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October 23, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-23

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OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, October 23, 1982

The Michigan Daily'

Edited and managed by students at The University of 'Michigan

The new GEO contract:

IM

Reasons to vote

Vol. XCIII, No. 39

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

i

Fools on parade

T HE HOMECOMING parade a bad
use of city funds? Are you kid-
ding? We're talking balloons,
streamers, toilet-paper flowers. We're
talking standing in the cold and wat-
ching clowns go by. We're talking
Maize and Blue.
At least one member .of the City
Council, however, firmly believes the
parade is a bad thing to fund-he's the
only member who voted "no" Monday'
night on a proposal to spend $2,000 on
this year's homecoming parade.
Gerald Jernigan thought giving 'the
University Activities Center big bucks
for the big show was in poor taste,
especially at a time when the city is
scrambling to set up poverty relief
programs.
But those wacky kids at UAC pushed
their proposal through. Without money
for police protection on the parade
route, there'd be no fun at all, they
argued. It's wholesome entertainment
for the-whole community. It's Mom,'
apple pie, Bo, and Lassie rolled into
one.
The council will be getting its
money's worth, though. UAC struck a

bargain with the council-UAC mem-
bers are going to put in some public
service time in exchange for the
dough. They're ging to spend a whop-
ping 20 hours beautifying a city park.
Geez, that's about $75 worth of work at
the minimum wage. Those guys must
be economics majors.
There's really no need to clean up the
park anyway. Why not just have the
parade route extend through the park
itself? What could be more beautiful
than all those balloons stuck up in
trees, those empty beer cans and pop
bottles and candy wrappers strewn
about? They are the natural counter-
part of any parade. Sure, somebody
could clean up after the parade route,
but that would be, well, gross. That's
really messy. Gag us with a spoon.
It's not that we hate parades or
anyone's participation in a parade. It's
just that we hate it when something is
really foolish-like the arguments for
the $2,000, or the frivolous exchange of
work for money, or the City Council's
vote.
We hate to rain on it, UAC, but your
parade antics just don't wash.

By Ann Moyer
and Pat Sullivan
The Graduate Employees Organization
contract ratification process is now under-
way. Contract negotiations were completed in
July between GEO's bargaining team, elec-
ted at its April meeting, and the University's
team of faculty and administrators. Both
sides made important concessions during the
bargaining process, and by July both sides
felt they had the best contract possible. Many
past and present officers of GEO agree; we
present here the main reasons why all mem-
bers of the bargaining unit should vote to
ratify this contract.
Base Wages. Under the proposed contract,
our wages are tied to the average increase in
faculty raises. This year, that amounts to 5.8
percent; assuming a similar increase over
the next two years, this gives us at least a 15
percent increase over the life of the contract.
Since the University has committed itself to
faculty salary increases as its first funding
priority, this assures us the highest wage in-
crease possible.
Given the state of Michigan's difficult
financial situation, this saves us from falling
victim to the wage freezes imposed on the
professional/administrative staff this year,
or negotiating annual increases while state
Wasserman

funding is uncertain.
The new contract also gives us control over
our earnings beyond simple adjustments in
the base wage, by forcing the University to
calculate appointment fractions fairly. This
enables us to work at the department level to
assure that we are paid for the hours we work.
For example, if a teaching assistant is paid
for a .2 fraction-with no benefits-but is
working the hours of a .25 fraction, this part of
the contract allows us to obtain a wage and
benefits increase.
Tuition. Our bargaining team sought a full
tuition waiver. The University refused
initially to discuss tuition at all, since it is not
covered under our present contract. Article
XX sets GSA tuition at no more than two-
thirds the in-state rate, and clearly defines
the wavied amount as non-taxable. The
University's dependence on tuition as a per-
centage of its general fund is unprecedented;
therefore we feel this concession on the
University's part is particularly significant.
Quality of teaching. We will make impor-
tant gains in areas, other than wages and
tuition, especially in class size, curriculum,
and TA training. Departments will be
required to provide paid training for new TAs,
relieving them from the anxiety of haphazard
training at their own-and the students'-ex-

'yes
pense.
Since we insisted that control over class is
critical to the students' education and to our
own workload, departments will be forced to
include GSTAs in all decisions about class
size policy and practice. Further, each depar-
tment must allow TA participation in plan-
ning the courses they are assigned to teach.
Affirmative Action. On this highly con-
tested issue, the Universityhhas agreed to
meet with the union while developing their af-
firmative action plan, and to consult with the
union before implementation. By law, the
University must complete such a program by
December 3, 1982 and implement it by
January 15,1983.
Taken as a whole, the contract embodies
significant gains for GSA s over the next
three years. By voting "yes," you can ensure
a wage hike, a tuition waiver, and increased
control over curriculum and class size. If the
contract is rejected, we all stand to lose on
these points and other gains made since 1975.
We strongly urge you to vote in favor of the
proposed contract.
Moyer, a teaching assistant in Religious
Studies, and Sullivan, a teaching assistant
in the Mathematics Department, are
members of the GEO Steering Commit-
tee.

a

Expulsion effort fails

T HE 21-MEMBER "Arab Group''
at the United Nations announced
yesterday that it would drop its plans
to rupy~ for the expulsion of Israel
norb U.N.. "until another time."
e decision prevents,: for the time
being, actions that could have turned
into a major disaster in the search for
world peace.
The spokesman for the group, Libyan
Ambassador Ali- Traiki, insisted that
Arab nations were looking after their
best interests and heeding appeals
from their friends, but definitely not
bowing to U.S. pressure.
Traiki insisted, in fact, that the U.S.
threat to withdraw from the U.N.
should Israel be expelled actually
backfired, and caused U.N. member
states to become increasingly resen-
tful toward the United States.
But Traiki's claim just didn't ring
true. It may have been that the United
States' response to the Arab Groups'
action was slightly flamboyant, but the
U.S. position was entirely legitimate
and drove the point home-power-
fully.
Perhaps it wasn't surprising that the
effort to have Israel expelled was led

by Lybia-a nation not noted in the
recent past for paying careful atten-
tion to the dictates of reason. The ef-
fort, had it succeeded, would have
crippled the U.N., turning it into a
modern-day League of Nations.
The purpose of the United Nations,
after all, is to bring nations together to
talk about their disagreements.
Throwing one nation out over a
disagreement runs contrary to the
spirit of the U.N. and to the U.N. Char-
ter itself.
There are difficulties which must be
resolved in the Middle East. Israel's
army, as well as the other foreign for-
ces in Lebanon, must be withdrawn
from the country as quickly as
possible. Israel ultimately must
recognize the rights of the
Palestinians. But the way to resolve
those problems is not to sabotage the
one world forum that is devoted to
peace by undermining its member-
ship.
The efforts of the United States to
protect the integrity of the U.N.'s
membership were well-founded and-
more importantly-apparently suc-
cessful.

,,

a

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Watch what you say

about Iowa

t
F

"'HANG lIN THERE"

To the Daily:
As a native of the state of Iowa
and an alumnus of the University
of Iowa in Iowa City, I feel com-
pelled to respond to the cliche-
ridden, boorish, and extremely
small-minded attack on the "land
of corn" offered up by Bob

Wojnowski ("Of corn and Car-
ter . . . football in Iowa," Daily,
Oct. 17).
As a student of Slavic
languages, I must say that I
found Mr. Wojnowski's gross
exaggerations and apocryphal

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Convenience plus .

0 .

To the Daily:
Regarding your editorial "It's
still a bad idea," (Daily, Oct. 15):
So, the Regents "wisely refused"
PIRGIM's "refusable/refun-
dable" funding program the last
time the proposal was made?
Funny, how the Regents suddenly
seem to be so wise on matters
concerning the public interest
when they match your own.
Naturally, the Regents, as
always, in making that decision,
voted with the best interests of
students in mind-as did those,
including yourselves, who have
so vocally challenged PIRGIM's
proposal.
I cannot speak for PIRGIM, but
as a student who has worked in-
timately with the organization, I
feel that you have not only

to the project work you so highly
praise.
It is not only a matter of
PIRGIM's convenience, but the
convenience of students who are
not pleased with solicitation
(especially at CRISP), and want
to support an efficacious
organization.
Your allegation that the
refusable/refundable is a
"scam" is both an exaggerated
criticism of an alternative that is
highly reasonable and of an
organization you simultaneously
praise for its service to the pubic
interest.
Admitteddy, the
refusable/refundable is an im-
perfect system-for the indif-
ferent-but so is the current
system and any other conceivab-
le system. All have their advan-
f-an Thorn >> eim f _. n

reporting to be about as
distasteful as a Polish joke. Come
now, Mr. Wojnowski. If you are
going to be so daringly unorginal
as to classify Iowas as "folks
wearing overalls and floppy
straw hats," at least be semi-
factual in attempting this
humorless tack. I would like to of-
fer corrections to just a few of
your more eeregarions
misstatements:
" If you did indeed see Iowa's
"star attraction" (its corn crop)
still standing in. the fields, I
believe the correct agricultural
term for that condition is "unhar-
vested"-not "dead," as you
suggest.
" Iowa City does have an air-
port located in the southwest cor-
ner of the city. During my stay in
Iowa City, I personally found the
15 minute drive to Cedar Rapids
to catch a commercial flight to
New York much more convenient
than the 45 minute trip to Detroit
Metro. Come to think of it, I can't
recall the last time that I saw a
United DC-10 jetliner touch down
in the metropolis of Ann Arbor.
" There are no grain elevators
in Iowa City proper. The Univer-
sity of Iowa campus is in the cen-
ter of the city, spread along the
banks of the Iowa River. As to the

tall buildings would most likely
choose one of these two vantage
points from which to enjoy the
most unobstructed view of the
city.
The official school colors of
the University of Iowa are black
and gold, not "moldy orange."
Some fans prefer to call that
shade "maize," but a manof
your sensitivity must surely be
aware of the rural connotations
which that word might dredge up.
In short, Mr. Wojnowski, I
suggest that your preconceived
notions of your virgin trip to the
"land of corn" distorted your
vision just a bit, not to mention
your reporting. Culture shock is a
very real phenomenon which af-
fects some international
travelers, but I hardly think that
it applies to sports writers "jet-
ting" from one midwestern
university to another. Please
spare us your sophisticated slan-
der.
As to the "large woman
wearing overalls and a CAT
cap''-you must have brought
her in on the plane with you from
Michigan. Any eastern Iowan
worth her salt wpars John Deere
or IH caps.
-Peggy Mills
B.A., M.A. _

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