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September 10, 1981 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 10, 1981-Page 15
Hospital construction continues amidst dissent

(Continued from Page 7)
*ervironment for its students."
DALSTON REFERRED TO THE
'CHPC-SEM statement as "a convic-
tion that has been held by many, but
I'm confident that it doesn't apply to
us."
'Dalston maintains that in order to
continue producing high-quality health
professionals, the University must keep
.upI' with expensive, modern,
technologies in its new facility.
-"Our costs are higher than most
other hospitals in the state of Michigan
*and it's because of very expensive
"t'aching programs," Dalston said. "We
strive continuously to contain our costs,
but this is a quality university."
MEDICAL SCHOOL DEAN John
Gronvall said he agreed with Dalston's
assessment of the new hospital's
priorities. "The only reason that the
University has a hospital and runs one
is that the University has teaching
programs," Gronvall said.
Asked about an agreement at the
Regents meeting that ambulatory care.
would be the top priority, Gronvall said,
"I don't think that's an accurate
statement; it may be it's been taken out
of context. Its oversimplistic to say
(between research, teaching, and am-
bulatory care) that one is higher than
the other.'' But, he added, "if there is a
conflict between patient care and a
teaching program, then the patient
care has to come first."
GEO vs. L

In the 1979 CHPC-SEM position
statement, planners projected high
hospital care costs. The statement
reads, "Even based on the hopes for
very high bed occupancy rate, the
average cost per patient day at the
University Hospital will increase from
the present figure of $371 to $1,069 in
1990 dollars."
THE STATEMENT continues, "The
University and the state stand in real
danger of having to support a very ex-
pensive half-empty facility, a veritable
white elephant."
But Dalton maintains that the plan-
ning process has been smooth and
productive. "Our planning in conjun-
ction with CHPC-SEM and the
Michigan Department of Public Health
has resulted in a greater increase in
tertiary care. That's the spearhead of
what we're all about."
As medical center planners begin
preparing for the new Hospital complex
with the demolition of North Outpatient
Building and the possible razing of
Main Hospital, public health workers
have raised serious concerns over
safety hazards.
ACCORDING TO A former planning
official at CHPC-SEM, unless
University planners follow strict
guidelines for the demolition of
buildings and subsequent disposal of
asbestos insulation materials, en-
vironmental contamination and em-
ployee good health will be in jeopardy.

"During the demolition of the
buildings, there will be a substantial
risk to both employees and the
surrounding community from friable
asbestos insulation materials, used in
the heating and cooling systems being
demolished. Studies have demon-
strated that people need not be directly
exposed to asbestos materials before
suffering the adverse health effects of
exposure," the official wrote.
"That's a screwy concern," respon-
ded University Hospital planner Mar-
sha Bremer. "It's off the wall. It's from
out in left field," she said, adding that
although she feels demolition of the
Main Hospital Building (where most of
the asbestos is) is inevitable, it's still
"many, many years into the future."
BREMER MAINTAINS that all
precautions will be taken during the
demolition process, adding that a
stipulation will probably be included
with the demolition contract.
In contrast, Andrew Parker, a plant
engineer at University Hospital,
debunked the demolition precautions on
North Outpatient Building by saying,
"They'll just swing a big ball ... the
asbestos will probably fall into a heap
and then they'll just cart it away."
Recent literature describes asbestos
as a .fluffy, fibrous material produced
from rock and well known for its ability
to resist heat and acids.
OF THE ALMOST 3000 asbestos
products manufactured today, ap-

proximately two-thirds are used for
construction-including insulation,
cement production, floor tiling, roofing
and plastics.
During the construction boom of the
1930s and 1940s, asbestos was com-
monly used in building because of its
reputation as in inexpensive, sturdy,
fire-resistant heat insulator.
In 1955, a definitive link between
asbestos and asbestosis (a disease in
which the lungs are irritated by inhaled
asbestos dust) was established.
ASBESTOS EXPOSURE has also
been linked to three other diseases:
cancer of the respiratory system,
"asbestos corns" (small skin lesions
resembling blisters), and
mesothelioma-a rare cancer of the
chest and abdominal lining which is
usually fatal within one year of the first
symptoms.
Douglas Sarbach, director of plan-
ning, research, and development for
University Hospital, said that normal
precautions will be taken and will be
written into the specifications involving
demolition of the North Outpatient
Building, also built with asbestos
materials.
ACCORDING TO a former CH-
PC-SEM health planner, it will be "the
most expensive hospital per patient day
of any non-profit institution."
"I'm surprised the legislature voted
that kind of money ($173 million), given

the economic situation of this state," a
government health planner said.
According to University Regent
Thomas Roach, student fees will serve
as collateral for University Hospital
revenue bonds which, along with
private donations, will cover the
remaining $110 million balance of the
$285 million complex.
MEANWHILE, LESS than a week af-
ter announcing solid credit ratings on a
proposed state building bond issue last
July, Governor Milliken's ad-
ministration postponed the transaction
because of poor market conditions af-
fecting the $121 million sale of State
Building Authority revenue bonds. The
bonds are designed to fund construction
of college, prison, and psychiatric
facilities.
According to the federal health plan-
ning official, many health planners are
pessimistic about the timing of such a
large expenditure based on the
allegation that such an extensive health
care complex is necessary.
"I don't think that what they're (the
University) building is needed," said
the official, "and it is being done for
prestige purposes."
THE OFFICIAL pointed out that the
University's contention that a new
facility is needed because it is the

predominant referral center for the
state and also a major teaching
hospital, is subject to criticism.
"It is not true that the University
Hospital is the predominant referral
center for the state," said the official.
"The University could do a lot more in
terms of teaching their students in
already existing facilities," the official
added.
Lamb responded to CHPC-SEM's
role in reviewing the revised project,
saying, "I think the committee will give
them (the University) a fair hearing
and make a fair judgment. I guess
about 80 percent of the committee is
about the same (as in the initial 1979
application)."
ACCORDING TO Lamb, "anyone
that has been through the facilities has
no questions that the work has to be
done," and that the funding will be used
for a variety of hospital projects.
According to the federal planning of-
ficial, many health care professionals
are skeptical about the necessity of
such a large-scale facility-yet mosf
feel "there is no point in fighting it
anymore."
"I think people are reluctant to spear
(out against the new facility) because
they don't see the point in doing it-but
that doesn't mean they've changed
their minds."

[niversity: The struggle goes on

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(Continued from Page 12)
could be deducted from pay checks but
the University refused to continue
collecting," said Moran. In a 1976
Michigan Daily article Moran ex-
plained, "If they put off long enough,
agency shop fees won't be collected
-which are necessary to finance the
bargaining process."
ANOTHER PROBLEM is that, unlike
traditional labor unions, GEO's mem-
bership and leadership change constan-
tly with the waves of graduate students
entering and leaving Ann Arbor. This
makes it difficult to predict whether
new member will continue the fights.
"Most students are interested in
~'oing to school now," said University
Attorney,"William Lemmer. "There is a
lot of turnover. A group that was in-
0terested in this years ago may have
Hi :een supplanted by a group who isn't,"
asaid.
A ~ Union members say they feel they
:hove lost a lot of strength during the in-
m between court debates, and they
harge that the University has used at-
trition and attempts to bury student ac-
tivism in the judicial system as
strategies.
"THE YEARS DRAGGING on have
weakened our case," said Mark Pit-
tenger, a TA in the department of
American Studies. He said fears GEO is
being misrepresented as "a vehicle for
a court case."
The dialogue between the adver-
saries has grown stronger over the
years, as they volley with charges of
unfair labor practices and what one
party calls "slimy maneuvers;" but
although the' basic points of
disagreement have been obscured, they,
' have changed little in six years.
- "When you get into court, the real
issues dissolve," said Moran. "We lost
all the grievances. The working of the
.,-anguage wasn't right enough. The
management gets the benefit of the
doubt in such cases," he claimed.
THE SETTLEMENT now hinges on
the MERC's arbitration decision'
determining whether TAs are Univer-
sity employees under the Public Em-
ployment Relations Act.
"That's what the whole thing would
down to. We as employees had no
rights. In November we said we had a
contract and were going to take it to
ratification, and the University said,

'No, this is a frivolous Suit because
these are not employees, they have no
right to unionize'," Moran said.-
During the 1977 negotiations, Univer-
sity attorney Robert Vercruysse
argued the administration's stance by
comparing the University to schools.
"At Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Stanford,
MIT, and our other peer institutions,
graduate student assistants are by law
not considered employees," he said.
VERCRUYSSE CITED the Leland
vs. Stanford case of 1974 as legal
precedent that GSAs are not em-
ployees. In that case, graduate student
staff and research assistants were
declared to be students, not employees.
Although TAs carry from I/ to 1/2 the
teaching load and take on many
responsibilities of faculty, the ad-
ministration challenges the TA's right
to bargain collectively, and the asser-
tion that GEO members are
professional workers whose interests
are separate from those of the Univer-
sity. The University has steadfastly
held to the principle that all issues
classified as "academic" by the ad-
ministration are not labor contract
material, and therefore are not
negotiable.
The union's concerns all fall into that
category: affirmative action recruit-
ment, non-discrimination in hiring,
tuition, a joint voice in areas like class
size, workload, salaries, TA training,
and negotiating curriculum.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION was the
major dividing point in the second con-
tract-an issue the administration
adamantly resisted and classified as
"outside the union because we're
talking about potential employees not
actual employees." The matter was
fought over in the 1975 strike-as well,
resulting in an agreement that the
University would establish certain
"goals and timetables" to guide depar-
tments in hiring women and other
minorities. There is currently no
University-wide special recruitment
policy in awarding TA fellowships to
minorities.
GEO accused the University of not
fully complying with a Memorandum of
Understanding which outlined a com-
prehensive hiring program. That
memorandum was appended to the first
contract, but GEO contends it had no.
exniration date and therefore was still

applicable to the second con-
tract. GEO claimed the University
reneged on its promise and union mem-
bers said they wanted to strengthen the
affirmative action commitment
THE STATUS OF "TA, RA puts you
into the community with the

TAs say they hope an equilibrium will
be established within the University
that will pose a new relationship among
the administration, GSAs, and faculty:
one of shared authority, which
hopefully will lead to a higher degree of
professionalism.

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llective bargaining, in higher
ation is relatively new, and, GEO
bers claim the University is not,
ortable with the thought of sud-
being thrust into the public arena,
e the principles and concepts of BUY TWO GET ONE
ully and critically examined.I'
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omic ealities,s okepersons snayw Located at: 414 W ILL AM CORNER OF THOMPSON, 2 BLKS. W. OF STATE ST.
lege students of the late 70s are less
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