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November 08, 1983 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-08

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

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, November 8, 1983

The Michigan Daily

'Yes'

on GEO contract a step

4

ahead

By Abraham Ehrlich
The Graduate Employee's
Organization (GEO) and the University
recently concluded negotiations toward
a new contract. The new agreement
culminates two years of effort
providing substantial gains over the
previous contract.
The agreement would give a
graduate teaching assistant (TA) or
staff assistant (SA) a pay hike of 5.1
percent and an increase in tuition
payments credits (up to 67 percent of
in-state tuition) for the coming year. It
provides for required training sessions
to be included in wage calculations
(called a fraction, or the portion of
hours in a full 40-hour week). The ten-
tative pact also protects TAs from un-
fair disciplinary action and commits
the University administration to
promoting the development of class
size policies in order to maintain the
quality of education at the University
and to protect TAs from ever-
increasing workloads.
MORE THAN just one of the best con-
tracts any Michigan Federation of
Teachers (MFT) local has negotiated
this year, this contract is a significant
milestone in the evolution of a stable
and effective union. After a seven-year
hiatus resulting from the University's
unsuccessful legal challenge of GEO's

right to exist, the union has come
through a period characterized by in-
ternal disorganization and lack of con-
trol of membership meetings resulting
in intensely boring ideological
discussions.
But GEO has survived that period
admirably and developed into an
organization able to come back to its
membership with a good contract - a
contract worth ratifying.
The new agreement resulted from
pressure placed on the administration
on several fronts, the first being GEO's
rank-and-file rejection of last year's
tentative contract.
THAT AGREEMENT was unaccep-
table because it contained only a
nebulous statement regarding wage in-
creases and left TAs.open to losing any
wage gain to a tuition increase. The
contract would have lasted three
years.
A mediocre agreement was to be ex-
pected, however; the bargaining team
was operating in a vacuum without
membership support. In the wake of
that rejection of a new bargaining team
was organized and it was clear that
there was an informed and concerned
block of teaching assistants backing the
new negotiations.
Representatives from faculty
organizations such as the Graduate
Student Assistant Advisory Committee
also gave GEO support, arguing for a
livable economic package in order to

Because one of GEO's most impor-
tant functions is to challenge violations
of the contract, once the new contract is
ratified, the union will be able to attend
to these discrepancies. It has been our
experience that union presence in a
department is usually enough to affect
a solution to those problems. From that
standpoint, GEO serves as a way for
TAs to learn of their contractual rights;
and it serves as a channel for complain-
ts against the University.
With the agreement reached between
the University and the union, the
negotiation process is at a critical
stage.tBallots are now distributed and
are to be returned this week.
Ratification reiuires the approval of A
majority of the total membership - not
just the majority of voting members.
TAs are strongly encouraged to return
their ballots, as a large turnout is
essential for acceptance of the con-
tract.
The future of GEO, let alone its effec-
tiveness, depends on continued mem-
bership interest and support.
Ehrlich is the chief negotiator for
GEO. Questions regarding the
balloting may be directed to Gene
Goldenfeld at 769-6534 or 763-0439.
Ballots may be dropped off in the
GEO drop box in the LSA building
or mailed to GEO, 802 Monroe.

attract more of the graduate students
for which other top-flight universities
compete. The prestigious Dunn Com-
mission, constituted by the University
administration itself, went even fur-
ther, recommending a full tuition
waiver for TAs.

THE TENTATIVE contract GEO
negotiators are bringing before the
membership also provides a basis for
pursuing economic issues. There are
wide disparities between departments
in both level and duration of TA fun-
ding. There may be up to a $900 dif-

ference per term in pay for similar
work in different departments. Some;
departments give appointments far
enough in advance of the fall term to
make their TAs eligible for health in-
surance over the summer, while others
do not.

- - ------ -----

LaBan

&he fI1tciga n 4 ah1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIV-No. 54 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Preventing a real day after

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4 O SAY that television is a powerful
s and effective medium isn't
anything very startling. But the
question of just how powerful
television can be is only beginning to
be answered by the controversy and
reaction to a television movie that
doesn't air until Nov. 20. It's a credit to
the urgency of the topic that the show
has raised so much debate and an-
ticipation prior to its run.
That program is ABC's "The Day Af-
ter," a movie exploring the effects of a
nuclear war on people in Lawrence,
Kansas. Just about everyone who has
an opinion on either the nuclear arms
race, television programming, or a
myriad of related topics has been
talking about "The Day After" for
months. With all the publicity surroun-
ding the film, many experts are
predicting an audience that could
challenge the final episode of
"M*A*S*H" for the largest single
television audience ever.
Not everyone is so overjoyed by the
movie. William F. Buckley, publisher
of the conservative National Review,
has been ranting about the political
nature of the film. Though the
producers of the movie say it doesn't
take a stand as to who started the war,
Buckley argued in a recent column
that it does when a radio report in the
film says the Soviets responded to
American deployment of the Pershing
II missiles and that a minor border in-
cident in Germany may have triggered
the war.
But Buckley appears to be more up-
set by the unmistakeable anti-nuclear

war statement the film makes. "The
Day After" ends with the following
statement: "It is hoped that the
images of this film will inspire the
nations of this earth, their peoples and
leaders, to find the means to avert the
fateful day." And he's upset because
anti-nuclear arms groups are
preparing to capitalize on the film and
television's huge market to push for
discussion of the nuclear arms race.
And why not?
This is television used as it can most
constructively be used. All over the
nation groups are organizing forums
and meetings to discuss nuclear war
and "The Day After." ABC will be
airing a one hour discussion panel led
by Ted Koppel after the film. Groups
like Physicians for Social Respon-
sibility are planning forums for people
to talk about their fears and reactions
to the movie. At the University,
Students for a Sane Nuclear Policy
(SANE) also is arranging a forum.
All this to encourage a healthy, con-
structive, and necessary dialogue
about the most serious threat to our
survival - nuclear war.
Families are being encouraged to
watch the movie together and talk
about it afterward. ABC is also
distributing 500,000 8-page viewer
guides to schools around the country
an effort to further the constructive
dialogue that will ensue after "The
Day After."
Such should be the preparation for
this most important television
program.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Protest a trocities instead of m issies

4

To the Daily:
I read with interest and ap-
proval Bert Hornback's denun-
ciation of the emphasis placed on
football games at the expense of
more relevant issues,
("European protest and
American football," Daily, Oc-
tober 28). I too have frequently
despaired of student indifference
toward national and world af-
fairs. During these moments it
occurs to me that perhaps there
is less support or opposition to a
certain event than I had an-
ticipated.
It strikes me as unusual, then,
that a man of Prof. Hornback's
obvious intelligence should
overlook this possibility. Mr.
Hornback is apparently
assuming a great deal of support
for the freeze and anti-
Euromissile movements.
This support is evidently
derived not only from that
element of the populace which
has provided blind, knee-jerk op-
position to every U.S. policy since
the late 1960s, but also from the
rest of the citizenry of the country
.n ~7,

nback so emphatically indicates,
there is even less opposition to
deployment. Even in Ann Arbor
(dare I publicize this heresy?)
there is little real discord, as
manifested in rally turnouts of
less than 3 percent, maximum, of
the student body.
Yet, to conclude, I must con-
cur with the professor's condem-
nation of student apathy. Instead
of attending football games
students should be protesting
such atrocities as the slaughter of
BLOOM COUNTY

over 100 elderly and children by
the Red Army inAfghanistan.
Rather than celebrating their
own good fortunes each and
every weekend students should
be holding vigils for the over 200
, Marines killed by terrorists in
Beirut or censuring the loss of

Unsigned editorials appearing on the left
side of this page represent a majority opinion
of the Daily's Editorial Board.
by Berke Breathed

hope and freedom in Poland. In-
deed, I do not even see Prof. Hor-
nback demonstrating against or
writing about these horrors.
Perhaps he is too busy watching
Monday Night Football.
-Derek Scissors
October 28

4

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