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This was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 11, 1998.
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The New Unions
Employers need to fulfill their obligations to their
employees, says Charles C. Heckscher, professor and chair of
the Rutgers Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations.
These obligations include developing the skills of their employees,
providing information, and developing the existing workforce to meet
the company’s requirements. If they don’t take care of these basic
needs, they will have a bunch of frightened employees wondering when
they are going to be laid off.
Heckscher speaks on the "The Changing Employer-Employee
part of the "Corporate Ethics and Workers’ Rights in a Changing
World" series hosted by Unitarian Universalists for a Just
Community (UUJEC). The free seminar will be held on Tuesday, November
17, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, Route 206 and Cherry Hill Road.
Call Carol Allen at 609-921-2987 to register.
Heckscher received his Ph.D from Harvard University in 1981 and was
formerly on the research staff of Communication Workers of America
and taught human resources management at the Harvard Business School.
His writings on workplace topics include "The New Unionism,"
"Post-Bureaucratic Organization," and "White Collar
"In an age of corporate restructuring employees are under
pressure because of lack of job security," says Heckscher. In
a very mobile labor market, with market and technology changing
there is a strong movement for new labor policies.
White collar workers without unions, says Heckscher, need some kind
of collective representation, some association or body to voice their
needs and concerns. And in the existing unions, there should be
change. There should be a combination of employee rights with
This sort of reform is supposedly taking place now. "There is
a lot of interest in employee involvement but in this era of
concern about profitability, when push comes to shove, employee
programs are quick to go out the window." says Judy Morgan,
a member of UUJEC, which aims to work for economic justice by
such issues as income inequality, universal health care, workers
and corporate responsibility.
Heckscher’s latest book, "White Collar Blues," deals with
management loyalties in an age of corporate restructuring. He did
a series of interviews with middle managers in companies that have
been doing a lot of downsizing. Heckscher imagined there would be
a lot of discontent, and simmering revolt in the ranks but was
to realize that they accepted the situation, and that their loyalty
to the organization had not altered even though the company had not
kept its part of the bargain.
This kind of narrow loyalty, Heckscher suggests, made the company
less effective. These employees may have worked harder, so they would
not be fired, but that did not mean they worked better. Heckscher
believes that companies can certainly do much better with a group
of proactive workers rather than reactive ones.
Headed for the Philadelphia airport and worried about
traffic conditions? Call SmarTraveler, a phone service with
updates on traffic tieups in South Jersey and Philadelphia.
It’s one of a half-dozen exhibits scheduled for the Greater Mercer
Transportation Management Association’s "Road Show Technology
Expo" on Friday, November 13, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Hyatt.
At noon there will be a luncheon and membership meeting for which
invitations are required, but anyone can come to browse the expo.
Call 609-452-1491 for reservations.
David Rosenberg of Smart Route Systems will give out wallet
cards telling how to use SmarTraveler, which lets you telephone for
minute by minute updates on specific roads on weekdays from 5:30 a.m.
to 7:30 p.m. Event and construction information is available 24 hours
a day. The information is gathered from aircraft surveillance, from
more than 35 closed circuit cameras, radio and cellular mobile units,
and direct connections to police, fire, and emergency services. When
the "smart road" installation is complete in Central New
SmarTraveler may also be available here. The service is free, funded
by Pennsylvania DOT.
To use Smart Traveler call 215-567-5678 (or #211 on a cellular phone,
which is free for ComCast and Sprint PCS customers). For traffic
around the Philadelphia International Airport, for instance, ask for
7451*. For information on I-95 north of the airport, ask for 952*.
Or consult the website: (http: www.smartraveler.com).
Also on display at the expo will be the smart road technology that
is supposed to ease traffic on Route 1, miniature machines that work
on alternative fuels, New Jersey Transit schedules and information
on the new Hamilton Train station, and WorkFirst NJ, an online
and job finding service. Kathy Wierzbicki of the state labor
department will demonstrate WNJPIN’s website.
The TMA has the "Incident Management" contract for Mercer
County, and it is mapping out the overall plan for the county’s
to traffic-stopping situations. Jeanne Shreve of the TMA, along
with Sergeant Dan Morocco and Sergeant Bill McDonnell
of the New Jersey State Police, will demonstrate it.
The state’s outdated ridesharing matching system, Pool Match, is being
replaced by RidePro, to be demonstrated by Steve Fittante of
Intelitron. "PoolMatch was good for its time," says Joan
Lockwood-Reck of TMA, "but it was on a Unix system, and you
had to work with print copies of match forms. Also you had to work
with zip codes, not map coordinates, because it couldn’t do
At the lunch Assemblyman Reed Gusciora will present a resolution
honoring GMTMA for its innovative Freewheels program. Assemblyman
Alex DeCroce will get the Government Leadership award for work
on the house transportation committee. Awards will be presented for
ozone action, advanced technology, employee transportation
and municipal outreach.
Call a new toll-free number 888-NJ-MOTOR (888-656-6867)
for information about New Jersey’s new enhanced motor vehicle
program. This will be available to motorists during the state
facilities’ new business hours for questions specific to the new
inspection program. Questions related to subjects other than the new
enhanced inspection program, such as licensing, registration, titles,
etc., should still be directed to the current toll-free number
by New Jersey Motor Vehicles Services (888-486-3339).
Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group was awarded a contract
in July to convert the inspection stations to perform the new enhanced
emissions test. The conversion of inspection facilities is currently
underway and will be completed by December, 1999.
Hours of operation for all 35 Motor Vehicle Services stations have
been expanded by an additional 10 hours per week. Inspection stations
will be open from 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on weekdays, except for the
late night at each station, and from 7.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on
On the designated day of late night operation (Wednesdays for Baker’s
Basin), the inspection station will open at 7.30 a.m. and stay open
until 7.30 p.m.
Three CPAs from J.H. Cohn LLP will tell about the tax
planning moves in a forum entitled "Estate, Financial & Tax
— Life, Death & Beyond" on Thursday, November 12, at 7:45
a.m. at Greenacres Country Club.
"This will not be your basic estate planning seminar,"
Andrew T. Wolfe, who went to Muhlenberg, Class of 1981, and
has law degrees from Seton Hall and New York University. He will be
joined by Allan J. Turoff a Temple alumnus, Class of 1965, and
a certified financial planner; and Michael S. Goodman, an
of Washington University, Class of 1968, who went to law school there
before getting his master’s in taxation from NYU.
On the agenda are the obvious considerations of the new Roth IRA along
with the very welcome tax problems that come with a bull market —
unexpectedly large accumulations in qualified retirement plans.
will provide some creative estate planning strategies to maximize
the after-tax value of existing retirement assets and provide for
continuing tax-deferred compounding of retirement assets in to the
second generation," says Wolfe. These may include valuation
estate tax exemptions; and the new deduction for qualified
When you talk about "off-shore businesses" most people tune
out, thinking they are not eligible. But Wolfe will cover this aspect
of asset protection planning: the effective use of off-shore asset
protection trusts. Such an off-shore solution, says Wolfe, is
appropriate for individuals "who are not satisfied with the degree
of asset protection available from more traditional domestic entities,
and whose business or other activities result in a high-risk
What constitutes "high risk" is up to you.
On the other side of life’s balance sheet are those who risk having
insufficient amounts in their retirement accounts. "When a client
asks me, `Can I retire today?’ my answer is always yes," says
Turoff. "Whether or not they will like the lifestyle in which
they retire is dependent upon how well they have planned and how well
they have implemented."
As for the process of doing the financial planning, he concedes that
you can do it yourself. But, as he points out, "You can also take
out your own appendix, but would you want to?"
Here’s a problem many benefits administrators must cope
with: Executives earning more than $160,000 can accrue tax-deferred
retirement benefits only up to that amount. How can their benefits
plan make up the difference?
The Web Network of Benefits Professionals will tackle that problem
on Tuesday, November 17, at 8 a.m. at Smith, Stratton, Wise, Heher
& Brennan. Bob Novak and Gary Rothy, both graduates of
Brooklyn College and senior consultants of Pricewaterhouse Coopers,
will give the program. Cost: $30. Call Stephanie Bosworth at
If you are one of those lucky enough to earn more than $160,000 this
year, take a look at the profit sharing or retirement plan that is
based on your retirement compensation. Retirement compensation is
the figure used to determine how much the company can sock away each
year for you, tax deferred. It can also be the number used to
how much the company will give you as a pension, when you will be
in a different tax bracket.
Two types of plans can be used to save for an employee’s retirement
on a tax-deferred basis, qualified and non qualified plans. "In
both cases you are trying to defer tax, but the plan that is
offers more protection," says Bosworth. "No matter what plan
you use, the most compensation you can plug into that calculation
is $160,000 per year. If you earn $180,000 or $360,000, the limit
is still $160,000. It’s called the $160K pension pay cap problem."
Under the present tax laws, if a company wants to restore lost
to those higher-paid executives, the company must increase the
benefits package by dipping into general assets.
Novak and Rothy specialize in the design, funding, and regulatory
issues of defined benefit plans. "We will talk about limitations
that the Internal Revenue Service imposes on tax-qualified retirement
programs in delivering benefits to highly compensated employees,"
says Rothy. They will discuss the creative compliance measures that
can solve these problems (measures that meet with approval from the
IRS), and give practical considerations for evaluating options.
Rothy will show how benefits limitations can be made up by using
qualified programs, and he will give the advantages and disadvantages
of these approaches.
Novak will discuss the nuts and bolts of how to design a benefits
program using a tax qualified plan. "If a company has employees
earning over $160,000, I will show them how to maximize their benefits
through the tax qualified plan," says Novak.
Financing executive retirement benefits through the tax qualified
plans is beneficial to both the executive and the company. Without
these plans, the executives become creditors. That’s how it was for
a public utility company in the Northeast. Its officers’ benefits
were under unsecured qualified arrangements, and the officers were
creditors. "In the case of a company going bankrupt, the
would have to stand in line to get their retirement benefits,"
says Rothy. Recently it provided all retirement benefits under the
tax qualified plan for its five top officers.
In a scenario for companies with non-qualified plans cited by Novak,
if a company changes ownership or the executive falls out of favor,
the highly paid executive might lose his or her benefits. This
with the tax-qualified plan, under which neither the employer nor
the employer’s creditors can do anything to take away the employee’s
benefits. The employee is not subject to the whims of the current
<B>Anne Pauker of the Pauker Consulting Group
knows about "managing the conflicts of work and family roles."
She is a working mother who took just one month’s maternity leave
when each of her three daughters was born. To discuss that topic she
joins psychotherapist Maggie Clune and Kimberlee S. Phelan
of Withum Smith & Brown on Monday, November 16, at 6 p.m. at the
Business and Professional Women meeting at the Holiday Inn on Route
1 South. Cost: $28. Call 908-359-2034.
Pauker’s advice is based on her experiences, not only as a working
mother, but as vice president of employee relations for Continental
Insurance in Cranbury. "While at Continental, I introduced and
implemented a comprehensive work life strategy, for which the company
was widely recognized throughout the industry and the country as a
`best practice model’" she says.
After Continental moved out of Cranbury in 1995, she started her own
human resource strategies consulting practice. She was a consultant
to Working Mother magazine this year to develop its list of Top 100
Companies for Working Mothers. Her business is located in Hazlet
How do small businesses tackle competition? What
plans and tax strategies will most profit them? How can the Internet
be used by entrepreneurs to promote their business? These are some
of the topics that will be discussed at the seminars organized by
First Union Bank and the New Jersey Small Business Development Center
(NJSBDC) of Rutgers. This statewide seminar series runs through
and is part of NJSBDC’s 20th Anniversary effort to help small business
owners develop more effective "business building" skills and
These two and a half hour seminars are free (materials included),
but pre-registration is required. For a full schedule and to register,
please call the NJSBDC’s Information Services Center at 800-432-1565
or visit http://www.nj.com/smallbusiness.
Dan McComas, internationally acclaimed marketing and sales
strategist and author of "Marketing Boot Camp," gives a power
workout in his session "Marketing Yourself and Your Business."
McComas shows how to attract more customers faster and generate higher
profits without making cold sales calls or waiting for customer
On Tuesday, November 17, at 8 a.m., McComas is scheduled for the
Quality Inn, and he comes to the East Brunswick Ramada on Thursday,
November 19, at 8 a.m.
As CEO of 3C, the highly regarded web site and multimedia tool design
and development company, Bert Hesse knows first hand how to
make technology work. In his session "Technology for establishing
your Company’s Brand" Hesse explains how developing technologies
can establish and solidify a company’s brand. Learn what factors make
up a good web site, how to evaluate a web site, and how to use current
and future technology to increase sales and profitability. He speaks
at the Princeton Holiday Inn on Route 1 South on Wednesday, November
18, at 5 p.m.
<B>Jill Carpe, owner of the Crafts with a Conscience
at the Salty Dog onn Spring Street in downtown Princeton, hopes
will help Princeton’s Sister City, Granada. It was wiped out by
Mitch and has no roads or access. "Granada had a lake with islands
occupied by families, and all the islands and people are gone,"
says Carpe. "Sister city relationships shouldn’t be just for
exchange." She will donate $5 from every Jerry Garcia tie sold
from now until June and send it directly to CARE, earmarked for
and she challenges other merchants to adopt a similar plan. "If
we work hard in this area we can make a difference."
Donations of new books and money are needed for the Books to Keep
program, an outreach project of the Libraries of Middlesex.
The librarians distribute books to disadvantaged children at daycare
centers, homeless shelters, and Head Start. Bring new hardcover and
paperback books, suitable for children from preschool through
to any library in Middlesex County or to Borders in East Brunswick,
preferably by December 15. For information call 732-890-6761.
Borders Books & Music of East Brunswick will offer a 20 percent
discount on merchandise in the children’s section on Thursday,
3, from 6 to 9 p.m. and give a percentage of sales to this program.
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