The British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is to close to new accrual, Tata Steel has told union representatives.Union GMB called Tata’s plan to close the fund “unnecessary and profoundly disappointing”, and said it was preparing a strike ballot.According to the union, the fund had £13.6bn (€17bn) in assets at the end of November last year, up from £12.6bn at the end of March. David Hulse, GMB national officer, said the union did not expect to find itself discussing closure to new accrual, following months of negotiations that got underway in November. “Throughout a long process, we have acted in good faith and negotiated constructively in trying to reach an agreement that addresses what we acknowledge to be a significant deficit in the scheme,” Hulse added.According to the fund’s most recent annual report from 2013-14, BSPS had a £1.1bn deficit in March 2013 when measured on an on-going basis.Hulse was critical of Tata’s plans to close the fund to new accrual.“We have made every effort to compromise with the company, even discussing the possibility of meeting the deficit through changes to member benefits, despite the fact the company is legally obliged to pay for the deficit and has always done so in the past,” Hulse said.“Sadly, the company rejected this offer out of hand. It appears they are hell-bent on closing the scheme and are not prepared to compromise.”He said the management of parent company Tata Steel Europe should “seriously consider their positions” after what he deemed a breakdown in trust between the scheme’s sponsor and its workforce.A spokesman for Tata said the company put forward changes to the defined benefits (DB) fund that would have balanced any changes across the entire workforce.“We believe the trade unions’ proposals to change member benefits would have unfairly disadvantaged younger scheme members, who would have had to bear most of the impact of the changes.He added: “We have been unable to come to an agreement that would have enabled defined benefit provision to continue and we will be consulting employees on a proposal to close the defined benefit scheme to future accrual.It is proposed that future pension provision will be on a defined contribution basis.BTPS is a DB scheme, with a standalone defined contribution arrangement launched in 2014.The DB section returned 1.6% over the course of the 2013-14 financial year, and 7.8% over the three years to 2014.
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald file photoEntering the month of November, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team was still looking for its first win at 0-6-1 on the season.Now, in true worst-to-first fashion, the Badgers find themselves atop the WCHA standings following a weekend sweep of the No. 15 Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, winning 3-2 Friday and 7-2 Saturday at the Kohl Center.“It’s quite the accomplishment for this group from where we were,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “We talked about that after the game. The thing that we, as a staff, were the proudest of was the fact that they stayed together through tough times. We persevered. The lessons that we learned through those first seven games until we got our first win are going to pay dividends.”The lessons learned from overcoming adversity were evident Saturday night for the Badgers, who were without junior Blake Geoffrion, the team’s captain. Geoffrion suffered an ankle injury in Friday night’s victory and was not in the lineup the next night.In Geoffrion’s absence, Wisconsin used a balanced attack to overpower Alaska Anchorage, as six different players found the net.Michael Davies kicked off the scoring Saturday with a goal late in the first period. Davies was able to take a nice centering pass from freshman Jordy Murray and buried the puck past UAA goaltender Jon Olthuis for a 1-0 lead.Three more Badgers would get on the score sheet in the second period as Wisconsin built a 4-0 lead. Podge Turnbull and Matt Thurber worked a give-and-go to perfection on a breakaway for the team’s second goal of the night.The breakaway was set up by some confusion at the Anchorage bench, as the Seawolves were caught in the middle of a line change and were unable to get back on defense as Turnbull and Thurber rushed the zone.“It was a bad change,” UAA head coach Dave Shyiak said. “Lack of awareness.”Defenseman Cody Goloubef and forward Andy Bohmbach also scored in the second. It was Goloubef’s second goal in as many nights, as Tom Gorowsky sent him a pass through the crease for the assist.Brendan Smith and Sean Dolan beat UAA’s Bryce Christianson — who replaced Olthuis in the third period — to make it a 6-0 Badger lead.Anchorage’s Tyler Moir and Tommy Grant added goals late for the Seawolves, but Davies’ second goal of the night sealed the 7-2 win for UW.For Davies, his two-goal performance was a bit of a statement. He had been benched earlier for six straight games after Eaves and the coaching staff had wanted him to improve his play five-on-five.After two even strength goals on the weekend, it appears the message was received by Davies.“I think he’s made a concerted effort to make sure that his five-on-five play has been better, and he was rewarded tonight for that,” Eaves said. “What great growth for Michael.”“Five-on-five, it’s great to chip in; I haven’t been doing well lately with that,” Davies said. “It feels like the hard work paid off, not just for me, but the entire team.”His teammates have taken note of the hard work as well.“It’s huge, especially for the team, just to see a guy like that that we know we need to be in the lineup and need to be effective for us,” junior defenseman Jamie McBain said. “His perseverance kind of sums up our team. He just never quit and he just kept going through it. Obviously, he’s reaping the rewards now.”Davies had two points in Friday’s 3-2 victory, including an assist on the first goal of the game by Geoffrion. Camping out near the side of the net, Davies was able to sneak a pass through the slot to Geoffrion, who fired it past Christianson for a 1-0 lead early in the second period.Anchorage had a chance to tie things up midway through the second, as two Wisconsin penalties gave the Seawolves an extended 5-on-3. But the Badgers — who are third in the WCHA in killing penalties — were able to hold off a barrage of UAA shots and maintain a one-goal lead.“That was clearly a major turning point in the battle of the game,” Eaves said of the power play.The Badgers’ next two goals came just 21 seconds apart late in the second frame. Derek Stepan was able to score a power play goal on a wraparound to Christianson’s right at 17:22. Goloubef then sniped a shot from the blue line that made its way through traffic and into the back of the net at 17:43.Heading into the final period, a 3-0 lead appeared to be a comfortable margin for the Badgers. The Seawolves weren’t about to go down easily, however.Beloit native Sean Wiles got UAA on the board midway through the third as he beat UW netminder Shane Connelly over Connelly’s left shoulder. Trevor Hunt later scored on the power play, nine seconds after McBain was whistled for roughing.But Connelly and the Badgers were able to hold on for the 3-2 victory without their team captain and defenseman Jake Gardiner, who left the game in the first period after taking a hard open-ice hit.“We knew we had to change some things, but we knew we had 20 minutes to go out and do it,” freshman forward Derek Stepan said. “Losing Blake, that was just another thing we had to get over. And Jake, too. It was something we had to worry about, but at the same time we knew we had 20 minutes to step up and make something happen.”Wisconsin will now have a few weeks off — which will allow a banged-up team to finally get healthy again — before returning to action Dec. 27 for the Badger Hockey Showcase.“Obviously, we want to keep playing — everyone does,” Dolan said. “But a part of me also thinks maybe it’s good for our bodies to get rested up and come back the second half and just keep climbing this mountain and put our foot on the gas pedal even harder.”
When Syracuse heads to Binghamton on Wednesday for a match with the Bearcats, the Orange will be doing so without Jing Pu at the helm for the first time since 1994.Pu, the longtime SU head coach, was relieved of his duties Monday after leading the Orange to 15 winning seasons in 16 years. But Kelly Morrisroe, who takes over as interim head coach, expects little to change for the team.‘My style won’t change,’ Morrisroe said. ‘We’re focusing on the team and not there to be a distraction. I think it’ll be a smooth transition with the girls. They’ve adjusted well to (interim associate head coach) Matt (Soderstrom) and I, and we’re looking forward to the next nine matches we have left.’Morrisroe will lead Syracuse for the remainder of the season as it aims to reach the Big East tournament. She starts her tenure in nonconference play when the Orange (13-8, 3-3 Big East) plays Binghamton (10-13, 2-4 America East) on Wednesday.The quick turnaround from the coaching change on Monday to the team’s game on Wednesday will leave little room for distractions. But Syracuse will prepare for that game as it has all season, expecting to earn a victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It’s a little bit of a benefit for us just to get one match out of the way and just kind of see the new adjustments for the team,’ Morrisroe said. ‘We’re going to go down there at Binghamton — there’s some things that we’re going to talk to our girls today as far as game plan, and we’re going to accomplish that goal.’Still, Morrisroe insists there won’t be too many adjustments that have to be made. The interim head coach may have a different coaching style than the passive approach of the former head coach, but Morrisroe has been with the team since last spring and believes that will ease the transition.Though the obvious goal is avoiding distraction, players are still left with some obvious questions as to how things will change.Morrisroe hopes to keep things similar to how they were for the first 21 games of the season, but it was Pu, not Morrisroe, making the lineup decisions prior to every game.Senior Noemie Lefebvre knows that the personnel could have a new look Wednesday night.‘If different players are going to step on the court it’s always good to adjust when you’re playing a nonconference team,’ Lefebvre said. ‘It’s still important, but we’re going to be able to make more adjustments.’Morrisroe also gets the benefit of making her debut against a 10-13 team.The Bearcats have posted a .500 record against Big East teams so far this year and beat Providence two weeks ago. But the Orange does believe this is a game it should win.‘We’re still stronger than the team we’re going to be facing, so hopefully an easy win in three and just come back home,’ Lefebvre said.Under Pu, Syracuse always emphasized beating the New York state teams, and the Orange is in the middle of a double-digit winning streak against Binghamton. That emphasis is one thing Lefebvre said definitely won’t change with Pu’s departure.In addition to Wednesday’s match representing the transition from one coaching staff to another, it gives SU one last chance to prepare before the final stretch of Big East matches.‘It is nonconference, so we can adjust as a team and as a coaching staff, and I think it will just be good prep for this weekend,’ senior defensive specialist Ashley Williams said.Even with the turmoil, the goal for Syracuse remains qualifying for the Big East tournament. The match Wednesday won’t affect the team’s ability to do that based on the standings, but the adjustments that the Orange must make will be important to carry through when Big East play resumes Friday against Rutgers.For Morrisroe, having her team prepared for each match is her main goal as she takes over the program.‘My biggest focus now is to make sure the girls are playing at their peak every time we step on the court,’ Morrisroe said. ‘When we go into matches we’ve got to be playing at our best, especially when we get into Big East matches here.’[email protected] Published on October 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Jon Jones has been granted a one-fight license for UFC 235 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year The UFC light heavyweight champion will have to submit to two drug tests a month before the fight which is scheduled for March 2. He will have to pay for the testing and must be tested rigorously after the fight as well. Official: Nevada has granted Jon Jones a one fight license to compete at UFC 235 on March 2.Jones will be tested at least twice a month and he must pay for testing.And then he will continue to be tested rigorously for the rest of the year.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 29, 2019Jones tested positive for a small amount of the banned substance Turinabol before his fight with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232. Because the test was so close to the fight, and there was no certainty as to whether it was a leftover amount from a previous positive test, the fight was moved to Los Angeles so it could take place.The UFC was not sure if the NSAC would approve of a fight on such short notice with the positive test, so it was relocated.Jones will face Anthony Smith at UFC 235 for the light heavyweight title. Smith has won three fights in a row and six of his last seven.OFFICIAL!🏆 @JonnyBones defends the LHW title against @LionheartASmith in the MAIN EVENT of #UFC235! pic.twitter.com/y6T6xMYqob— UFC (@ufc) January 29, 2019