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August 08, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-08-08

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Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, August 8, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
Detroit casts the die
THE DETROIT SCHOOL system boxing match is over
for the moment. Ringside Referee Mayor Coleman
Young happily cals it a draw, raising the arms of the
Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) and the Detroit
School Board. DFT manager Mary Ellen Riordan glee-
fully waves her champion's hard-sought teacher con-
tract; and the Board's manager Aubrey McCutcheon
heaves a sigh of relief after his boxer had successfully
fended off two years of repeated pay hike jabs until
Naturally, Detroit should be jubilant over the com-
promise contract which Board and DFT negotiators hag-
gled over all summer, and the Federation finally rati-
fied Monday: an 8 per cent pay hike for teachers; class
sizes reduced; a new teacher accountability proposal;
and the controversial teacher residency requirements
placed under binding arbitration.
But the prizefighters missed one BIG catch which
may send them back into the ring.
ALL HINGED ON Tuesday's millage vote. It was a fore-
gone conclusion to many Detroit leaders that voters
would approve it. and the school board acted accordingly.
Carelessly slotting $16.5 million of themillage's expected
$28.5 million revenue for the contract's class size pro-
vision and other non-contract issues close to teachers'
hearts, the Board risked too much.
Chief School Board negotiator McCutcheon, Union
President Riordan and Mayor unfortunately misjudged
voters intentions, for the millage proposal-the seventh
in two years-was handily defeated 97,044 to 71,637.
Ultimately, the Detroit School Board must renege on
class size reduction and other issues. Justifiably, the
teachers will protest any cutbacks as the Board uses
their famous "don't look at us; we don't control the
purse strings" tactics to conceal the reckless gamble.
The familiar pattern could repeat itself: the teach-
ers will strike before being bogged down by McCutcheon's
bludgeoning. More importantly, students will suffer from
academic neglect.
TEACHERS, Board members, and other Detroit citizens
must realize what was at stake in Tuesday's elec-
tion. If the schools close this fall, the school board's rash
actions and the "uncooperative" electorate are to blame.
Meanwhile, the School Board had better come up with
other alternatives to the KO'd millage-and fast.
Stop buying the war
THIS WEEK, THE House of Representatives faces a
- crucial vote on the issue of military aid to Thieu's
regime in South Vietnam.
Two Congressmen, John Flynt (D.-Ga.) and Robert
Giaimo .(D.-Conn.) have proposed an amendment to a
defense appropriations bill which would place a $750
million ceiling for continued military aid to South Viet-
nam. This would limit military aid to the Saigon regime
to present levels, and is supported by the Indochina
Peace Campaign. We too, strongly urge Congress to sup-
port the Flynt-Giaimo Amendment.
It is encouraging that our Republican incumbent in
Congress, Marvin Esch, has endorsed the amendment.
Esch said recently, "first, we have moved from wartime
to peacetime and the budget should reflect that change
with increasing amounts of money being spent at home.
Second, we have a goal of disengagement and this goal
will be realized not by continuing to supply the weapons
of war, but by building programs for peace."
We approve of the forthright position that Esch has
finally taken on this issue and urge him to continue
speaking out against our present pursuit of continued
war until all military aid has ended.
THIEU HAS CONSISTENTLY demonstrated that his
government is unworthy of one cent of our aid. In

violation of the Peace Agreement signed in early 1973,
Thieu has detained hundreds of thousands of political
prisoners under conditions that have been described
as "an eternity of mistreatment and torture." Thieu has
refused to permit elections as the Peace Treaty calls for,
which would allow the participation of the Provisional
Revolutionary Government. Thieu has censored the
press; banned labor strikes and peace demonstrations;
and has ordered his police, "If a stranger enters your
village, shoot him in the head."
The Flynt-Giaimo amendment is an important step
in ending this country's tragic association with President

Hard luck, hard words

HARD OUT OF WORK, on any trash-strewn
pavement anywhere in America, male con-
versation takes a sexist turn.
"In a few weeks," remarked Sid, shooting the
s t from a set if dirty, concrete steps, "I'm
going to find a woman and strangle her."
"You won't rape her first?" I asked.
My protege made an inarticulate noise at a
girl with fine brown legs. Without turning her
head or quickening her pace, she passed us by.
"First I'll strangle one," Sid continued. Then
maybe I'll rape one."
"You're angry?" Quickly I cleared my throat
of phlegm and spat to the curb.
"I don't have any money and I'm just going
crazy for lack of women, that's all." From the
bar across the street another woman issued into
the street. "There's too many pretty girls in
this town," he complained, following her with
his eyes until she disappeared around the corner.
"You know, you'll go crazy if you don't get one.
That bitch, for example, I could strangle her,
no kidding. When was the last time you had
a woman?"
I CLEARED my throat of phlegm and spat to
the curb. "You start strangling women you'll
get in trouble with the police."
"Police won't do nothing while I'm just sitting
on these steps," Sid mused. "If they come around
and ask me, I'll tell 'em, and then I'll tell
'em my hard luck story. Lost my job, can't find
a new one, don't even have the money to hustle in,
a bar. They'll not only let me go, they'll feel
sorry for me."
"Maybe it'd be easier to find work if you
went back where you came from," I suggested,
clearing my throat of phlegm and spitting to
the curb.
"I can't go back home," Sid replied. "I'm
twenty-one and it's way past time to be on
my own. Way past time. It's common sense,
it's only natural and I can't even get out of
the Handy Andy labor pool.
THERE ARE different ways of explaining the
"But are you born again, Fred?" asked Sue,
a dark-haired, madonna-like figure standing by
the pork and beans with a bowl in one hand and
a ladle in the other. Fred, an elderly cripple,
was in the kitchen of the New Light Mission
in Boston, Massachusetts, a house of Jesus Peo-
ple which takes indigents off the street for a
maximum of three nights - unless they give
themselves to Jesus, in which case they can
stay longer. Gathered around the food, which
required a prayer before the eating, were a doz-
en expectant, mostly silent and mostly young
"No, I'm not born again," answered Fred with
the stripped-down, ready-to-draw gospel of many
a night spent in mission, "but I do know the
Lord Jesus Christ. I know how he hung on the
Cross and died for our Sins, and I know how he
returned from the Dead and rose into Heaven.
Why, many scrapes I been in I owed my life to
Jesus ..."
"Have you ever really blown your top?" asked
Paul in the corner under his breath, bouncing

one leg on top of the other. "I was talkng to
my mum on the phone last night and it didn't gg
too well. I could feel myself losing control."
"MAYBE A LOT of your trouble stems from
her in the first place," I ventured, "so it's hard
to be natural with her."
-Paul, a thin,'blond man wJio said he's been
in and out of a number of mental institutions
in New York State, including Bellevue, ponder-
ed this for a moment. "That may be so," he
concluded, "but I have to keep control of my-
self, because if I don't they'll send me back."
"Back to where?" challenged someone from
the far end of the table, drawing everyone's
"Paul's a graduate of some of our finest looney
bins," said someone helpfully.
"Everybody here's messed up one way or
another," sympathized another.
I spoke. "You know, you shouldn't necessarily
blame yourselves for everything that happens
to you."
"Who should you blame then?" asked Myron, a
soft-spoken young saint with, soulful brown eyes
and long, brown hair.
"CAPITALISM," I answered. "It creates the
conditions which keep people permanently out
of work, it drives them crazy and then it shuts
0-m tin in institutions."
"But it sure is good for the affluent people,"
'-""rnd Sid.
"That's all it is," I continued, "a " system
for extracting profit from one set of people in
or--r to ei-e it to another."
Myron continued to look at me with his big
eyes and Old Fred, not by way of argument
bt very much by way of answer, began to tell
a story.
"It all started out with Adam," he began, ex-
postulating with the plastic corncob pipe which
he held, unlit, in his hand, "and it's been bad
ever since. They. was in the Garden and things
was easy, they was happy, the only thing was
God told 'em they couldn't eat the fruit of a cer-
tain tree. But Eve listened to the Serpent, she
didn't know who he was," Fred waved his pipe
in the air and shook his head, "and she picked
the apple. Then she give it to Adam, he didn't
know God was looking, and he ate it too. They
disobeyed the Lord direct, and when he found
out he threw 'em out of the Garden. Made their
life hard ..."
"AND I THINK it's time for a prayer so we
can eat," interceded Myron.
Sue served the old man first. His body was
jointed as if it had been stuck on a fractured,
jabberwocked set of splints, and when he stepped
forward for the bowl of beans which she was
holding out for him his head boggled forward,
his left leg and torso scissored and his arm swung
out in a hoe-down crook. He had a face from the
old Massachusetts Bay Colony, a Puritan face
molded to look to heaven: fine, aquiline nose and
high forehead, across which fell greasy lanks of
neatly parted hair. But his small, tight mouth and
chin were creased and shrivelled into ruin; and
behind a pair of thick welfare-issue glasses his
eyes swam myopically, as if he were blind.

Letters to the Daily

clerical concern
To The Editor:
SIX MONTHS ago the cleri-
cals at the U. of M. began to
discuss organizing. At that time
I was shocked at the idea. Try-
ing to be open minded, I at-
tended several meetings of
CCFA-UAW to get the pros and
cons of unionization. Salary
seemed to be the biggest issue
and I learned that many cleri-
cals do have legitimate gripes.
I couldn't imagine supporting a
family on $5,000 a year. How-
ever, as the wife of an Engineer
making an adequate salary my
own financial situation was sa-
tisfactory. Also, having worked
at the University for six years
I am at the top of the C4 sal-
ary range, a position which, due.
to rapid turn over, few secre-
taries attain. I felt then, and
still do, that my wages are in
line with my job duties. Con-
sequently, I looked at unioniza-
tion objectively. I would help
others but what could it d for
During the past few months

my views have changed drasti-
cally Perhaps it has been due
in part to a change in my own
attitude, but it has also been
caused by an increasingly
istrained relationship between
the head of my department and
some clericals. I have peace-
fully co-existed on this staff for
six years because of my abil-
ity not to cross certain people
in authoritative positions. How-
ever, due to marked favoritism
to some staff members a n d
grossly inefficient departmental
procedures I eventually went
with other secretaries to Uni-
versity officials with our griev-
THAT WAS two months ago
and since then some Depart-
mental procedures have improv-
ed but working relations have
steadily declined. I have f or
some time been unhappy with
the lack of challenge and re-
sponsibility in my job, and al-
though I desired reclassification,
it was the increasing low office
morale that moved me to ac-
I HAVE nothing against the

University for setting up maxi-
mum salary rates for classifica-
tions, but for someone like my-
self who wants to advance and
take on more responsibilities, it
is discouraging to be stuck in a
dead-end position.
Now as an election for union-
ization of clericals draws near
I think back over the events of
the last few months and the
smug "It doesn't affect me at-
titude" I had in the beginning.
I firmly feel that organizing will
help all clericals regardless of
their present financial situation.
In this day of awakening wo-
men's rights a secretary needs
to be recognized as a person,
rather than just an automation
who brings morning coffee to
the boss.
-Mary Fahrner
July 24
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to
anyone who wishes to submit
articles. Generally speaking,
all articles should be less
than 1,000 words.

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