Comments are closed. The Government was urged by employers to openly debate the issue of flexibleretirement as soon as possible, at a conference in London last week. Speaking at the event, minister for pensions Ian McCartney refused to committhe Government to a date when it would review the current regulations. He said, “It’s a complicated issue and we are examining ways to letolder workers draw occupational pensions and continue to draw a salary fromemployers. We are committed to do it, as stated in our party manifesto.” Currently, Inland Revenue regulations prevent staff from drawing anoccupational pension and a salary from the same employer. Sam Mercer, director of campaigns at the Employers’ Forum on Age, said,”We are told that it’s a terribly complicated issue, but the Governmenthasn’t explained why it is so complicated. We need to debate this issue,”she said. Ray Baker, sustainable development controller for B&Q, called for opendialogue with the Government. He said, “The issue needs an open debate tofind out the issues which are stopping the Government from moving ahead morequickly. We need to demystify pensions, and the Government must talk to employersabout it.” The Government missed its own deadline for a review of the pensionregulations. This was originally set for March 2000. Mercer, commenting at the Employers’ Forum on Age annual conference. said,”If the Government can’t afford so many economically inactive people inthe UK, then it needs to review the pension regulations to encourage flexibleretirement.” By Karen Higginbottom www.efa.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Employers call for answers in flexible pension hold-upOn 3 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today
Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Where do we go from here?On 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today The Government has given notice to employers that stemming the tide oflitigation at employment tribunals is their responsibility. But alternativedispute resolution has yet to catch on in the workplace. Lucie Carrington looksat some promising developmentsPressure is on employers, workers and their representatives to findalternatives to the law when it comes to settling workplace disputes. Themassive increase in tribunal cases and levels of compensation over the past fewyears, and the Government’s current determination to bolster in-house disputeresolution procedures through the Employment Bill and other proposedlegislation have all added urgency to the search for other ways out. Ten months ago arbitration and conciliation service Acas launched anarbitration scheme for cases of unfair dismissal. It offers a quick,confidential and less formal process than a tribunal. But the arbitrator’s viewis final and there can be no recourse to an employment tribunal if either partyis unhappy with the outcome. So far the scheme has not been hugely successfulwith only seven cases having come forward. Viable alternative This is not the only form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) thatemployers and their advisers are considering. Mediation is becoming afashionable skill in the legal profession as more people try to avoid lengthyand costly legal action. It is already growing in popularity as a solution tobusiness disputes. Mark Mansell, a partner in the employment department atAllen & Overy is working on a pilot mediation scheme with QC John Bowers.He is convinced it has great potential as a way of resolving workplace issues. “It came out of the view that employment tribunals weren’t the best wayof resolving disputes, particularly in discrimination or harassment cases wherethere might be some possibility of an employee staying in employment,”Mansell says. “Look at the experience of other countries such as the US, Australiaand New Zealand where mediation is a more important part of the HR armoury forresolving disputes. “Given the larger awards and the hike in claims, it’s only a matter oftime before employers here start to think that tribunals simply aren’t the bestway of resolving disputes. At the very least we must give other ways of doingthings a go,” he says. Degree of training Some ADR services, such as Bristol-based ADR Group, insist that mediatorsshould be legally trained but not all mediation services follow this rule.Certainly there will be cases where mediators need some expert knowledge butAcas, for example, keeps a list of people who are trained in mediation but notnecessarily legally qualified. The Allen & Overy pilot mediation scheme involves both lawyers andnon-lawyers although, once again, they are all trained in mediation. Whateverthe case, the mediator has to be accepted by both parties. The pilot involves two mediators for each case – one a lawyer, probably anemployment lawyer with mediation experience, and the other a trained andexperienced mediator. Both parties come together for an initial meeting and topresent their case. “This could be the first time both have aired theirarguments to each other,” Mansell says. They then retire to different rooms while the mediators shuffle between themwith a view to their coming to some sort of agreement. A major part of themediation is working out the parameters for a settlement. It could be thatsomeone wants financial compensation, or it may be the employee just wants anapology or recognition that a mistake has been made. “Often money is a badway to resolve these sorts of problems,” says Mansell. The process should last about a day. However, it will also involve somepreparation time, though Mansell is at pains to point out that it is not alegal process: employers are not expected to justify every action theirmanagers have taken. It is also a voluntary process, which means that eitherparty can withdraw at any time and opt for an employment tribunal instead. So far the process has been used in only four cases. Mansell wants tocomplete about half a dozen before analysing them, working out any changes andoffering it as a service to employers. Employers can then offer it to staff asan option for settling unresolved grievances. Swamped in-trays Employers are also trying to find their own ways through the tribunal claimsswamping corporate in-trays. Armed services retailer Naafi introduced its ownin-house ADR scheme more than 18 months ago (Employers’ Law, June 2000). Thescheme was set up in partnership with Amicus, formerly the MSF union, to dealspeedily with unfair dismissal claims. If it becomes clear that management has acted fairly and properly then theunion will not support an employee who wants to take the case further. If theunion thinks there is a case to answer then it goes to arbitration or possiblyan employment tribunal. So far it has proved very successful with no cases making it as far astribunal, says HR director Mike Nicholson. He believes it could work fornon-unionised firms too – all they need is some form of employee representationand the will to discuss unfair dismissal claims frankly. Ironically, the scheme is not open to non-unionised staff at Naafi – whoprobably account for two thirds of the workforce – because of the partnershipdeal with Amicus. “From the union’s point of view it is a membershipbenefit and to apply it to all staff would be to undermine their efforts torecruit members, and our deal with them,” Nicholson says. Management responsibility However, the non-unionised majority almost certainly benefits from theeffort Nicholson and his HR colleagues have put into improving the standard ofmanagement in the organisation. All 600 line managers are now trained ingrievance and disciplinary procedures and well versed in Naafi’s anti-bullyingpolicy. “It’s a very significant part of our ADR scheme. We have someexcellent HR policies and processes but their effectiveness is down to howmanagers implement them at the front line,” Nicholson says. It is a point echoed by Yvonne Bennion, a policy specialist with theIndustrial Society makes. Last year she co-authored the society’s own report onADR: Courts or Compromise. “Personnel managers often feel helpless becausethey’ve been let down by line managers who act without thinking or don’t followthe rules,” Bennion says. She suggests that if employers are really serious about resolving workplacedisputes in house, they have to involve managers across the organisation. Unfortunately, the Government’s proposals on dispute resolution in theEmployment Bill are unlikely to help personnel managers at this level. The Billsets out minimum disciplinary and grievance procedures that employers mustoperate (see page 16). Employers who don’t follow the disciplinary proceduresare likely to be heavily penalised while employees who don’t use the grievanceprocedure will never reach a tribunal. It sounds great except that the minimum standards are not as demanding asthe existing Acas codes of practice which were revised only a year ago, andwhich most large firms say they implement. In addition, the Bill seems to be revokingwhat is known as the Polkey principle. This has been around since the late1980s and effectively means that tribunals can find against employers who donot follow their own procedures, even if the outcome would have been the same. “The bill is pulling in both ways,” says Christopher Mordue, anassociate in the employment department at Pinsent Curtis Biddle. “It isincorporating statutory minimum standards into every employment contract while,at the same time, attempting to get rid of the Polkey principle.” Union fears It’s a pretty radical change to the tribunal regime but one that is likelyto leave employers confused, even if as Mordue suspects, tribunals continue toapply the Polkey principle anyway. At the same time the TUC fears that the Government’s plans will preventworkers pursuing their right to seek justice through the legal system. “Weare keen for firms to have good disciplinary and grievance procedures butstopping people going to employment tribunal is philosophically the wrong approach,”says senior employment rights officer Sarah Veale. Yvonne Bennion backs her up. “Of course it’s right to pursuealternatives, but not at the expense of limiting the rights that people have inlaw,” she says. “Who is the government to deny people their day incourt?” A better approach would be to pump more resources into Acas so that it cando the job it is good at – helping employers keep workplace disputes away fromthe tribunal, according to both the Industrial Society and the EngineeringEmployers Federation. Acas has a statutory duty to offer conciliation for every tribunalapplication. Last year (2000/01) the organisation conciliated in more than100,000 individual applications out of 130,000 claims made. Seventy per cent ofthose cases were subsequently either settled or withdrawn. Admittedly the Government has said it wants Acas to increase the work itdoes with smaller firms through workshops and conferences but, given thefigures, it seems hard to believe that ministers have not made Acas thelynchpin in the drive to help firms resolve disputes in-house. To conciliate, arbitrate or mediate?ArbitrationAn independent arbitrator is appointed to decide the outcome ofa dispute. He or she will take evidence but in a less formal setting than atribunal or court or law. The idea is that the arbitrator’s decision is finaland may well be legally binding. Acas is probably best known for the arbitration it provides incollective disputes between employers and unions. But it now also offers anindividual arbitration scheme for unfair dismissal cases. ConciliationA third party is brought in to help the parties in a disputecome to some sort of compromise and find a settlement that is acceptable to allsides. Conciliation is not about offering possible routes out but helpingparties find their own solutions. Conciliators are paid Acas employees andtrained in conciliation techniques but not necessarily legally trained.MediationThis is similar to conciliation but mediators are moreproactive in steering different parties towards a conclusion and will suggestpossible ways to move the process forward. Acas also offers what it callsadvisory mediation to organisations that have problems which have yet to reach theimpasse of a formal dispute.Early neutral evaluationThis started in the US. An objective observer studies theevidence with a view to giving both parties in a dispute an early and frankevaluation of the merits of a case. Sources: Acas, The Industrial Society, ADR GroupHow to make mediation workAs with any alternatives to the law,both parties have to want to resolve the dispute if they are consideringmediation. If either wants to have its day in court then mediation is not theanswer.– Both parties must be prepared to be flexible; they must thinkabout what they are prepared to accept and what they are prepared to concede.– Mediators aim to offer possible solutions, to steer andcajole parties to a conclusion, so both parties also have to be willing to takeadvice. – The process has to be confidential as well as voluntary. – It is not a formal legal process, so turning up with boxfiles full of evidence won’t impress. Mansell also suggests both employers andemployees make a better impression if they present their own introductorystatements. – Mediators cannot force the parties to settle. Employees canstill use the legal system if they feel they have not had justice.
Comments are closed. Female managers are more able than their male counterparts and their skillsadvantage increases with age, research reveals. In a study of more than 400 managers conducted for the East MidlandsDevelopment Agency, women scored ahead of men in all six core managementskills. Managers were graded on managing people, personal effectiveness, leadership,team working, communication and planning. It was based on a questionnaire by training company Exponential, which askedthree colleagues and the managers themselves to rate their performance. Exponential MD John Moore, said: “Female managers consistently scoredhigher than males in each core management skill and this became more noticeablefor managers over 39 years old. It would be very useful to explore thedifferent learning and development strategies adopted by male and femalemanagers.” www.exponentialtraining.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Women outscore men in effective manager skillsOn 9 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.
Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Bullying and sexual harassment costs Consignia about £15m a year, accordingto union Amicus. In a union poll, eight out of 10 staff said they had experienced bullying inthe past year, while six out of 10 of the 265 man- agers polled have seenanother staff member being bullied. Almost four out of 10 employees took sick leave due to the problems theyhave experienced – with an average 51 days taken per person last year. According to Consignia’s staff survey, more than 16,000 had sufferedbullying and harassment in the last 12 months. The findings show the firm is struggling to cut the amount of bullyingdespite it being highlighted as a problem in last July’s industrial relationsreport. Amicus has called on Consignia to stamp down on bullying by overhaulingharassment policies, improving training and reviewing management workloads. AConsignia spokesperson said: “We are making it easier for staff to reportproblems and are increasing awareness by educating staff.” Previous Article Next Article Bullying is costing Consignia £15m a yearOn 21 May 2002 in Personnel Today
Previous Article Next Article AwardsOn 2 Dec 2003 in Personnel Today Winners party till dawn Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article Fit notes “not implemented as intended”The “fit note” was introduced in 2010 and was designed to radically change the way GPs certificated sickness and absence from work; switching the premise from advising patients on their inability to work to advising them on what they might do if work were adapted. This review of 13 research papers evaluated the extent to which GPs tick a “maybe fit” box on fit notes and whether the new process has increased return to work. It finds that, in the largest study, the “maybe fit” for work box was used in 6.5% of fit notes completed by GPs, although a second study finds that this proportion rose to 10%-32% amongst GPs with a diploma in occupational medicine. “Maybe fit” was used more for women patients, those with higher socioeconomic status and for patients with physical rather than psychiatric disorders. There was little evidence in the research suggesting that the introduction of “fit notes” has reduced sickness absence duration amongst patients in work. The authors conclude that, although the introduction of the “fit note” represented a major shift in public policy, they have been “incompletely researched and not implemented as intended”.Dorrington S et al. “Systematic review of fit note use for workers in the UK”. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 2018, volume 75, pp530-539.Self-efficacy and job burnoutEmployees who believe they can manage their own negative emotions at work are likely to be more successful at mediating the negative relationship between emotional stability and job burnout, according to this study of Italian military cadets. Self-efficacy in managing negative emotions proved to be an important resource for workers dealing with job-related stress over time, even after controlling for other traits including education, previous experience, gender and age. The authors of the study suggest that practitioners should look to develop coaching and training programmes that aim to strengthen employees’ self-efficacy in managing emotions at work.Alessandri G et al. “Job burnout: the contribution of emotional stability and emotional self-efficacy beliefs”. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, published online 13 June 2018.Cardiovascular disease in women firefightersA high proportion of women firefighters in a study of the Quebec service were at moderate to high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Just over three-quarters of the 41 female firefighters in the study had this level of risk, using the 2013 American College of Sports Medicine guidelines; for example, 62% had low levels of physical activity and 14% smoked. Eighty-two percent of the women did not meet the Canadian fire service’s own required cardiorespiratory fitness standard, prompting the authors to suggest that “they would benefit from healthy lifestyle initiatives”.Gendron P et al. “Cardiovascular disease risk in female firefighters”. Occupational Medicine, published online 28 May 2018.Older workers with depression less likely to return to work after strokeOlder workers, and particularly those who also have poor psychological health, are at an increased risk of not returning to work one year after a stroke, according to this study. It explores the relationship between age, gender, race, marital status, anxiety and depression and return to work 12-months post-stroke, finding that high scores of depression and anxiety had significant associations with failure to return to work one year after suffering a stroke, particularly amongst older workers.Turi E R et al. “Psychological comorbidities related to return-to-work rates following aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage”. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, published online 21 May 2018.Younger men at higher risk of burnout than older colleaguesThe symptoms of burnout vary greatly according to different life stages, with younger men and women aged between 20 and 35, and 55-plus, being particularly susceptible to the highest levels of burnout, this study of 2,073 employees suggests. Whilst the study reveals a non-linear relationship between age and burnout, it finds a linear one between self-reported cynicism at work/reduced professional efficacy and burnout.Marchand A et al. “Do age and gender contribute to workers’ burnout symptoms?”. Occupational Medicine, published online 15 June 2018.Permanent night work and aggressive prostate cancer “may” be linkedWorking permanent night shifts over many years, coupled with a long shift length of at least 10 hours, “may” be associated with prostate cancer, particularly in its most aggressive form, according to this French study. It looked at the cases of 818 individuals with a prostate cancer diagnosis (and 875 controls), finding that night work, either on a permanent or rotating basis, was not generally associated with prostate cancer, but that that the risk of aggressive prostate cancer rose in the case of those who had worked shifts of more than 10 hours on a permanent basis for at least 20 years.Wendeu-Foyet M G et al. “Night work and prostate cancer risk: results from the EPICAP study”. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, published online 19 June 2018.Breast cancer survivors and work transitionBreast cancer survivors in low socioeconomic groups and with lower educational attainment are at greater risk of exiting the workforce, or dropping from full- to part-time hours, after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, according to this survey of 206 individuals. Half of the group were employed prior to diagnosis, of whom 12% stopped work and 79% downgraded to part-time work during treatment. At the time of follow-up several years later, a third of those employed prior to their diagnosis had stopped work or retired altogether, 48% had dropped to part-time employment and 19% had no change in their work situation. Changing work status between the initial diagnosis and the follow-up some years later was significantly associated with poorer quality of life and lower education attainment.Hamood R et al. “Work transitions in breast cancer survivors and effects on quality of life”. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, published online 15 June 2018.SMEs fail to engage in workplace wellbeingSuccessive government-sponsored occupational health services have found it challenging to engage the owners and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in workplace mental health interventions. This study of 297 SME owner/managers analyses why this group fails to engage in mental health and wellbeing interventions, finding that the small business owner’s own psychological wellbeing (particularly distress) is a factor, particularly if they have recently worked in a stressful environment, or have low business confidence.Dawkins S et al. “Reasons for engagement: SME owner-manager motivations for engaging in a workplace mental health and wellbeing intervention”. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, published online 30 May 2018. Five ways OH can make itself indispensable during Covid-19Much as it is causing intense day-to-day challenges, Covid-19 is also offering OH practitioners – nurses and physicians – a… Include asbestos risk awareness in NHS staff training, study recommendsAwareness of asbestos risk and the possibility of a mesothelioma diagnosis should be added to the mandatory training for new… No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Occupational health research round-up: August 2018By Sarah Silcox on 3 Aug 2018 in Cancer, Military, Research, Occupational Health, Personnel Today Related posts:
Tags Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink MBA’s index tracking applications to refinance also decreased 5 percent last week compared to the week prior.But Kan maintained both the purchase and refinance markets were still strong overall, noting that the unadjusted volume of purchase applications was up 15 percent year over year while the volume of refinance applications were up 51 percent year over year.The housing market at large continues to see strong demand and historically low inventory, which is driving up housing prices.Following that larger trend, the average size of purchase loan tracked by MBA increased to $412,200, another record. The prior week the average size was $402,200.Contact Erin Hudson Share via Shortlink Full Name* (Getty)Applications for home loans fell again as mortgage rates and average loan size continued to grow.An index tracking applications to purchase homes dropped 6 percent, seasonally adjusted, last week compared to the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA metric, known as the purchase index, had sunk 5 percent the previous week.Joel Kan, MBA’s head of industry forecasting, attributed the decline to rising mortgage rates. The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.98 percent, a 2 basis point increase from the week before. Jumbo rates were unchanged at 3.11 percent.“Expectations of faster economic growth and inflation continue to push Treasury yields and mortgage rates higher,” said Kan in a statement. Last week’s rates were the highest since November, according to the MBA.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreVicious cycle creates “huge supply crunch,” pushing home prices upAverage home mortgage reaches record $402KUS home prices surged 9.5% in November Message* Housing MarketMortgagesResidential
NY contractors see rising costs due to COVID-19. (Getty)New York contractors are seeing their projects set back by Covid outbreaks and shortages of personal protective equipment.About 46 percent of contracting firms surveyed by the Associated General Contractors of America said they faced construction delays from a lack of protective gear.About 41 percent said work had been slowed by potential coronavirus infections on-site, the Commercial Observer reported. About one-third said they were not experiencing any delays.But perhaps more troubling is that the cost of materials has risen during the pandemic. About 84 percent said materials, parts and supplies were more expensive than they were a year ago. The construction companies also said that personal protective equipment expenditures had raised costs.Even with the vaccine rollout and increasing optimism about New York City’s real estate market, only about 38 percent said their business volume was back to pre-pandemic levels.New York City recently said it would revive about $17 billion in municipal construction projects after the city stopped contracting projects at the start of the pandemic.[CO] — Keith Larsen Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tags Commercial Real EstateConstructionCoronavirus
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* An aerial of 341-347 Madison Avenue and Boston Properties CEO Owen D. Thomas (Google Maps, Real Estate Roundtable)Boston Properties is moving forward with its plans to replace the MTA’s old Madison Avenue headquarters with a supertall tower.The developer filed a land use application with the Department of City Planning for the site at 341-347 Madison Avenue in Midtown. Boston Properties wants to replace the former MTA HQ, as well as three adjacent MTA-owned lots, with a skyscraper that could rise 1,050 feet.The developer is seeking zoning changes for its proposed building, meaning the project must go through the city’s uniform land use review procedure; submitting the application to the planning department kickstarts that process. If the application is certified, it triggers the seven-month public review process, which would ultimately end with approval (or not) from the City Council and the mayor.ADVERTISEMENTBoston Properties has proposed a 925,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial, office and retail building, according to a draft scope of work released last summer.The developer is seeking two zoning changes to make that happen: It wants to double the building’s floor-area ratio — from 15 to 30 FAR — in exchange for improving pedestrian and mass transit circulation. It’s also seeking a smaller setback distance to accommodate a larger building, which is projected to have 200 feet of frontage along Madison Avenue and 125 feet of frontage along both East 44th and 45th Streets. Assuming all goes according to plan, construction would wrap up in 2026, according to the draft scope.Boston Properties did not respond to a request for comment. The developer filed applications to demolish the three buildings earlier this year.Read moreMTA crisis could be catastrophic for New York real estate Medical offices are just what the doctor ordered for landlords Manhattan office market’s 25% drop is ominous sign for landlords Full Name* It’s been quite a journey to get to this point: The MTA bought 347 Madison Avenue for $11.9 million in 1979, and the adjacent sites for $12.25 million and $23.75 million, respectively, in 1991, the New York Times reported. It began seeking bids from developers in 2013 to demolish and rebuild the site. Soon after, the MTA moved its headquarters to 2 Broadway, but continued to pay about $4 million per year to maintain the Madison Avenue building.Boston Properties was selected in 2016 to develop the site, but the city objected to the deal over the allocation of property taxes. But shortly after the coronavirus caused financial issues for both the transit agency and the city, the two sides came to an agreement.It’s projected that the site could generate more than $1 billion in revenue for the MTA over a 99-year ground lease, with the proceeds benefiting capital improvements.After the 2015 rezoning of the Vanderbilt Corridor — in which the MTA’s former HQ sits — and the broader Midtown East rezoning of 2017, developers flocked to the area to build new skyscrapers. SL Green’s 1.6 million-square-foot One Vanderbilt opened last year, and JPMorgan Chase is planning a new, 2.2 million-square-foot headquarters at 270 Park Avenue. And next to Grand Central Terminal, TF Cornerstone and RXR Realty are hoping to build a skyscraper that could rise 1,600 feet.While the immediate future of the office market is murky — a recent Partnership of New York City survey found 10 percent of Manhattan office employees had returned to the workplace as of early March, unchanged since October — Boston Properties’ 2026 construction deadline looks past the date when the sector is expected to recover from the pandemic.Contact Orion Jones Tags Share via Shortlink Boston Propertiesdepartment of city planningManhattan Office Marketmidtown office market Email Address*
Measurements of trace elements in snow and ice are frequently used to describe past atmospheric composition although there is no firm basis for assuming a direct connection. Trace-element concentrations have been measured on samples of aerosol and freshly fallen snow collected simultaneously from two sites in the Antarctic Peninsula during summer. Following improvements in contamination control, the reported concentrations and crustal enrichment factors of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in the aerosol are lower than any values previously reported from Antarctica. Even tighter controls will be required in the future. For a crustal element (A1) and for the marine cations (Na, Ca and K) a consistent ratio (0.48±0.31) for the concentration in air (pg m−3)/concentration in snow (pg g−1) is obtained for simultaneously collected samples. This supports a simple model of aerosol scavenging proposed by Junge which considers aerosol removal over polar ice sheets to be dominated by in-cloud processes. Averaged data for Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn from samples collected at different times appear to behave similarly. These findings suggest that there is no preferential scavenging by snowfall of either crustal or heavy metal components in contemporary aerosol. If proved more general in Antarctica this may help to simplify the interpretation of time series data from ice cores.