Time marches on, spring may be coming and we see more of the sun each day as it shines on the Mississippi River. I encourage you walk to Carlson, and get some fresh air before your exciting day of classes. Classes are in full swing and students have finally adjusted to Term A schedule.
In Compensation and Benefits, taught by Professor Fossum, students learn about new laws that enforce different compensation strategies that are used to attract and retain top talent. An interesting topic that was brought up in recent lectures included the discussion of retirement and 401(k) plans.
SHRM.com published an article that elaborates on the 401(k) plans and the increase in plan participation (Miller, 2013). A SHRM investment firm's report indicates that the largest plan service providers have seen an increase of 12 percent from 2011 to 2012. Retirement plans are a hot topic - specifically because of the 78 million baby boomers who are now or close to retiring within a couple of years.
Another crucial situation that could directly impact the HR professionals of today is the seating of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). In a SHRM article written by Allen Smith, President Obama's proposal to fill the three vacant seats of NLRB was rejected. The NLRB traditionally consists of five board members-at this time there are only two, with a need for three more individuals. Appeal seems likely, based on the White House's reaction to the opinion. The NLRB's purpose is to serve as prosecution of unfair labor practice cases (Smith, 2013). With three missing members, the ability to obtain effective board review is unlikely.
HR professionals often mediate discretions between employees, unions, and top management. NLRB plays a huge deciding factor among these HR professional's work and the consequences or protection of most union employees. Professor Sojourner has emphasized how important NRLB is in Labor Relations course; it will be interesting to watch how this unfolds.