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February 09, 1975 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-02-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

editors:
laura berman
dan iorus
contributing editor:
mary long

Sundoy

mctgcine

inside:
page four-books
page five-letter
from iran
page six-the week
in review

Number 17 Page Three Februa
FEATUF

ry 9, 1975
LES

An is
Whys
and si
By ANN MARIE LIPINSKI
IT IS EIGHT A.M. Tuesday morning.
Richard Greene, a teaching assistant
in the History department, is on his way
across the Diag. He takes this route
every week at this time because he
teaches a History 101 section in 625
Haven.
Martha Krieg, like Richard, is making
her way ont9 campus. A teaching assist-
ant in the Romance Language depart-
ment, Martha instructs an undergradu-
ate course in Spanish at the Modern
Language Building.
Given any other Tuesday morning this
term, both their days would probably
run routinely and somewhat similarly.
But not this Tuesday.
In all likelihood, Martha will have to
break through GEO picket lines before
she can enter the MLB and climb the
stairs to her fourth floor classroom.
P ICHARD WILL BE standing in one
of those picket lines.
Two such people undoubtedly share
any number of common beliefs. They
stand in violent opposition on a single
issue - that of the GEO and its right
to strike. And if they should meet this
Tuesday morning, that will be the only
principle that matters.
Neither Martha's or Richard's opinions
concerning the pending GEO walkout are
decidedly representative of the factions
they support. In fact, both Martha and
Richard have characterized themselves
as "possible reactionary," and "the lone
man out," in regard to several of the
convictions they harbor. Nevertheless
their views are logically backed by
philosohical, practical and intelligent
reasoning.
Both Marcia and Richard agree the
GEO issue is a complex one; that there
are no clearcut solutions. But they have
come to opposite conclusions about their
right to strike. They both can argue
their respective points of view persua-
sively.
RICHARD, AN active though not zeal-
ously hard-nosed member of GEO,
has declared walkout support for strictly
non-economic reasons. He anticipates
losing more in a week of striking than
he could conceivably make should the
University grant him the increase he
seeks.
"Take the average quarter time teach-

,sue

of

ideals:

sorewill teach

Mme

will

ing fellow," proposes Richard, carefully
calculating figures on a stark sheet of
paper. "Give this TF a three per cent
salary increase in January - which is
a reasonable compromise over GEO's
five per cent demand and the Univer-
sity's zero per cent offer - and that
comes to approximately $27 dollars for
the person who teaches one course.
"In one week of striking that person
is going to lose $45 dollars," he con-
cludes. "Now if I were in this for the
money I would have to be out of my
mind."
"But," says Richard, evermindful of
the growing expenses his wife and
month-old daughter generate, "I simply
can't stand to see the way teaching fel-
lows are treated. I would sooner have
a contract and a guarantee that some
end to the exploitation is coming than
actually have the money."
However, Richard isn't willing entire-
lv to dismiss economics - the issue
that continues to keep the University
and GEO on opposite sides of negotiation
battle lines.
THE ECONOMIC DEMANDS must
be settled honorably," insists Rich-
ard, "and I stress the whole idea of
honor. There has to be a precedent set.
Teaching fellows simply can't live with.-
out the same kinds of salary increases
that the faculty needs. "That's not to say
we should get the same thing. But I
think this whole union thing could have
been avoided if the University would
have come to the teaching fellows in
1967 and said, 'You will get an increase
one point below the faculty increase,
whatever it is that year.' I don't know
that there would be a union today."
Commenting on the eight per cent
retroactive to September increase the
University recently granted the GSAs,
Richard insists that, "It would have
been horrible if they (the administra-
tion) had gone into this strike without
the eight per cent offer. People would
have starved fast. Not just slowly any-
more, fast. But you see, it's not to the
University's advantage to completely
ruin the entire Graduate Teaching As-
sistant program. That's not what they
want to do. What they want to do is
maintain entire total control of the en-
tire program, and be free any given

strike
year to avoid paying an increase.
"The University simply wants this
strike," insists Richard, suddenly look-
ing like the young boy who has found
the hidden cookie jar. "That's it. The
University simply wants this strike as
an issue of administrative control when
the issue is not administrative control.
I think they have misread the issue, I
think they can settle the strike for a few
dollars, and they don't want to do it."
V ICHARD GIVES NO credence to the
possibility that administrative big-
wigs like President Robben Fleming
have been toying with the negotiating
mechanism.
"If Fleming could only have heard
some of the disgraceful things that were
said by representatives to the negotia-
tions he would have told them, 'Hey,
that's pretty inflammatory. Don't you
see you re insulting these teaching fel-
lows gratuitously by implying it's per-
fectly OK with you if they're on food
stamps.'
"You don't approach a union that
way," says Richard. "What that state-
ment does is imply that levels of salary
below subsistence are justified."
Pulling a stack of quizzes from his
worn bookbag, he leafs through them
and sets the papers on the table.
"LOOK THROUGH THESE quizzes
and you'll find that the bulk of all
the grades fall between a B and a C.
Very few students get D's and F's and
continue on at the University of Michi-
gan. And as for the bright student, the
super-A student, well everyone wants to
teach him. So the point is, who is going
to speak to these B and C students? Is
faculty willing to step in and correct
these quizzes? Undergrads must rea-
lize that for better or for worse, we're
the people committed to dealing with
them - and no one else. If under-
grads don't support us in the strike, they
are really hurting themselves. They are
taking it out on the people dedicated to
seeing they get a fair break. No one
else is dedicated to seeing that they
get a fair break. And I think that's the
pity of being an undergrad."
Martha, while sharing Richard's con-
cern for the undergrad, doesn't agree
with his method for administering that
concern.

"I IGHT NOW, my primary responsi-
bility is to my students, and I in-
tend to remain in the classroom," she
says, undaunted by the prospect of cross-
ing picket lines. "Think of that last
semester senior who wants to finish so
he can get a job and make some money
or start into summer school somewhere.
I have no right to screw somebody like
that."
Scrapping the entire idea of unioniz-
ation, Martha maintains that, "like com-
munism, the theory behind the union
is great but the practice always falls
short."
"As soon as you become unionized,"
she explains, "you get people saying the
means justify the ends. Nothing is rea-
soned anymore. Once you come to that
philosophical conclusion, nothing else
matters."
"I\ also don't enjoy pigeonholing peo-
ple, giving people labels." She laughs,
muttering the words, "scabs" and
"strikebreakers".
"They've come up with these pejora-
tive nicknames that delete people from
the class of humanity. I don't count as
a person anymore because I don't agree
with them."
Martha is distressed with the name
calling which has erupted between the
GSAs and the University. "This prac-

tice has polarized people on both sides.
It is now hard for the University to look
at the teaching fellows as human. We're
the enemy. So even if GEO succeeds in
getting the money they're demanding,
we have lost the University's respect.
That is a far greater loss in an educa-
tional community O~han any economic
loss."
t OWEVER, MARTHA acknowledges
that like the strike supporters, she too
could live more comfortably with a
wage increase. "Of course I was un-
happy with what the University did to
our salaries. I was pregnant at the time.
But nobody has to be a teaching fellow.
Everyone has a choice. You can hold
down other jobs. Nobody said, "In order
to take classes here you have to be a
TF. I'm sorry, but my duty is to my
students, not to my own comfortable-
ness."
Martha laughs about GEO's naivete.
"They say the University has all this
money. I worked in the library for a
while and I saw the budget requests to
the legislature and I know that the Uni-
versity does not have hoards of money.
There's a lot tied up by law in certain
grants and funds. GEO sees dollars but.
they don't know how difficult it is to

Daily Photo by STUART HOLLANDER
have money transferred in certain areas.
'THE UNIVERSITY is no fairy god-
mother," she concedes, "but it's not
as stingy as it's been painted."
Martha is distressed about the possi-
Sility of what she terms "unhealthy mob
sentiment". "There's no assurance that
some very ugly sentiments won't grow
after a long strike," she cautions. "With
all these mass meetings, these eloquent
speakers, there's no predicting how
things will escalate."
Herdfirst priority is "getting on with
the educational process" but she con-
tends the present situation has made
that task impossible.
"How can you have a vital, intellect-
ual interplay with someone on the other
side?" she asks. "The teaching fellows
and the administration are divided, the
teaching fellows themselves are split,
and the students are the ones being
hurt."
Richard and Martha don't know each
other but perhaps they will meet this
Tuesday. M-rtha on her way to teach
Snanish; Richard on his way to join
the picket lines.
Ann Marie Lipin ski has been cover-
ing the ongoing GEO developments for
the 'Daily.

_ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ n_

The truth about
Campus Corne:
A soda shopsaga
By DEBBORA CHESNEY longer open to customers. But the
EVER SINCE CALKINS and Flet- emphasis on students and their
eher converted a grocerv into money is still evident.

I

a drugstore in 1919, the business
concern on the northwest corner
of the intersection of Packard and
State has catered to the student
trade.
Oh, they filled prescriptions
then, as they do now. And they
sold dry goods to the older resi-
dents of the neighborhood. But it
has always been the student dollar
which has kept the coffers over-
flowing.
Calkins and Fletcher knew a
good market when they saw one
and they moved to capitalize on
the changing tastes and fashions.
In the rear of the store they in-
stalled a soda fountain and its
seemingly omnipresent companion,

FOOTBALL HASN'T lost its ap-
peal either. Only now it aids
alcohol sales on home game Satur-
days. In the hours immediately
preceeding kick-off, the store is
the site of mass confusion and
compressed humanity a s t h e
shelves are ravished as soon as
they can be refilled.
This mad Saturday crush is livht
years away from those first quiet
Saturdays on Packard and State.
Built in 1903 by George H. Fischer
and J.ames W. Finnell, the Delta
Building was originally intended as
a grocery store.
At that time, the well-known
corner was on the outskirts of the
city and the Fischer and Finnell

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r. .: ... ........ v - ...4.

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