SMLR Update April 25, 2011

National News

There were two major news stories this week with major implications for US labor relations:

NLRB Decision -- The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Boeing could not move work from Washington to South Carolina in retaliation for a lawful strike by its Seattle workers.  See:  Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law 

To learn more first-hand about this landmark decision come hear NLRB Chair Wilma Liebman, who will be speaking to the NJ LERA Chapter on Monday, May 9th (see events calendar for details).

Airport Screeners Vote for Union -- In the largest-ever union organizing campaign of federal employees, 84% of aiport screeners working for the Transportation Security Administration voted to create a union.  There will be a runoff to decide which of the two competing unions represents these workers.  TSA employees were given the right to bargain collectively in February.  See: Airport Screeners Need Runoff to Pick a Union


Ernest McMahon -- Class of 1930 Award
Prof. Paula VoosCongratulations to Paula Voos, who is the recipiant of this year's Ernest McMahon - Class of 1930 Award.  This award, named for one of the key players in the early days of the Institute of Management and Labor Relations, is given each year to an individual who has done exemplary work extending the educational resources of the University to the people of New Jersey. Paula is a well-deserved winner for her lead role in implementing weekend and online course offerings and her strong efforts in the development of the new BS degree program in Labor and Employment Relations.  

Healthcare Workforce Council
Sue Schurman and David Finegold participated in the SETC's Healthcare Workforce Task Force, for which Ashley Conway, one of SMLR's part-time lecturers, has been appointed as the key staff person.

US Woman's Bureau and CWW Joint Event
 On April 18, the Center for Women and Work hosted a successful US DOL Women’s Bureau (WB) event entitled “Good Jobs for Everyone: An Examination of Flexible Workplace Practices in New Jersey.” The event was a part of the WB’s National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility stemming from a White House initiative launched last year. The event brought together policymakers, employers, employees, advocates, researchers, educators, unions and other stakeholders to discuss challenges and innovative solutions for making flexibility work. Panelists and other speakers included Congressman Rush Holt, Bob Morrissey, Campbell Soup Company, and Kathleen Christensen, Sloan Foundation. Many thanks to Karen White and others at the Center for organizing the event.

Welcome a New Employee to LEARN
Nisha Banerjee will join SMLR as the LEARN Program Manager on May 9, 2011. Nisha received her B.A. in political science from University of Toronto and her M.S.W. from New York University. She was a union member and leader of UFCW and worked as the Project Field Organizer at the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). Nisha brings her enthusiasm, commitment, and a rich set of outreach experience and skills to help grow programs at LEARN.

SMLR In The News

Citizenship Rutgers Exceeds ALL Expectations
Janice Fine is quoted in the April 11th edition of  The Daily Targum in the article Attorneys Offer Help to Citizenship Seekers.  On April 9th, permanent legal residents had the opportunity to apply for citizenship at Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue Campus.  Over 91 participants from more 15 countries attended this event.

Pamela Sue Schmidt Scholarship Fund
SMLR has established a student award and scholarship fund to honor the memory of Pamela Sue Schmidt (, the senior who was to graduate in May from Rutgers.  The scholarship fund award will be given out annually to a Rutgers undergraduate for outstanding service to the community and academic achievement.  Mark Magyar wrote an article that appeared in the on Monday, April 18th describing the award and many other activites that are planned to raise money for the scholarship. The Pamela Schmidt Scholarship has also received press coverage in the Courier-News and Home-News Tribune.  Read Mark Spivey's article Rutgers Labor Scholarship Created in Memory of Slaying Victim from Warren in and The Daily Targum featured an article called Family, Friends Start Scholarship to Honor Student in the April 18th issue.  We would like to thank Pam's family and many friends who have already donated to this scholarship, along with Amicus Therapeutics, where Pam worked as an intern, which has pledged $5,000.  

Higher Education in India
The Telegraph newspaper in Calcutta ran an article titled Homeward Ho on April 5th in which David Finegold, doctoral student Anne-Laure Winkler, and B. Venkatesh Kumar, professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences are cited for their study looking at the potential teaching diaspora. Their study shows that a large percentage of Indian students who have gone to the US for graduate study are open to the possibility of returning to India to help meet the shortage of well-qualified faculty members. 

Highlights of Dean's Activities 

Building NJ Innovation Ecosystem Lecture -- Stu Peltz, Founder and CEO of PTC Therapeutics, gave an inspiring talk to conclude this year's MBS lecture series, describing the long journey of this Piscataway-based biopharma company that is hoping for approval from the FDA this summer for the first drug to treat a form of Muscular Dystrophy. 

RBS Dean Search --  The Search Committee gave its feedback on the three finalists to President McCormick and Chancellor Diner on Thursday, and we hope that Rutgers will soon have a new Dean of the Business School. 

International Advisory Committee -- I was pleased to join the Advisory Commitee for the new Office of International and Global Programs, and will be taking part in the ongoing work of the China Strategy Task Force and the search for a Director for the China programs. 

Oxford Handbook for Training & Skills -- Sas honored to be invited by Oxford University Press to edit a new Handbook on Training and Skills with my colleagues John Buchanan, Ken Mayhew, and Chris Warhurst.

IBM Interview  -- I enjoyed the opportunity to interview Barbara Brickmeier, one of the keynote speakers at our recent RU SHRM conference, about IBM's evolving global talent strategies for my study of India and China's skill systems.

Choose NJ  -- Michael Chrobak, the CFO of the Governor's new Choose NJ public-private partnership initiative, visited SMLR this week to discuss ways in which we might work together to attract new investment and create jobs in the Garden State.

Center for Women's Global Leadership -- I had a very enjoyable lunch with Radhika Balakrishnan, who joined Rutgers last year to serve as the Director for the Center for Women's Global Leadership. We explored possibilities for collaboration with our Center for Women and Work and our School's  faculty on global labor issues. 

Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Symposium -- I attended the annual Lerner Center symposium at the Business School in Newark, which featured a moving keynote address by Rutgers alum and Celgene founder Sol Barer and panels with many industry experts.

The Future of Healthcare Symposium -- To celebrate the grand opening of the new building for the Rutgers Institute of Health in downtown New Brunswick, David Mechanic and his colleagues hosted a symposium that included former Gov. Tom Kean, the head of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a number of leading experts on healthcare reform. 

Ethics Lunch  -- Anne-Laure Winkler, Mohammad Ali and I joined a group of RBS professors and doctoral students for a stimulating discussion of current business ethics and CSR issues.  Thanks to Mike Santoro and Anne Buchholtz for hosting it.

New Brunswick Community Engagement -- We had a kickoff meeting for a new Advisory Group that Pres. McCormick has formed to work closely with the soon-to-be hired director who will create a clearinghouse and coordinate the University's many activities with the local community.

Online Learning -- Pearson, the world's largest educational publishing and e-learning technology company, sent a team to campus on Friday to meet with a group of RU leaders to discuss ways to extend and deepen our existing collaboration through their e-College platform.  They recently signed such a partnership with ASU:

Mini MBA in BioPharma Innovation -- I taught for a special session of the Mini MBA program that we ran to assist displaced professionals from the bioscience industry.

Family Trivia -- I learned this weekend that I'm related by marriage to the holder of the first patent for a tea bag.  Surprisingly, this doesn't come from Sue's side of the family in Britain, where tea-drinking is both a necessity and a religion, but from my Uncle Jeff, who had a relative named Simon Cooper who lived in Brooklyn.  While he got recognized by the USPTO as the inventor of the tea bag, and, according to family lore, also came up with the idea for the egg carton, it was Thomas Lipton's later "flow-through bag" that made the big money in tea.