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March 05, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-05

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 5,1993



420 Maynard Josil Dulow
n Arbor, Ml 48109 Editor in Chief
ited and managed YAEL M. CITRO
y students at the ERIN LIZA EINIIORN
versity of Michigan Opinion Editors
Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

'U' proposal unaccepable; may force strike
Ei GRADUATE EMPLOYEES Organization tal care come out of TAs' pockets. GradCa
(GEO)-the unionwhichrepresentsteach- also eliminates the annual vision exam, cove
I ing assistants (TAs)- and the University none of the many prescriptions that insuranc
re currently enmeshed in contract negotiations companies pay, and denies many other basi
which are on the high road to disaster. Soon, the health benefits. The effective cuts of GradCa
TAs may strike. hit women particularly hard, denying them co
Though this would be detrimental to under- erage for infertility treatment or birth contr
graduate education, much of which is conducted prescriptions.
by TAs, the University's current bargaining This plan could also be an "effort to chi
position is so hurtful that a strike may be justi- away at the employee status" TAs won in th
flied. The University must speedily meet the 1970s, said Jon Curtiss, head of the GEO ba
basic demands of the TAs, gaining team. GradCa
treating them as the valu 'Although compromise is always isthesameplanthatgrad
able part of the University necessary, the majority of GEO's ate students on fellowshi
that they are, and insuring demands must be met - soon. TAs' receive. It is crucial th
the primary responsibility lives and students' education are too TAs get all the benefi
of the University: The con- valuable to be suspended.' given to University em
tinuededucationofstudents. ployees, rather than bei
GEO came to the bargaining table demand- viewed as 'students teaching for their own ed
ing a 15.7 percent raise which would bring their cational benefit,' as University administrato
salary to a graduate student's living wage and have claimed. For TAs, teaching is often
nine other contract changes. Ignoring GEO's economic necessity.
emands, the University bargaining team shot Though gaining a salary increase and retai
back withatiny two percentraise, which doesn't ing current medical benefits are GEO's mo
even compensate for the rate of inflation, and a important demands, others cannot be ignore
proposal to replace the TAs' choice of health The current calculation of TAs' hours is til
care with a weak substitute called GradCare, a against them, often rounding down their fra
University owned and run medical-care pro- tion of full time work and paying accordingl
gram. With their barren salaries, TAs must at least
While GEO's demands are reasonable, and paid for the full time that they work. The inord
union members have expressed an aversion to nate$80"registrationfee"must also bedroppe
GradCare, the University will not bend to rea- The University cannot disguise the fee's u
son. In fact, the University's team of negotiators ward spiral over the last few years as anythir
dismissed Wednesday's bargaining meeting other than a slash in usable income.
claiming they had nothing to discuss. Some The University must extend the same be
conclusionmustbe reachedby Sunday whenthe efits that married heterosexual spouses cu
GEO contact expires. It seems that the Univer- rently receive to domestic partners registe
sity is goading the TAs to strike. through thecityof AnnArbor. This would allo
Like the witch who enticed Snow White with same-sex spouses to be treated with the sam
apoisoned apple, the University bargaining team respect as opposite-sex ones.
is trying to paint GradCare as a plan that the TAs It also must create system of child-care f
would like. But they are fooling no one. At the the children of TAs. With their sparse salari
Feb. 16 GEO membership meeting, there was a and demanding work and study schedules, T
unanimous voice vote to reject GradCare. hardlyhavethetimeormonytopovidedayca
GradCare embodies a drastic cut in benefits for their children.
from any of the health care plans from which Although compromise is always necessa
TAs currently choose. In contrast to the M-Care the majority ofGEO's demands must be met-
program which currently covers 80 percent of soon. TAs' lives and students' education are t
TAs, GradCare demands the first $200 ofhospi- valuable to be suspended.
President must fill sub-cabinet appointments
SA PRESIDENT CLINTON sells his eco- Department of Defense could cause pobler
nomic package to the nation, it seems with next year's budget.
the young administration is ready for a Without any sub-cabinet appointees to w
whirlwind of activity, launching new policy on the budget, billion-dollar decisions are bei
initiativesleft andright.Butnomatterhow much made by bureaucrats who were never elect'
Clinton has in store, it will be difficult to imple- and who were hired by Reagan or Bush appoi
mentnew programs and en- tees.
force new regulations un- Unfortunately, the D
less he speeds up his ap- fense Department is not t
pointments of officials to only place the Bush admin
key sub-cabinet positions. tration still holds power. T
Since the election, Justice Department,curreni
Clinton's nominations for operating without an att
politicalpositions in the ex- ney general, is filled withla
ecutive branch have been yers hired during the years
delivered to the Senate at a the pernicious Attorney Ge
snail's pace. Although no erals Edwin Meese, Di
presidentcan fill all ofthese Thornburgh and Wilia
positions injust a couple of Barr.
months, both Ronald Important matters of li
Reagan and George Bush gation and enforcement
appointed far more people regulations are being handl

by this time in their terms. by left-over attorneys.
Part of this problem For example, the peopl
stems from Clinton's pro- processing Haitian refuge
pensitytomicro-manage the applications for asylum ha
administration's affairs. He notbeen appointed by Clintc
likesto exercise control over or hired by his appointe
every detail in the appointment process. but rather represent Reagan's and Bush's la
Although this management style is prefer- hold on the department. Hopefully, Clinton
able to that of President Reagan, who seemed to choice for attorney general will soon be co
spend his presidency oblivious to the actions of firmed and the rest ofthe department's positio
hisunderlings,itcouldseriouslyimpairClinton's can be filled.
efforts to run effective executive departments. Clinton also made a promise to appointa
This danger is most notable in the Depart- AIDS Czar. Some have attributed his failure
mentof Defense where the only Clinton apnoin- do so in a timely fashion to his reluctance1



, .,
. ..P


U.S. intervention imperative in Armenia

by Patrick Sarkissian
LSA first-year student
Member, Armenian Students'
Cultural Association
Imagine waking up to a day devoid of
heat, light, water and hope. The life of the
homeless is conjured to mind, yet imagine
a whole nation of people living in such
depravity. Try to fathom packs of starving
dogs attacking people on the street at will,
young infants freezing to death a few days
after birth and a hospital where the doctors
use Vodka as anesthetic while patients lie
on wet, blood-soaked sheets. This situation
could be a level of hell from the pages of
Dante's Inferno. Instead, it is a daily reality
in the Republic of Armenia.
Armenia's history mirrors a melange of
disaster and religious persecution. After the
1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by
the Turks, the remaining Armenians en-
dured a long period of slow regeneration.
The Soviet Union later encumbered the
small country into its communist system.
The 1988 earthquake, though, destroyed
the economic foundation- that the Arme-
nians had built back over 70 years. Arme-
nians still live in the make-shift housing
constructed during the earthquake. In addi-
tion, a 5-year territorial dispute over the

land of Nagomo-Karabagh with the neigh-
boring Muslim Azerbaijanis had put Chris-
tian Armenia in a strain for resources and
human life.
While these past tragedies may evoke
empathy, the present situation in Armenia
will surely lead to the extinction of a resil-
ient race if immediate action is not taken.
The Azerbaijanis (controlling 80 percent of
all Armenian fuel supplies) havecompletely
banned all fuel entering Armenia. Mean-

for the United States as a peace-keeping
savior. Unfortunately, the Somalian trag-
edy is overshadowing the desperation of the
Armenians. Also, the United States has
strategic interests in Turkey. If the United
States fosters good relations with Turkey,
its present NATO base in the country helps
the United States gain a foothold on the
many Muslim countries bordering Arme-
nia and Turkey.
The United States is sacrificing human

The United States should practice the principles of
democracy from our Constitution, not the principles
of real politik.

while, the additional pipeline of fuel into
Armenia from Georgia was recently blown-
up by Turkish-backed Azeris. The Turks
have also instituted a full blockade of non-
military relief supplies to the starving Ar-
Withou. this necessary food, medicine
and electricity, an estimated 30,000 Arme-
nians will die by the end of this winter.
The Armenian issue has notbeen brought
to the forefront in the media for two reasons.
The similar situation in Somalia has evoked
a great deal of humanitarian aid and pre-
sented itself as a great political pro-bono act

life in the interests of politics. There have
been diminutive efforts on behalf of the
United States andUnited Nations to ap-
pease the half million American Arme-
Without the media's coverage and U.S./
U.N. intervention,annihilation isonceagain
inevitable for Armenians. The United States
should practice the principles ofdemocracy
from our Constitution, not the principles of
real politik. In order to avoid another Soma-
lia, the citizens of the United States must
demand our intervention to lift the inhu-
mane Turkish blockade of the Armenians.

Have courage,
publicize names
To the Daily:
After reading the Daily's
article "W. Quad sign
'offensive' to female stu-
dents," (2/8/93) I wonder how
these two men can - in good
conscience - request
anonymity after they were so
willing to publicize their
values to the pedestrians
below them.
If this is the method they
have chosen to demonstrate
their 'freedom of speech,'
then shouldn't they be proud
to stand up and be recognized
as constitutionally-aware
Thomas Bowman
LSA senior
Daily shows its
own hypocrisy
To the Daily:
Wonderful! I see that you
finally nailed yourself in your
own hypocrisy. On the op-ed
page you ran a title "Serve,
protect and break a Nigga's
neck (2/9/93)."
This article was an
excellent piece and the title
seemed to be "intended" to
highlight the content, but it
was an extremely poor
editorial choice. It was a poor
editorial choice because the
next day you ran an article
decrying the West Quad
"Pussie Rd." sign for being
offensive. In that editorial you
opine that the owners of the
sign were offensive just as it
would be offensive to run a
sign out of the window saying
"Hymie Rd." or "Nigger Rd."
But isn't "Nigga" exactly
the offensive word that your
editors allowed on the op-ed

GradCare is unacceptable health-care plan for TAs

To the Daily:
I would like to point out an
error in a photo caption
carried on your front page last
Tuesday ("An apple a day," 2/
16/93). You wrote there that
"GradCare... is to be included
in next year's TA contract."
On the contrary, the point
of our pharmacies was to
inform TAs about the
GradCare program, which has
merely been proposed by the
administration during our
current contract negotiations.
GEO, as of yet, has no
contract for next year, largely
because the administration's
negotiators refuse to consider
our own proposals.
As you know, GEO
submitted a proposal late last
month asking for a salary
increase that would amount to
raising the average TA's
salary to a "living wage," or
the amount determined by the
University's Office of
Financial Aid as required to
meet basic living expenses in
Ann Arbor.
The administration
responded by ignoring this
and other GEO proposals, and
proposing instead a small cut

in real pay, and a substantial
cut in TAs' health insurance
benefits, under the guise of
Under our current contract,
TAs, as part of the University
instructional staff, are given
the same health insurance
options as the faculty. These
include a choice of M-Care,
Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Care
Choices and other plans.
The University proposes to
replace all of these options
with the single plan called
GradCare. GradCare is
administered by M-Care, but
offers lesser coverage at a
higher out-of-pocket cost to
TAs. For example, GradCare
currently has no prescription
coverage, no vision coverage
and a $200 copay for inpatient
care. (M-Care covers prescrip-
tions with a $3 copay, gives a
free annual vision exam, and
carries no copay for inpatient
Moreover, GradCare costs
significantly more for those
TAs who need to add addi-
tional coverage for a spouse or
dependent, and it restricts the
choice of physicians and care-
givers to those at University-

owned facilities only, a far
smaller selection than the M-
care network.
It is hard to believe that the
administration could be so
reckless and insensitive to the
needs of its employees as to
present such a proposal at a
time when concern about
health care is foremost in the
minds of most Americans.
GradCare is a stop-gap plan
designed for students who
would otherwise go unin-
sured. TAs are employees,
vital to the functioning of this
institution, and we deserve the
same quality health insurance
as other.instructional staff.
We at GEO are not
interested in adding GradCare
to our contract, and we are
currently working to mobilize
our members to take action to
prevent it. As the administra-
tion currently refuses to
discuss our proposals at the
bargaining table, direct action
is the only option left to those
of our members who do not
wish to see GradCare in their
next contract.
Douglas Shapiro
Vice President, GEO


Debate about lifting ban breeds insanity


To the Daily:
I'm responding to Michael
Wheaton's letter regarding the
lifting of the ban on gays in
the armed forces ("Lifting ban
could cause conflict," 2/10/
93). I could not agree more,
Michael, and I believe that we
shouldn't stop there. I think
that, for the same reasons, we
should ban blacks from the
.Morale, order and disci-

their privacy. Joining the
service suddenly forces
soldiers to eat, work, bathe,
and sleep with Negroes - a
situation that we citizens can
easily avoid. This may cause
anxiety and animosity among
soldiers, which can lead to
conflict among them.
It is this conflict that
should encourage us to ban
spooks, not "myths and false
stereotypes" about blacks.
n..- I,: - .i -" n .r- :., i

transform the military
And for that matter, as a
good Catholic, I would not
want to have some godless
heathen sharing my room. We
must consider the conflict that
this would introduce to the
barracks. And as a meat-eater,
I don't want any damned
vegetable heads hanging
around when I eat. Let's try to
implement a united military
that reonresents the real



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