% of horses are still in good condition alot of people lie and state there sick, old, or injured but again thats not always the case.
Owners selling there school horses or ponies to auctions are not always aware what happens after they are sold.
Do you really know where there going?
I don't get horse people any more once there horse gets sick or can't do the job anymore the owners give up on them people should be ashamed of them selves and wake up and realize whats happening.
These horses were not meant for meat.
These living loving animals have done so much for us like win the race bred beautiful foals.
They all deserve a second chance and better lives for people to love them for them instead of being sent for slaughter.
These horses suffer a painful death.
I believe there's a home for every horse out there.
My heart will never stop until this ends in happiness for them.
If I can save one horse I made a difference.
We strongly believe that access to higher education should be on pupils' ability, not on ability to pay, and that it should be the duty of the Government to fund Universities through tax, not through tuition fees.
A higher driving age is needed because only older more civilized people should drive so there are less accidents on the road.
This petition is in response to the proposal for 27% reservation quota in favor of the backward classes by HRD Minister Arjun Singh.
This letter voices the strong opposition to this recent proposal, and is not by any means, must be seen as an evidence of contempt towards the SC/ST/OBC. In the form of this letter, we attempt to initiate the realization of the major flaws in the whole system.
To do so, we require to carefully examine the legal, economical and the logical aspects as to why these quota reservations could pose a major threat to the well being of our country.
Need for Reservation- Reality or Myth?
The basic motive was to give the students belonging to the SC/ST/OBC equal opportunities because of their social disadvantages and lack of resources & exposure.
We need to ask ourselves: Has this motive been accomplished by the said reservation quotas?? Ask any doctor or engineer who has graduated with the tag of 'quota' and it will be clear that the procedure has failed to achieve genuine equality, depriving us from the Fundamental Right to Equality.
Constitution and Reservation:
Where articles 15 and 16 ensure every citizen freedom and equality before law, the unpractical provisions for reservation only highlight the contradictions in the machinery of the government.
Reservations were a part of the constitution when it was released in 1950. However, that was supposed to be a temporary measure and was to last for 10 years.
Part XVI of the Constitution makes certain reservations for the SC/ ST/ OBC for their election in the Legislative Assemblies and the House of People. Article 334 expressly provides that the reservations and special representations will cease after a period of fifty years. An Amendment (79th amendment w.e.f. 25-1-2000) to the Constitution in 1999 extended this time frame of fifty years to sixty years. Is this justified? Isn't this detrimental to the interests of the general members of the country who will now consider themselves unfortunate for not being tagged as "depressed" classes.
More than 50 years later the reservations continue to exist and have only become higher with passing years. The politicians, in an attempt to woo more votes from the public, continue to reserve more and more seats for SCs/ STs/ OBCs. This makes us feel as if the government covers its vested interests and political peripherals in the large cloak of democracy.
Certain Consequence of Reservation Regime:
The following are the sure consequences in case if the reservation regime is passed inspite of major oppositions by the IITs, and IIMs:
The caste-hatred in the country will increase, leading to aggravated tensions in the IIT and IIM class rooms.
Youngsters will lose faith in the democratic system of the country. If vote banks are so important to our politicians then we assure them that they'd lose a considerable part of it. We will not stay unplugged.
The benefit of reservation is always lapped up by the quota-students coming into the creamy layer, not being entitled for reservation, while candidates who may be more meritorious miss out on those seats. Such candidates might decide to go abroad, considering their encroachment of opportunities, to accomplish their further studies. This results in India losing talented people, who could have been the country's future.
The quota system, created to facilitate the poor, ends up wrongly being utilized by children of rich people, ministers and IAS officers belonging to SC/ST/OBC. The government and the ministers need to sit and carefully analyze the possible effects on their moves.
Quota helps students secure seat, not degree. This is a hard truth.
Brain Drain- With the reservation regime being proposed with ease and pomp, most of the parents are pushing their children to pursue their academics from institutions abroad sans the inequality and the so called privileged treatment confined only to the "depressed" classes. This will result in a major brain drain. There will be a time when we'll have to have reservation.
It is a well known fact that Where there is a Will, there is a way. If a certain member of the so called SC/ ST/ OBCs is really deserving and hard working then he/ she will surely rise through the ranks. There are already a lot of opportunities. People don't ask you now whether or not you are a member of SC/ ST/ OBCs if you're hard working enough. Then why should the SC/ ST/ OBCs come out and expressly mention their caste details in order to be treated in a privileged manner? Dr. Ambedkar, too, worked his way to the top in an era that was plagued with inequality and untouchability sans the reservation and quota policy. It is surprising to not to know any famous person who has reached the heights that Dr. Ambedkar himself has reached inspite of the quota tainted five decades. This is the biggest failure of the concept of Reservation.
Most quota students are not able to meet the standards of IITs, IIMs or other Indian institutes which are now globally acknowledged. These places of learning will have to bring down their standards and compromise on quality, which will, as an end-result affect the efficient development of the nation. It remains to be seen if the politicians consider their vote banks as important or the economic development of their country and the integrity of the constitution.
The placements of these revered institutes too bear the brunt.
Some statistics that highlight that Reservation Regime will lead nowhere:
The majority of quota students have failed to achieve even average performance:
o At IIM-Lucknow in 2004-05, large number of quota students failed to clear PG prog-I
o At GSVM Medical College, Kanpur, 50%admitted under quota flunk this year,35% get grace marks.
o 60% students fail to clear BSc exam,50% BCom and 40% BA under Allahabad University.
The government might be pushing for reservations for OBCs, but as things stand on the ground, even the 22.5% quota (SC/ST) in higher educations remains unfilled.
DATA collected by HRD Ministry for 2003-04 (latest figures available) show that the total number of students in higher educational institutes-a little over one crore-only 16% are SCs/ST. Which clearly means even with the existing quota, 6.5% of reserved seats are going vacant.
The ministry's data on admission says:
o In classes 1 to 5, as many as 27% of students are from SC/ST category.
o In higher classes, heir number reduces - so that only 24% SC/ST students remain in class 5 to 8, and just 19.1% in class 12.
o Of the 1489 seats in IIMs, 16.4% are filled up by SC/ST students.
o In IITs,it is about 18%.
Even now more than 60% of the students, whose performance are discussed in the Student Review Committee meetings of IIT Delhi, belong to the reserved categories.
o The cumulative grade point average of these students hovers in 5-6.5 range.
o This despite the fact that a one year preparatory course in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics is conducted for them.
Moreover, its not just academics that suffer in the hands of reservation. We feel that government is dragging down the level of premier institutions instead of trying to bring them up to international levels.
Alternative solutions to the hike in quota:
The number of seats in premier institutes may be increased, but then the quality of education should not be hampered, to attain which, it will be necessary to increase the teaching faculty as well along with the infrastructure.
The unavailability of seats is not as big a problem to the SC/ST/OBC as their financial crunch is. Assistance may be provided in the forms of scholarships.
The expenditure on higher and technical education is 0.4% and 0.1% of GDP, respectively. This should be raised.
Progeny of those who have got a position through quota should be denied the same privilege. One 'quota-case' in every family is sufficient.
The misuse of the quota by the powerful and the rich should be taken care of. Proper investigations and checks must be undertaken by the ministers who so loudly advocate the reservation regime.
The level of primary and secondary education must be boosted. All the problems start from primary level itself, if a student does not have a strong base, then he cannot complete higher education successfully.
The government should make efforts to uplift backward classes by strengthening the educational base of these classes at the primary level. Caste does not define how intelligent a person is. Rather it is differences in resources and exposure.
The government should start some campaigns to ensure that students from all sections of society are encouraged to pursue studies atleast till 12th standard.
Reservations in premier institutes are of no use unless creamy layer of students is kept out of it.
Merit V/s Quota
* FICCI president Y K Modi on September 4, 2004: "No where in the world is there reservation in the private sector".
* CII president Anand Mahindra on May 31, 2004: "The concept of reservation without reference to merit could have a distorting effect on the operations of the private sector".
* Ratan Tata: "Though I do not want to comment on it (reservation), it is bad in some way, it will tend to divide the country into different groups." " While uplift of socially backward classes is important, merit is an important aspect and should not be compromised"
* Assocham president K Sanghi on June 14, 2004: "It will have a far reaching impact on the industry as it may completely destroy the meritocracy in such units and bring inefficiency".
* FICCI president Y K Modi on September 04, 2004: "We oppose it as the move is against industrialisation and will lead to job reduction".
* NASSCOM president Kiran Karnik on May 31, 2004: "It will completely destroy the meritocracy in the private sector".
* Pune-based Alfa Laval India's MD Satish Tondon on August 08, 2004: "If I employ 1,000 staff, 5 per cent reservation would mean I have to recruit 50 people I may not need".
In the end we'd like to mention that the upliftment of socially backward classes is important, merit is an important aspect and should not be compromised. If the quota system has failed to serve the purpose till now, how is it going to help by increasing it?
April 24, 2006
We are Albemarle county residents opposed to the county adding high density developement while the area infrastructure will not support it.
Increasing the area density will result in a higher population and a greater tax burden on our current county residents.
The area's current infrastructure cannot support the almost 5,000 units and the traffic problems they will bring.
As a result, and most importantly, an increase such as the one being proposed for Biscuit Run will have a grave impact on the quality of life of all Albemarle County residents.
Petition to the PSTCC Administration for the Adoption of a Part-Time Student's Dean's List or Honor Roll.
The Residents of the Village of Runyon Springs are concerned about the lighting in the community. We wish to express our concern about the safety issues of our residency.
The Residents of the Village of Runyon Springs are requesting additional lighting and requesting a higher voltage of lighting in all areas of the new subdivision.
Receienty a higher, Extreamly Higher Tax was imposed in Tobacco products in Montana. As well, Smokers are being discriminated against by laws prohibiting smoking in all public buildgings. This will eventually affect the Bars and Casinos as well.
This petition is to repeal the part of the law prohibiting smoking in bars & casinos, and to repeal the increased tobacco tax.
The PWORA act has been praised for the major changes that it has brought. It has set time limits and work requirements for TANF RECIPIENTS.
But there has not been a call for a higher education that could take many of TANF recipients off of welfare rolls permanently.
We feel that there is a need for more promotion of a higher education for this at risk population who need a helping hand.
It is safe to say that everyone- or most people- who have ever encountered the long-time Mt. Carmel High School teacher Mr. Cummings was not pleased with his attitude. His attitude is not only extremely negative, but he speaks to students in a condescending manner. He constantly reminds students in a lower math class that they should be in a higher math class, and also reminds students in a higher math class that they should not even be placed there.
As an educator, this behavior should not be acceptable. It makes students feel uncomfortable, and it also shows just how much he is NOT helping the students who could really use it. Evidence of this can be proven if one were to either take a poll of how many students would transfer out of Mr. Cumming's classes if given the chance, or, to research through the counseling office how many students actually went through with the class transfer. Either way, the number of students is a large number; large enough for one to question the efficiency of his teaching.
The goal of this petition is to bring attention and demand action for the improper treatment of students as well as to suggest a new educator; one that will provide a better education and learning environment for the class.
*NOTE: THERE WILL BE A DOCUMENT PASSED AROUND THE MT. CARMEL CAMPUS AS OF TUESDAY, JANUARY 18TH TO SIGN IF YOU WISH TO DO THAT INSTEAD.*
Excerpted References: NYTimes.com Articles:
Op-Ed Columnist: Education Is No Protection on January 26, 2004 By BOB HERBERT:
"...The main objections came from a handful of protesters who stood outside in a brutally cold wind waving signs that said things like "Stop Sending Jobs Overseas" and "Put America Back to Work." No one paid them much attention.
The conference was titled "Offshore Outsourcing: Making the Journey Work for Your Corporation." Its goal was to bring executives up to speed on the hot new thing in corporate America, the shipment of higher-paying white-collar jobs to countries with eager, well-educated and much lower-paid workers.
... He said his firm had helped clients ship about a billion dollars' worth of projects offshore last year....
...You want a national security issue? Trust me, this threat to the long-term U.S. economy is a big one. Why it's not a thunderous issue in the presidential campaign is beyond me....
...We can grapple with this problem now, and try to develop workable solutions. Or we can ignore this fire in the basement of the national economy until it rages out of our control...."
(E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ...)
Also: NYTimes.com Article: News Analysis: New Patterns Restrict Hiring
on March 6, 2004 By LOUIS UCHITELLE:
"By almost every measure, the economy has been expanding at a healthy pace for six months. But the nation's employers remain stubbornly reluctant to add jobs in the United States.
Outsourcing abroad, particularly the shifting of work to China and India, so much in the news, is one reason hiring at home has been sparse...."
The following are general observations:
Our higher "cost to live" in America (versus those in most other countries)
is a "given burden" (for both natural born and those who acquire citizenship)
to live in America. It must certainly follow then that all working Americans
to have equivalent purchasing capability with citizens of other countries must be paid higher salaries. Other related topics needed for scrutiny are:
What is the tax loss to the U.S. on jobs given to foreign Nationals?
Who of the unemployed are not figured into the Labor Dept. unemployment
This petition is to clearly state that we want cheaper broadband & adsl plans in Australia, particularly unlimited plans. Australia has large and unfair 'limits' on broadband which most people cannot afford. We are behind in our pricing and development on broadband/adsl. The internet is fastly developing a larger need for adsl users, which most users simply cannot afford!
We need cheaper & more reliable adsl, and we do not need small shaped plans - We have a demand for unlimited. Making this cheaper will also earn Australian Computer Companies more revenue, and our currency higher, with our technology soaring higher. This pertition is to show a small percentage of people, out of the millions, that really do care about this issue.
Related websites to this petition, and website's we'd like you to view, include:
This petition is an opportunity for the students of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania to express their feelings of 'No Confidence' in the administration currently running the State System of Higher Education of Pennsylvania.
This is being Sent to MSN to let them know that we Webbies are MAD about their latest attempt to save money by cutting us off from Talk City because they were too CHEAP to pay a higher rate!
Sometime in May when Talk City raised their rates to use their services, MSN said "NO" to the higher rate therefore cutting the Webtv Users off from using Talk City as our chat line. Some of us Webbies have been chatting in Talk City since we first came online. This petition is being sent to MSN to let them know "WE ARE MAD!! They cut their expenses, but ours stayed the same each month. We are the Customer WE should be the ones saving money, not them. And Talk City came up with a brilliant idea: Lets charge the webbies $12.00 a year for them to use our website, since MSN refused to pay the increase. Some of you have paid it, but if you are like me, you already pay enough for your ISP Service, and can't afford to pay more.We have a right to appeal and we are!!! Some of us made friends in Talk City, and we even had our own little family, and now they want to cut us off from that?? Don't let MSN run us. PC users need to sign this too, in support for us Webbies. Thank You
Higher Ground was a great tv show! Sign The Petetion To Get Higher Ground Back for another Season.
This petition is ban Polish citizens from entering the United States on grounds other than the political asylum.
Republic of Poland is in strong violation of the basic right of emigration.
Should the community pay for the financial mistakes of the City of Tulsa? NO!!! The City of Tulsa mismanaged its money and created an $11,000,000 shortfall...
Their solution is: Fee increases, as proposed by the Park and Recreation Department and approved by the Mayor and Park Board, for Tulsa Park Facilities including outside sports facilities, sports equipment, pools, shelters, open space, special events, community center room rentals and Special Park Facilities including the Zoo & Oxley Nature Center.
Permits for professional photographers to shoot at parks will increase $125...
NOTE: Incomprehensibly, Fees at Mohawk and Page Belcher Golf courses will be reduced.
SPECIAL NOTE: Deficit reduction should be done by cuts in spending not higher fees!