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September 08, 1978 - Image 90

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-08

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U'

Page 2B--Friday, September 8, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Regent softens
union position

Re NlA [CC
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By MITCH CANTOR
University Regent Paul Brown (D-
Petoskey) said last week he would sup-
port the existence of a union for Univer-
sity graduate student teaching
assistants if continuing Michigan Em-
ployment Relations Commission
(MERC) hearings conclude such a
union may exist.
Earlier, Brown, along with other
regents, voted to challenge the right of
teaching assistants to bargain with the
University on the grounds that they
were students, not employees.
The hearings, ordered nearly two
years ago by MERC, will ultimately
decide whether the Graduate Em-
ployees Orgainization (GEO) can
collectively bargain with the Univer-
sity. The major question Ad-
ministrative Law Judge Shlomo Sperka
must consider is whether graduate
student assistants (GSAs) are
primarily employees or students
receiving their positions as a form of
financial aid.
"I PERSONALLY think if the GEO
wins before MERC that would be the
end of it. I think GEO is there to stay. I
think we can learn to have smooth
relations with our bargaining com-
ponents," Brown said.
GEO originally went to MERC
charging the University was guilty of
an unfair labor practice (ULP). When
GEO won the case in August 1977, the
University appealed on the grounds
that GSAs are not employees but rather
students.
Though he voted in August 1977 to ap-
peal the original case, Brown insisted
that was a "legal tactical position"
taken to insure defeat of the ULP
charge against the University.
GEO PRESIDENT Mike Clark said
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he was surprised by Brown's
statement.
"It is a major change simply because
I never heard from him," Clark said.
Clark hinted Brown's support is just
one of several indications that GEO is
gaining support among the regents.
"HE (BROWN) TOLD me over the
phone, and I quote, 'There's no way
you're gonna lose this case.'
"I had heard words before. . . that
there were regents leaning in our direc-
tion after that (August 1977) vote,"
Clark said.
Brown, who is up for re-election this
year, encountered some resistance in
obtaining this year's nomination at the
Democratic convention last month. Op-
position to his selection claimed he
doesn't support labor.
THE HEARINGS, which reopened in
May, continued through the summer,
and more dates are scheduled for Sep-
tember and October.
University testimony has come from
various administrators who claimed
teaching assistantships are awarded as
financial aid, much like other forms of
scholarships. Most GEO witnesses
were teaching assistants who insist
teaching, and not their academic per- -No
formance, is primary to whether they
retain their positions. Ann Arbot's own Bob Segerr
Clark said he expects a verdict in sell-outshowsatPineKnob.
February or March.

Doily Photo by ANDY FREEBERI

stranger in town
returned to the Detroit area last weekend to put on seve

GOP primary recount planned

By MICHAEL ARKUSH
The hotly contested race between
City Councilman Ronald Trowbridge
(Fourth Ward) and University
Professor C. William Colburn for the
Republican nomination to the 18th
District's State Senate seat still
remains in doubt, even admonth after
the party's primary and just eight
weeks before the November election.
Trowbridge edged Colburn by one
vote in the August 8th primary, but the
University professor filed an appeal for
an official recount last week. It may be
several weeks until the State Board of
Canvassers certifies the official win-
ner.
Secretary of State Richard Austin is
expected within a few days to order the
four county clerks representing the 18th
District to organize a formal recount.
Although Washtenaw County com-
prises 80 per cent of the district's elec-

torate, votes must still be recounted
from Livingston, Jackson and Lenawee
counties.
Voting machines, punch card votes
and paper absentee votes must be
checked to make sure no error was
committed.
After representatives from the four
counties review the ballots, they will
submit the results to the state can-
vassers for final certification.
Colburn, an associate speech
professor, is required by state law to
pay $879 to subsidize the recount, $5 for
each of the district's 174 precincts. But
he said he believes it is worth the risk.
"It's a 50-50 chance which is better
than nothing. If I stay quiet, then I've
lost, but this way there is hope," said
Colburn.
The Ann Arbor Republican said he
had received several contributions but
would pay the majority of the funds
himself.--

He originally asked Trowbridge to
share the expenses but the Councilman
refused.
"I don't think it would've been the
right thing to help fund a recount when
I've already won," said Trowbridge.
It remains uncertain whether the
recount will hinder the Republican ef-
fort to defeat the Democratic nominee,
Edward Pierce. Both Trowbridge and
Colburn agree the party squabble will
hurt the party's chances in November.
"It will hurt because it will be
tougher to raise campaign con-
tributions when the people aren't sure
of who the candidate is," said
Trowbridge.
Colburn pointed out, however, that
the increased publicity resulting from
the close contest may enhance the
Republican nominee's prospects.
"We've been on the front page and
the added exposure could help the can-
didate," he said. .

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