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May 30, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-30

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fi'IIE,
Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday May 30, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
Partnership in
contraception
WITH TODAY'S CONSCIOUSNESS of over-population,
scientists are striving for methods of controlling the
problem. They concentrate their study and research on
women, which is essentially logical, or it was when ef-
fective means of birth control was first devised.
Now, "the pill" is widely used by women and is for
the most part a reliable drug for those women who can
use it. It makes sense that a woman should be taking
care and control of her body as she is running the great-
er risk. It has always been that way.
We hear story after sad story about some young
woman who became pregnant and for one reason or
another marriage was not the answer. We have also
heard of how the man involved has run out when con-
fronted with the restrictions of a wife and a child.
Such action on either part is not characteristic of
all untimely and unwanted pregnancies. There are many
married couples with several children who were also
confronted with unwanted pregnancies. The result was
the legalization of abortion, an agonizing experience that
is a step taken out of desperation.
T['ODAY THERE IS MUCH experimentation with intra-
uterine devices (IUD's) and there are as many pros
as cons to the device.
The question now stands as to why there is only
one device on the market for controlling the man's part
in contraception. Off and on there is talk of research into
a pill for men, but where is it? Certainly there has been
plenty of time for scientists to come up with something
more effective than a condom for men. Scientific con-
centration on the male part of intercourse seems to have
been ignored as it has always been morally.
Men, due to no fault of their own have always been
on the simpler side of a relationship for they run no
risk of pregnancy. That is not to say that all men are
irresponsible irr a relationship or in the matter of birth
control. Intercourse has always been an expected part
of a man's growth however the woman involved was al-
ways considered "loose".
We like to think that now such a concept is on its
way out. If this is the case, then it is high time that men
took as active part in birth control as women.
-ANDREA LILLY

'U' and workers: Intimidation tactics

T IS OFTEN said of union negotiations that
what occurs outside the bargaining room is
at least as important as what goes on within.
This must certainly be the case with respect
to Mr. Fleming's irresponsible remarks quoted
in the Michigan Daily, April 9 ("Fleming Hints
at Personal Cutbacks"). In this article Fleming
is quoted as saying euphamistically, that union-
ization and consequent wage hikes will lead to
an 'internal' response' on the part of the Univer-
sity.
This type of reckless threat, aimed presumably
at the members of GEO as well as clericals,
nurses and possibly faculty, all of whom are
workers recently unionized, working toward un-
ionization or considering same, must be seen
in full perspective.
What the University does is not consistent with
what it says. The University would have us be-
lieve that unionization activities on the part of
its workers are putting the University under a
new sort of pressure. We are told that this new
sort of pressure - the demand for higher
wages is forcing the University to contract the
number of jobs in various categories. If the Uni-
versity is required to meet new wage demands,
we are to expect that it will have to cut its per-
sonnel.
BUT THE record of University policy and ac-
tion reads quite differently. It is the very groups
which have been engaged in union activity that
have been under the most severe pressure the
University has witnessed in the last few years.
Job cutbacks are not to be thought of as just
the possible outcome of a hypothetical n i g h t-
mare brought on by a money-hungry unionism.
Rather, actual job cutbacks and actual real-wage
decreases are already with us, having already
been inflicted upon university workers with man-
otono's regularity for years - when there have
been no unions whatsoever! And these cutbacks
have resulted from deliberate Administration pol-
icies - policies which the unionization efforts we
have seen on this campus have reacted to, not
caused.
The tale of our continuing losses at the hands
of the University is a vivid one. Last summer the
Administration virtually halved teaching fellows'
fall salaries by cancelling their instate tuition
status and by raising their tuiton by 24 per cent.
This dramatic action on the Administration's part
was not unprecedented. A strikingly similar de-
cision was made during the summer of 1971.
DESPITE THE organizational efforts of GEO
and the fact that we prevented the plan of the
summer from being fully realized in the fall and
spring, the graduate assistant still bears the bur-
den of a lower salary on two fronts:, first,
through a loss of wages and decrease in the
number of jobs, and second, through a contin-
uing decrease of real wages in the face of the
rising cost of living.
Last November Sandy Silberstein wrote an ar-
ticle in the Daily criticizing the then-proposed
block grant-flexible aid system as merely an
excuse to cut graduate assistant funds. Through
block grants the departments were to be given
monies to use somewhat at their discretion for
graduate assistantships. TF's were assured, in -a
letter from Allen Smith, that those with 73-74 ap-
pointments would receive, through flexible aid,
the difference between out-of-state and instate
tuition. Departmental chairpeople were assured
that funds would not be cut.
BUT LOOK AT the record: block grants in
many departments have been slashed! Through
this unilateral action -on the part of the Ad-
ministration, these departments are left with the

dilemma of having either to reduce the wages
of graduate assistants or reduce the number of
assistantships available. Moreover, it is not
clear where RA's, SA's, and newly appointed
TF's (who were not covered in the Smith letter)
will stand financially should the University con-
tinue present patterns.
This loss of wages is only the first of two ef-
fective pay decreases suffered by the graduate
assistants. This past year, at a time when the
cost-of-living increase soars above 14 per cent,
no worker at the University received more than
a 5.5 per cent cost-of-living increase and too many
did not receive even that.
AND GRADUATE assistants are clearly not
alone in bearing the brunt of the University's
assault. Michigan students are paying more tui-
tion than students at any other state university.
And clerical workers (who effectively run the
University) are being paid less than clericals in
any other Michigan university. All this for the
privilege of being associated with the University
of Michigan!
The way in which major aggressive policy is
made is no less clear. These decisions (like the
ones last July and its sibling two years earlier)
are announced suddenly and unilaterally - most
often during the summer when the fewest number
of employes and students are in Ann A r b o r.
thn decisions affect most directly
h5-uc little or no in't into these decisions. When
it must pacify, the Universtly does so with verbal
promises, only to break the promises later. The
trend? Lower salaries and higher tuition.
THUS IT BECOMES evident that university un-
ions are in the unhappy position of calling not
merely for a just wage and improved working
conditions, but also for an end to backsliding in
four major areas:
1.)' We are called on to fight increasing dis-
crimination in many areas among which are rac-
ism, sexism and ageism. A recent LSA policy
decision to rescind need as a criteria for financial
aid is just one example of increasing discrimin-
ation.
2.) We are called on to maintain the quality
of undergraduate education. We must not only
fight for a maximum and average class size but
to maintain the number of graduate assistants.
The University cannot hire professors or lecturers
for the salary it pays graduate assistants even
should all of GEO's economic demands be met.
And the University cannot have students if they
can no longer afford the tuition.
3.) The quality of graduate education is in
danger for the University cannot maintain grad-
uate students if it refuses to.support them.
4.) Lastly, there has been economic backsliding
with a net decrease in the real wage received by
workers in all sectors of the University.
CLEARLY, MONEY is not expanding. But is
is not clear that the University is in fact in a
state of near-hysterical economic crisis as Flem-
ing would have us believe. In any case the need
for unionizing is not vitiated. What unionism
seeks, in any economic situation, is a positive
input into all policy and priority decisions in or-
der to counteract what has thus far been fully
destructve policy on the part of the University
acting unilaterally.
ONCE AGAIN, during the present period of
union organizing on the part of clerical w.kers,
Fleming's threats of personnel cutbacks a r e
clearly inappropriate, if not illegal. This pattern
of intimidation of workers must come to an end.
-Sandy Silberstein
Mark Kaplan
(for the Stewards-Council of GEO)

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