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March 14, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-14

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, March 14, 1984

The Michigan Dail

GE

By Gene Goldenfeld
As has been well publicized, this term
the Graduate Employees Organization
(GEO) is enforcing the "Agency Shop"
provision of its contract with the
University contained in Article V. That
means that the approximately 1,700
members of the bargaining unit will be
paying either union dues or a represen-
tation-service fee as a condition of em-
ployment. Most GSTA/SAs paid either
through payroll deduction or directly to
GEO. The rest have recently received
official letters demanding payment, at
the risk of being, fired. While many
members are thanking us for finally
taking this step, our decision has drawn
the expected objections from a
minority, almost entirely among those
who formerly neither paid nor joined.
Why is GEO enforcing this provision
now? For collective reasons. With a
new contract now in place, the Univer-
sity will take it more seriously if we
show our willingness to enforce its
provisions. As long as GEO has a lax
attitude about membership and dues-
paying requirements, the ad-
ministration exhibits a similar attitude
about upholding their end of the

o provides
deal-as many overworked, underpaid Our predecessors wer
GSTA/SAs know well. Even the recognize this situationa
obligatory letter about GEO sent by when the administration a
Staff Relations to each new TA/SA each ted against GSTA/SA sa
academic year has been so confusingly waivers, and the like.
worded that it ends up in misunder- militancy and dedication
standings, if not the trash can. It is our and RAs came GEO and
belief that the situation needs changing, "Good things" that all
and our experience shows that to the today. Along the w
extent we do change it, the ad-
ministration will take GEO seriously.

collective benefits

re forced to
a decade ago
arbitrarily ac-
daries, tuition
Out of the
of TAs, SAs,
d most of the
three have
'ay the ad-

y4

the new Contract GEO won that too, ef-
fective next September. Even in the
current tuition waiver crisis, just
having a collective organization in
place demanding renegotiation of
salaries and tuition has already forced
the University to make the token con-
cession of short-term loans. A larger,
more active, and militant membership

OFTEN WE ARE ASKED: why
should I join GEO, what has it done for
me? Wouldn't we have eventually
received the various salary, tuition,
and medical benefits anyway? GEO is
a collective of all graduate student
teaching assistants, graders, academic
counselors, and library staff assistants
for dealing with issues affecting us in
common as paid employees. While
most grad students like to think of
themselves as becoming professionals,
in fact they carry a large part of the
employee workload of the University.
And like any other employer, the
University tries to get the most out of
its employees for the least amount of
money. For example, it was reported
last year that TAs carry nearly half of
the total teaching load for about 2 per-
cent of teaching expenditures.

'Out of the militancy and dedication of TAs,
SAs, and RAs came GEO and most of the
''good things" that all three have today.
Along the way the administration has op-
posed GSAs at every step.'

will be answered more promptly. The
bottom line financially is that it is
neither democratic nor just that over
half the GSTA/SAs foot the collective
effort for the rest.
WITH A LARGER and more active
organization GEO's operating expenses
have and will increase a bit, but most of
the dues collected go to our parent
organizations, the Michigan and
American Federations of Teachers
(MFT/AFT). Whatever one thinks of
their policies or dues structures, the
fact is that affiliation brings us access
to their resources and the greater clout
of labor solidarity in Ann Arbor, Lan-
sing, and Washington. During the
years 1976 to 1981 when the University
dragged us through court, the MFT ef-
fectively funded GEO by providing a
free labor lawyer and technical
assistance, also waiving our dues owed
to them. We now, of course, have to pay
those dues, but even so, with a much
larger dues-paying base we hopefully
might be able to cut each member's
obligation a little without undermining
our strike fund.
If all this comes as a surprise to some
graduate students-as recent letters
and articles in the Daily indicate-we
who are active in GEO have to admit
being a little puzzled. We have stuffed

mail boxes, posted meeting notices,
sent out mailings to all bargaining unit
members, and had articles in The
Daily, the Ann Arbor News, and
the University Record. Certainly GEO's
short-handed cadre could have been
more effective here or there, but is that
really why we haven't heard from
many GSTA/SAs?
GEO needs contribution from all
GSTA/sas. Financially, we hope that.
everyone will send a check and payroll
deduction form, the latter so that we
don't have all this hassle and expense in'
future terms. Organizationally, we
hope that members will come to mem-,',
bership meetings and call the office to
volunteer a little time, perhaps to
distribute flyers or arrange a depar-
tment meeting. Politically, we hope
bargaining unit members will join in
giving GEO a strong collective will, one
which can bargain effectively with thee;
University administration for
GSTA/SA needs, one which can then
make sure our agreements are adhered

ministration has opposed GSAs at
every step. It wanted us legally
classified as students so it would not
have to give us staff medical benefits,
negotiated salaries, and other
provisions. After several years of court
hearings GEO won. The University has
always claimed that tuition is a student
matter and is thus non-negotiable. In

could get this and many more problems
solved quickly.
Is GEO enforcing "Agency Shop" for
the money? Definitely not. The
Union's operating expenses have not
been large and there have not been any
paid employees, although we are now
hiring someone to staff the office 10 to
20 hours a week. Hopefully phone calls

to.

...a '.

Goldenfeld is a member of the
GEO Steering Committee and is a
graduate student in psychology and
sociology.

blt Hfitarrigan 41) all
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIV-No. 129 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

OF COURSE, ITS UP
HTO THE CHILD WHETHER
HE OR1 SHE ACTUALLY PRAYS...
ft1 ) ~rfi1

T IS THE policy
that an individu
t t an_ e--reated in
a tadRional facto
sidered irrelevan
academic abilitiesc
such as race, sex, r
origin.
To most stude
statement might se
released by the Uni
activists who have
months to get Pr
define this officialI
won victory. And a
that is far from com
The presidential
does not have the s
change in the Uni
would.
A by-law change
approval of the Un
Regents. Unfortun
fail to ack
discrimination aga
curs here at the Uni
It is also distu
President Shapiro
discrimination poli
one has presented a
me that there's ay
with discrimination
Apparently Shap
the claims of ga
harassment or los
their sexuality.
Mendelsohn's cla
burned a poster o
advertised a lesb
enough to convinc
campus discrimin
people. Or is it tha
gay jokes which o
have cited are not e
Shapiro. Obvious
regents are not co
face discriminati
Shapiro would have
of approval on this p
While it is laudab
a presidential policy
regents still do no

Partial policy
of the (University) pain gays experience on campus. This
ual's sexual orien- is probably because large government
the same manner institutions such as the military still
rs which are con- discriminate 'on the basis of sexual
it to a person's orientation. It is also probably due to
or job performance the fact that a lot of the anti-gay
eligion, and national discrimination is subtly endorsed by
opinion leaders, individuals, and
ents, the above institutions everyday in this country.
enm like any other
versity, but for gay The University, as a leader in guiding
e struggled for 15 students to become more socially
esident Shapiro to concerned adults, should try and
policy it is a hard- counter the negative stereotypes of
avictory, however, gays which society keeps propagating.
plete. But as long as the people who guide the
policy statement University, like Regent Thomas
game weight that a Roach, will say that they are "not sure
iversity's by-laws that (a gay non-discrimination policy)
is necessary" gay activists will have to
keep on pushing for their rights.
.must receive the Regent Roach's comment, that a policy
iversity's Board of endorsed by the University regents
ately, many regents would encourage members of the
inowledge that University community to advocate
inst gays really oc- homosexuality which he is not
versity. comfortable with, is simply ridiculous.
irbing that while The University by-laws state that
a issued the non- discrimination on the basis of marital
cy, he said that "No status is prohibited. Does this then
ny solid evidence to necessarily advocate marriage? Of.
particular problem course, it does not. Also, Regent Roach
(against) gays." admitted that students should be
iro doesn't believe allowed to do what they please in
y activists citing private, but he contradicts himself
t jobs because of when he imposes his moral judgement
Maybe Ruth on homosexuality and refuses to
im that someone advocate a non-discrimination policy
ff her door which to protect gays.
bian tea was not The policy statement Shapiro has
ce Shapiro of on- issued is a good move. But the force
ation against gay behind it is shaky. There is apparently
t name-calling and some prejudice towards gays by top
ther gay activists University officials which, although
enough evidence for subtle and probably not intentional, is
ly many of the nonetheless destructive to Athose
)nvinced that gays individuals who must face the
n on campus or everyday, nagging fear that their
gotten their stamp sexuality is wrong or unacceptable. As
)olicy. a result, gays may feel it is still not
le that there is now safe to express their identity and feel
, administrators and they must deny their individual
t acknowledge the sexuality.

.
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n

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j I .

Hart's success more than momentum',

By Mary Ellen Leary
SAN FRANCISCO-Momen-
tum from his early victories in
the Northeast promised to carry
Gary Hart to some new successes
on Super Tuesday. But here in
the West, it is more than momen-
tum which people see and like in
Hart.
Westerners intuitively favor an
individualist who strikes out on
his own, one who disdains, as the
Colorado senator has, running
with the pack-or with PACs.
They like his brash confidence,
his alignment with the young, his
emphasis on "ideas" rather than
coalitions, interests, or
organizations. Most of all, they
respond to his insistent call for
confronting what is new in
America's mix of problems and
relationships as the nation moves
into a rapidly changing world.
A FLOOD OF volunteers is
pouring into Hart headquarters
in mountain states and on the
West Coast, overwhelming the
small knots of loyal workers who
plodded unknown a few weeks
ago. Hart buttons are hot items,
his literature is snatched up
wherever it is displayed.
To judge by what these people
say, Democrats, independen-
ts-who fourish in the West-and
even Republicans here and there
have been yearning to quit the
national nostalgia for the past.
In 1980, when Ronald Reagan
swept the West and a half-dozen
creative Democratic senators

westward shift in political
vitality is so powerful that only a
Western Democrat can oust the
Western incumbent Republican
from the White House. Hart's
Utah campaign chief, attorney
Tim Haupt, says, "The
professional politicians put all
this talk about new ideas down as
campaign gimmickry. But the
people don't. The people are
drawn to it. They hunger for it."
Of course, this new-born zeal
must still face seasoned cam-

before the New Hampshire
results.
In Utah, Hart manager Haupt
reported an "explosive reaction"
after New Hampshire, starting
first with young professionals but
now spilling across the board.
"In the past two days, I've had
four calls from lifelong
Republicans who said they are
attracted by Hart's emphasis on
the need for forward-looking
leadership."
In Nevada, the current Hart

Pena sees it, the strength of
Hart's appeal is his recognition
that the ordinary voter under-
stands how complex the world is
today and how complex are
presidential responsibilities.
"The American voter is much
brighter than politicians are
assuming. Even conservatives
are disturbed by the simplistic r.
Reagan approach to the deficit,
and businessmen are troubled
about our trade picture. Voters °
know you can't meet today's ?
issues by standing up and saying,
'God bless America.' Things are
not OK today, and people know
it."
Hart's building strength in the
West, says Pena, reflects not -d
merely the momentum of his
campaign, but voter hunger for
new policies and new faces. He
notes that across the West, new,
youthful Democrats have been
sweeping into office as mayors
and govenors-nine of 12 Western
governors are now Democrats
and Pena's victory in Denver has
been followed in many major
cities where Democrats in their
30s have turned out old guard
Republicans.
"We are turning a corner in
American history, and the West
recognizes it," he said.
Leary is West Coast
correspondent for the London
Economist. She wrote this ar-
ticle for the Pacific News Ser-
vice.
by Berke Breathed

Does a face-off in the West overwhelmingly favor Gary Hart?

paigners and party stalwarts in
the Mondale ranks who have been
working Western states for mon-
ths. In New Mexico, where there
was no time for a Hart buildup,
he came in second to a strong
Mondale lead.
THOUGH HART has not had to
struggle for name recognition as
he did in Eastern states. New
Hampshire did have an effect. In
Wyoming, the Hart campaign had
two people working full-time,
compared to 40 for Mondale,

crisis is a shortage of buttons.
"We are facing a stampede,"
said Kimberly Munro in Las
Vegas. "Two weeks ago,
everybody was moaning about
apathy. Now there is a wonderful
kind of chaos-people pouring in-
to our office and demanding jobs
they can do."
Beyond Colorado's home-state
affinity for Hart, Denver's new
young mayor, Federico Pena,
feels he has a special insight as
one of his close advisers. As

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