ABC News(NEW YORK) — Imelda made landfall Tuesday in Freeport, Texas, as a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph.No longer a tropical storm as of Wednesday, the system is just a heavy rainmaker — call it remnants of Imelda.The highest rainfall total so far was in Turkey Creek, Texas, just southeast of Houston, where a whopping 9.16” already fell.Some outer bands of Imelda brought storms to Baton Rough, Louisiana, where gusty winds up to 70 mph flipped small planes at the airport.On Wednesday morning, a flash flood watch continues for Texas and Louisiana, including the areas of Houston, Galveston and Lake Charles.This remnant low will continue moving slowly north and bring more heavy rain to Houston, then north to Lufkin and into western Louisiana. Locally, an additional 6-10” of rain is possible.Flash flooding is the biggest threat over the next 48 hours.Hurricane Humberto is now a major hurricane with Category 3 winds of 115 mph as it continues to move away from the United States. However high surf will continue for the entire East Coast.The tallest waves will be in the Carolinas, where waves could be as high as 11 feet.Humberto is forecast to pass to the north of Bermuda Wednesday evening, bringing gusty winds and heavy rain. Just in case, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for the Bermuda for Wednesday evening.Finally, a newly formed tropical depression in the middle of the tropical Atlantic Ocean has become Tropical Storm Jerry.It’s forecast to move northwest just to the north of Caribbean islands as it becomes a Category 1 hurricane by Friday.The National Hurricane Center says there is no threat to land from this storm.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
filo/iStock(DODGE CITY, Kan.) — A Capuchin monkey at a Kansas zoo has died after it was attacked while protecting its offspring from someone who broke into the facility.The staff at Wright Park Zoo in Dodge City first learned of what happened on Sept. 2 when a monkey named Pickett was found and captured outside the facility and somewhere in the city. When employees went to check the enclosure, they discovered a second monkey, named Vern, injured inside, the zoo said in a statement.Vern, who is an older Tufted Capuchin monkey, was found to have extensive injuries that required surgery.Officers investigated and suspected that someone gained access to the enclosure and injured Vern as it tried to protect Pickett from being taken, officials said.“Based on DCPD’s investigation … we do not believe the little monkey, Pickett, found his way outside the enclosure on his own,” said Dodge City Police Chief Drew Francis. “Nor do we believe he traveled to where he was found on his own. His father’s injury appears to be from blunt force trauma in excess of what would occur from a fall.”Hanna Schroeder, who is the head zookeeper at Wright Park, said Vern suffered a broken knee cap as a result of the incident.“Vern is very protective of the younger monkey and would not have let him go without a fight,” Schroeder said.Vern required a cast on his leg and isolation from the other monkeys, but could not recover from the injuries and was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive by staff on Tuesday, officials said.A necropsy will be performed to determine the official cause of the death.Francis asked for the public’s help in finding out who is responsible.“Though I doubt the culprit has the decency to come forward,” Francis said, “I also suspect someone may know who committed this act or have an idea who would do this. If that’s you, we would greatly appreciate talking with you.”Vern was a year old when it arrived at the Wright Park Zoo in 1988 with a female named Charro, according to the zoo. Capuchin monkeys, from South America, are declining in population as they face threats that include capture for the pet trade and deforestation.Additional security measures were installed at the enclosure to protect the animals, the zoo said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
DenisTangneyJr/iStock(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) — Indiana University says it’s investigating an incident of anti-Semitism and racism that allegedly occurred at a fraternity at its Bloomington campus on Friday night.The incident involved “physical assault, as well as allegations of anti-Semitic and racial slurs,” the school said in a statement released Sunday.Law enforcement was notified and the fraternity was placed on organizational cease and desist, which the school said means “members may not host or participate in organizational activities while the investigation is ongoing or until the case is resolved.” The university’s interfraternity council also suspended the group’s activities.The Indiana University Police Department is investigating the incident along with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office and federal authorities.“Indiana University condemns bias or violence in any form and will hold individuals and organizations accountable,” the school said. “Diversity and inclusion are core values that we expect to be shared by all IU students.”Further information was not immediately released.ABC News has reached out to the Indiana University Police Department as well as the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office for comment.Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism on college campuses — although the president himself has come under fire several times for comments that have been criticized as anti-Semitic.The White House said the directive was in response to a recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States.“This is our message to universities: If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism,” Trump said before signing the executive order in the Oval Office last Wednesday. “It’s very simple.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
#DecriminalizeNature #SantaCruz! https://t.co/VQPETt11UK— Decriminalize Nature (@DecrimNature) January 29, 2020Another council member who voted on the measure, Drew Glover, explained that cultures around the world have long “respected entheogenic plants and fungi for providing healing, knowledge, creativity and spiritual connection with nature.”“With the passing of this resolution Santa Cruz has taken an important step in acknowledging the impact that the war on drugs has had on communities while at the same time giving people the liberty to choose how to address their medical needs, providing a potent tool to address issues like PTSD, addiction, and depression,” Glover said in a statement to ABC News.Denver was the first U.S. city to decriminalize hallucinogenic fungi last May, followed shortly by Oakland, California, according to ABC News San Francisco station KGO.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. AlbyDeTweede/iStock(SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) — A new resolution has been passed in Central California to decriminalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms.The City Council of Santa Cruz voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a measure that will make investigation and arrest for “the adult possession, use or cultivation of psychoactive plants and fungi” a low-priority infraction by law enforcement.“This Council initiative is part of a diversity of strategies taking care of mental health in our community,” Councilmember Chris Krohn told ABC News in a statement. “This resolution ensures that only people 21 and over have access to these plants and the Council has given direction to our Police Department to make it a low priority infraction.”Krohn also said: “Entheogenic plants offer many in our community a way out of the addictive pharmaceuticals known as opioids. People came forward at last night’s meeting telling of the beneficial effects of how these plants changed their lives.”
kali9/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) — A Florida teen has been arrested in connection with the massive Twitter hack earlier this month that impacted the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West and other high-profile users.The 17-year-old Tampa resident, who was arrested Friday, was hit with 30 felony charges in connection with the cyber attack, according to Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here,” Warren said in a statement. “This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”The Florida teen was the “mastermind” of the hack, according to a statement from Warren’s office.During the July 15 hack, some of the compromised accounts tweeted for funds to be sent to a Bitcoin account.Warren’s office said the scheme reaped more than $100,000 worth of Bitcoin in just one day.The teen faces one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, 11 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count of accessing a computer or electronic device without authority.“Working together, we will hold this defendant accountable,” Warren said. “Scamming people out of their hard-earned money is always wrong. Whether you’re taking advantage of someone in person or on the internet, trying to steal their cash or their cryptocurrency — it’s fraud, it’s illegal, and you won’t get away with it.”Twitter previously said that 130 accounts were targeted in the attack, and that tweets were sent out from 45 of those accounts. The social media giant also said that their investigation revealed that the direct message inboxes of 36 accounts were accessed by the hackers, including one elected official in the Netherlands.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
kali9/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(MESA, Az.) — Seven people, including four children, were injured in an apparent drive-by shooting Friday night in Mesa, Arizona, authorities said.The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. local time in a parking lot where a crowd was gathered, police said. A vehicle drove by and opened fire on families visiting food vendors, police said.The victims included three adults and four children ages 1, 6, 9 and 16, Mesa Police Department Chief Ken Cost said Saturday afternoon during a press briefing. The children were from multiple families.The 1-year-old was hospitalized in “extremely critical” condition, Cost said, while the other victims had non-life-threatening injuries that ranged from minor to severe.“This is devastating, this is a sad day,” Cost said.The shooting occurred after occupants of a white SUV stopped in the middle of the road and opened fire toward the food area, where several families were eating, Cost said.One of the food vendors returned fire at the vehicle, and it is not known at this time if it was struck, police said.No suspects have been located or detained, police said.Investigators have not found any link between the perpetrators and the victims, Cost said. They are also working to determine if an incident in the same parking lot several hours earlier that day, during which a food vendor intervened while a man was allegedly assaulting a woman, is connected to the shooting, the chief said.“This type of senseless, evil violence will not be tolerated in our city or anywhere else,” Cost said, urging people to come forward with any information.Officers and investigators were processing the scene on Saturday and speaking to witnesses. Footage of the scene captured by Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV showed tents from the event still set up in the parking lot.“We’re in the early stages of trying to find out who did this, and what motive there might have been for this incident,” Mesa Police Department spokesperson Detective Nik Rasheta said Friday night during a press briefing at the scene.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, EMILY SHAPIRO, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 75 million people worldwide and killed over 1.6 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:Dec 18, 9:38 amWalgreens begins administering Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in long-term care facilitiesWalgreens began administering the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to residents and staff at long-term care facilities in the United States on Friday.It’s the first time the U.S. pharmacy chain is offering vaccines in such facilities, like nursing homes.Walgreens pharmacy teams members are currently providing the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at just 10 facilities in Connecticut, Ohio and Florida, including many in rural and urban medically-underserved areas. But the company will soon expand the vaccinations nationwide as more states finalize their distribution plans and receive vaccine allocations, according to Dr. Kevin Ban, Walgreens’ chief medical officer.“Next week, we’ll be in 12 states in over 800 clinics. We’re moving and ramping up to 35,000 clinics across the entire country, we’re going to vaccinate more than 3 million people in these long-term care facilities,” Ban told ABC News’ Cecilia Vega in an interview Friday on Good Morning America.Ban said only people who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under their state’s Phase 1 distribution plan can get it. But once states move into Phase 2, residents and staff at long-term care facilities that have selected Walgreens as their vaccine provider will be able to make an appointment in advance.“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” he said, “and we don’t want people all coming at once.”Dec 18, 8:17 amPence receives Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on live TVU.S. Vice President Mike Pence was vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday morning in Washington, D.C.Pence received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on live television, along with his wife, Karen, and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.All three were wearing face masks, as were the health care workers who administered the injections.Dec 18, 8:04 amModerna vaccine could be authorized in US ‘as soon as today,’ HHS secretary saysThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration could grant emergency-use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine “as soon as today,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said Friday.“The FDA has communicated to Moderna that we expect to grant their emergency-use authorisation. That could come as soon as today,” Azar told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Friday on Good Morning America.If the FDA does give the green light Friday, Azar said “trucks will roll, planes will fly this weekend,” with “5.9 million doses of Moderna vaccine allocated for next week.”“This is an exceptionally safe vaccine,” he said, “it’s a shockingly effective vaccine — the Moderna vaccine as well as the Pfizer vaccine.”Some 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be available across the United States for the month of December, according to Azar, who urged people to get the shot.“All of us have complete confidence in the independence and quality of the FDA’s review process,” he said. “That’s why you’re seeing the vice president, the second lady, the surgeon general today getting vaccinated.”Azar said a number of government officials and leaders will be inoculated against COVID-19 “over the coming weeks.”“I plan to get vaccinated next week as long as the White House physician says that it’s appropriate to do so and do so on TV,” he added. “We just want to make sure people know we have supreme confidence in the process and confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and we wouldn’t ask you to do something that we wouldn’t do.”With several governors saying that they have been told to expect far fewer doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the coming weeks, Azar cited “a miscommunication.”“There’s nothing actually to fix. There was some misunderstanding,” he said. “We had put into the planning tool some base scenarios just so they could do some rough work on planning. The allocations, though, are always what Pfizer tells us or Moderna now tells us is available and ready for shipment. We’ve always said this week that they would have 2 million doses of Pfizer available for next week for an allocation. We’ll work to clear up any misunderstanding they’ve got, but it’s really just a miscommunication between the governors and us.”Azar said his wife, Jennifer, is “doing very well” after recently testing positive for COVID-19, and that he tested negative himself “just minutes ago.”“We’re following all the CDC protocols, I’ve talked directly to director Redfield as well as the White House physicians of doing exactly what they say to do,” he said.Dec 18, 7:21 amFederal prisoner scheduled to be executed in January tests positiveA federal prisoner scheduled to be executed in January has tested positive for COVID-19. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) notified attorneys for Dustin Higgs on Thursday that their client was diagnosed with the disease, according to one of Higgs’ lawyers, Shawn Nolan.“This is surely the result of the super spreader executions that the government has rushed to undertake in the heart of a global pandemic,” Nolan told ABC News in a statement Thursday evening. “Following the two executions that took place last week and one other two weeks prior, the COVID numbers at the federal prison in Terre Haute spiked enormously. Now our client is sick. We have asked the government to withdraw the execution date and we will ask the courts to intervene if they do not.”Higgs was convicted of ordering the 1996 murders of three women — Tamika Black, 19, Mishann Chinn, 23, and Tanji Jackson, 21 — at a national wildlife center near Beltsville, Maryland. Prosecutors allege Higgs and two friends kidnapped the three women after Higgs became enraged because one of them rebuffed his advances at a party earlier that night.Higgs is scheduled to be executed on Jan. 15A BOP spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that other federal death row inmates at the U.S. penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, the only site in the country where federal executions are carried out, have tested positive for COVID-19 but declined to say how many or provide further information, citing “pending litigation and privacy interests.”The spokesperson also said that a BOP employee assigned to the Special Confinement Unit (SCU) — which houses federal death row inmates at the Terre Haute complex — was found to be positive for COVID-19, following a contact investigation that was conducted per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify any potential exposures in connection with the unit.“This employee had no contact with BOP staff involved with executions in November or December,” the spokesperson said. “We can also share that as inmates in the SCU continue to be tested, those who are positive and/or symptomatic for COVID-19 are being placed in isolation until they are considered recovered by medical staff as determined by CDC guidelines.”“All inmates are managed per CDC guidelines,” the spokesperson added. “While a number of inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at USP Terre Haute in recent weeks, many of these inmates are asymptomatic or exhibiting mild symptoms. Our highest priority remains ensuring the safety of staff and inmates.”Dec 18, 4:01 amUS reports over 233,000 new casesThere were 233,271 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Thursday, bringing the country’s cumulative total soaring past 17 million, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the 45th straight day that the U.S. has reported more than 100,000 newly diagnosed infections, and the second straight day with over 200,000. Thursday’s tally falls just under the country’s all-time high of 247,403 new cases confirmed a day earlier, according to Johns Hopkins data.An additional 3,270 deaths from the disease were also registered nationwide on Thursday, down from a peak of 3,656 fatalities recorded the previous day. It’s only the fifth time since the pandemic began that the country has reported more than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, according to Johns Hopkins data.A total of 17,212,496 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 310,782 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4 and reaching 200,000 for the first time on Nov. 27.Dec 18, 3:10 amFormer US President Jimmy Carter to get vaccineFormer U.S. President Jimmy Carter plans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, his foundation announced Thursday night.“After consulting with his doctors, President Carter is looking forward to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to him,” The Carter Center wrote in a statement on Twitter. Carter has not said when he will receive the vaccine or whether it will be on camera like other former presidents have indicated they will do.All living former U.S. presidents have now announced they will get the vaccine.Dec 18, 1:12 amInmates on death row test positiveThe Bureau of Prisons confirmed to ABC News that various inmates on death row have tested positive for COVID-19, although they declined to say how many, citing ongoing litigation.They also said a staff member has tested positive.“We can confirm that inmates in the Special Confinement Unit (SCU) at the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Terre Haute, Indiana, have tested positive for COVID-19,” a BOP spokesperson said in a statement.They added that as inmates in the SCU continue to be tested, those who are positive and/or symptomatic “are being placed in isolation until they are considered recovered by medical staff as determined by CDC guidelines.” Many inmates, they said, are either asymptomatic or exhibiting mild symptoms. “Our highest priority remains ensuring the safety of staff and inmates,” the BOP spokesperson said.The BOP’s statement came after it was announced Thursday that Dustin John Higgs, a federal prisoner scheduled to be executed just days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, tested positive for the virus.Dec 18, 1:02 am75 cases linked to church Christmas event in North CarolinaThe Henderson County Department of Public Health said Thursday that it has identified 75 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the Hendersonville First Baptist Baptist Church in North Carolina.The Henderson County Department of Public Health said the holiday event took place on the weekend of Dec. 5.“To date, the Health Department has identified 75 individuals who have tested positive as a result of the event,” they said in a statement. “The Health Department is working to identify any additional close contacts of these individuals. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately six feet of an infected person with COVID-19 for a cumulative 15 minutes.”The news comes as Henderson County continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases linked to parties, family gatherings and social events.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
mixetto/iStockBy JULIA JACOBO, ABC News(GLENDALE, Ariz.) — Multiple schools in an Arizona school district have closed Monday due to a massive teacher sickout protesting in-person learning as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.Up to 600 teachers in the Peoria Unified School District are expected to participate in the sickout, according to the Peoria Education Association.The teachers planned to call out sick to demonstrate against what the teacher union described as the school board’s decision to “disregard” county COVID-19 statistics “after promising parents and staff those metrics would be followed to keep students and staff members safe and healthy,” the teacher’s union wrote on Facebook.“Hopefully this sends a message that we need to be heard and hope they install metrics and come up with a plan,” a union spokesperson told ABC Phoenix affiliate KNXV in a statement.“If not we will have to do it again,” according to a spokesperson for the Peoria Education Association.Maricopa County, where the city of Peoria is located, is the COVID-19 hot spot in the state of Arizona, with 6,109 new positive cases on Monday and 388,518 overall since the pandemic began, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.In Arizona, 8,995 new cases were reported on Monday, according to the state health organization.More than 900 emails were sent to the school board to request a special session to reassess the learning plan, but the school district has given no indication that it will do so, according to the teacher’s union.On Sunday, the school district posted to Facebook that teachers and school staff could sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Monday.Five elementary schools and seven high schools in the district are closed due to the teacher absences, according to the school district’s website. Two high schools will remain open.Other nearby school districts have stayed open despite teachers participating in the sickout. At the Dysart Unified School District, 142 teachers have been reported absent, KNXV reported.Buses still conducted their normal routes to ensure that no students were left at bus stops, and lunches were offered for curbside pickup during lunch times, according to a letter sent to parents by the school district.Parents will be notified Monday afternoon whether the closures will continue into Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the school district told ABC News.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
ChristinLola/iStock(SALEM, Ore.) — Returning to the pulpit after a COVID-19 outbreak infected him, his wife and 72 members of their congregation, the senior pastor of an Oregon church said Sunday that he will not kowtow to pressure to close the doors to the house of worship.Pastor Scott Erickson of the Peoples Church in Salem, Oregon, began his Mother’s Day sermon by addressing the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in his church and throughout the state.“In the last several days, it is apparent that voices in our community and region want the church of Jesus Christ to be quiet and to be closed,” Erickson told those in attendance at the church and others watching a livestream online broadcast. “Not us, not here, not now. That’s not what we’re doing.”Peoples Church was among 10 churches in Oregon that joined together to file a lawsuit in May 2020 asking the Baker County Circuit Court to issue a temporary restraining order blocking Oregon Gov. Kate Brown from enforcing stay-at-home executive regulations against churches. The lawsuit argued that Brown’s restrictions on churches violated constitutional protections for religious freedom.In December, Brown lifted restrictions on religious gatherings, changing them to “guidelines.” Brown’s decision came shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court barred New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on churches in areas that were designated as COVID-19 hot spots.Erickson, 70, who has been pastor of Peoples Church for 21 years, said his decision to keep the church open was, in his opinion, not an act of defiance.“We’ll press on and honor what Jesus said in his word. He said, ‘I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’ I believe his word is true,” Erickson said.The pastor’s Sunday sermon came after the Oregon Health Authority announced Wednesday that it launched an investigation on April 6 into the coronavirus outbreak at the church that left 74 members infected.Erickson tied the church’s outbreak to one that has spread across the state in the past month, including in Marion County, where Salem is located.On Saturday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 833 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths related to the virus over the past seven days.Since the pandemic began, Oregon has reported a total of 190,804 cases statewide, including 2,528 deaths.“Thousands in our region were afflicted with symptoms of the virus,” Erickson said. “Some on our staff and some that worship among us were those that experienced challenges that accompanied the virus.”Erickson spoke little about the bouts with COVID-19 that he and his wife endured.“First time in 48 years of ministry that I had to call in sick,” he said. “So, it’s kind of a very strange feeling to have missed three Sundays in a row.”On April 18, an assistant pastor at the church announced that Erickson and his wife, Bonnie, were hospitalized after COVID-19 diagnoses and that the pastor had developed pneumonia in his left lung.Sunday marked Erickson’s return to in-person services since the diagnosis.“The church of Jesus Christ is the only hope for our community and for our region and our state,” Erickson said. “And so we continue to magnify Jesus here as a church, and we’re not in defiance. We are here just to tell people the good news that Jesus loves our city and he loves the people of Oregon.”Erickson added, “So we remain cautious here at Peoples Church and continue to provide a safe and anointed environment where people can experience God’s presence and draw on his power.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
University staff are looking to HR professionals to take the lead as recruitment and retention problems hamper higher education.These problems reflect the chill wind blowing through higher education, according to the chairman of the Universities Personnel Association, Ged Murray. Speaking at the UPA’s annual conference in Stirling, attended by 150 HRmanagers, he warned of “continuing chronic underfunding in higher education” that causes “considerable recruitment and retention problems”.Murray said, “We have got to recognise that the old solutions that have worked for years just don’t apply anymore. There are new contracts and new ways of working and each institution has to find its own way to work if they are to survive.”The UPA tackled many of the recommendations in the Bett report on higher education pay and conditions, which was published last year and promised more than £450m of new money. Murray said, “We opposed some of the recommendations of Bett because they seemed to be a return to the bad old days of collective bargaining associated with the local public sector. Our opposition has ensured that we will have an employee relations framework to deal with our present realities.”The conference later heard from Sir Graeme Davies, vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, who said, “The Government will act upon the recruitment and retention problems we are facing if they become so serious that they impact upon their objectives, but probably only when the situation is very serious. “There are increased pressures because of competition at home and abroad which universities cannot compete against. If the current pressures increase then I believe that there will be difficulties in maintaining national pay bargaining and we will have to move towards local bargaining.” Comments are closed. Brighter outlook forecastOn 12 Sep 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.