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March 15, 1999 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-15

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

WE tigtt



Today: Partly cloudy. High 37. Low 14.
Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. High 45.

One hundred eight year ofeditold freedom

March 15, 1999

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By Nick Falzone
Daily Staff Reporter
After almost five months of negotiations
and more than 100 hours of bargaining ses-
sions, the Graduate Employees Organization
Vg d the University signed a tentative contract
greement Saturday at 5 p.m. Both sides
expressed satisfaction with the agreement,
reached after 20 hours of round-the-clock
negotiations this weekend.
GEO's new contract - ratification is
scheduled to be voted on by all of the organi-
zation's full members within one month - is
greatly improved in almost all major areas,
GEO Chief Negotiator Eric Odier-Fink said.
Odier-Fink said one of the primary reasons
is pleased with the tentative agreement is
because of the pay raise the contract will guar-

'U '


tentative aent

antee GSIs if it is approved by the membership.
Previously, GSIs were guaranteed a mini-
mum annual raise of 2.5 percent or the aver-
age faculty member's salary increase,
whichever was greater. While the new con-
tract would still give GSIs the equivalent of
the faculty's pay increase, it would raise the
amount of the minimum guarantee to 3.5 and
4.5 percent during the last two years of the
contract, keeping the increase at 2.5 percent
for the first year.
Odier-Fink said he expected that GSIs
would receive more than the guaranteed
amount every year, since their salaries are
still tied to the faculty's. Odier-Fink added
that because the faculty will receive a 4.6
percent raise this year, he believes this num-
ber will increase in the future, just as it has

during the past three years.
One of the other most significant - and
most debated - changes to the contract is a
University promise that international gradu-
ate student instructors will be compensated
for their two- to three-week summer training
sessions. If the membership votes to ratify
the contract, international GSIs will be guar-
anteed to receive room and board and a $200
stipend. GSIs who do not need room and
board will be provided with an additional
$25-per-day stipend.
Odier-Fink said although the contract still
does not recognize international GSIs as
University employees when they are training,
he believes the guarantee is one of the best
features of the new contract.
"This is the thing that makes the contract

worth endorsing," Odier-Fink said. "It's so
damn good and I'm so proud of this. We have
fought for four years for this and now it's in
the contract'
Provost Nancy Cantor said the tentative
contract will benefit both GEO and the
"This is a good settlement," Cantor said.
"There was good work on both sides and this
is very encouraging for all."
GEO bargaining committee member
Nages Shanmugalingam, an international
GSI, beamed as she explained why she was
so glad to have this guarantee in the contract.
"Since it's in the contract, it can be griev-
ed." Shanmugalingam said. "Now, if even
one person doesn't receive their stipend, the
See GEO, Page 7A

GEO's tentative agreement:
U Under the new contract, all graduate student instructors
will receive a minimum raise of 2.5 percent the first year
and 3.6 and 4.5 percent during the last two years of the
® Approximately 500 GSIs will move from a .4 appointment
to a .5 appointment. The maximum number of hours a .5
GSI can work will be lowered from 25 to 22 under the new
contract, preventing the addition of an extra section to a
GSI's workload, GEO Chief Negotiator Eric Odier-Fink said.
I lnternational GSIs are guaranteed through a
memorandum of understanding to receive room and board
and a $200 stipend as compensation for their summer
training session. GSIs who do not need room and board
will receive an additional stipend of $25 per day.

spirit lives
jn Greek
By Angela Bardoni
Daily Staff Reporter
Looking for a way to give back to the
community, members of the University
Greek system are emphasizing charita-
e events during their annual Greek
'Week beginning Tuesday.

[ Celebrating Rama

Speaer: living
Iraq are down

For the past few
weekends, the
University's frater-
nities and sororities
have gotten into the
spirit of giving in
preparation for the
main event.

X A 4~ F
-. ~ t..x "'
- A ,,
-" Al A

By Yael Kohen
Daily Staff Reporter
Students and members of the Ann
Arbor community crowded around
desks to sign-up to participate in the
fight to end sanctions in Iraq as they
filed into Angell Hall on Saturday to
hear a lecture on
American for-
eign policy
toward Iraq.
Halliday, a former
United Nations
assistant secretary
general who
served as chief
UN relief coordi-
nator for Iraq, and Halliday
Phyllis Bennis, a
Middle East expert and fellow from the
Institute for Policy Studies, came to the
University as part of a national tour to
speak out against U.S. sanctions on
"We are slaughtering the Iraqi
people," Halliday said about the

Through many hours of service,
Greek members have already helped
e Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation
Department, Nit Wits - an organiza-
tion that provides winter supplies to
families in need -and the Ann Arbor
Community Center.
Greek Week public relations officer
Missy Fette said the Greek system has
spent the weekends volunteering in the
Ann Arbor area.
"Last weekend we worked at the Ann
Arbor Parks and Recreation Center
lping to do some outdoor cleanup,
and we also made mittens and hats for
Nit Wits," Fette said.
Joe Saad, co-director of Greek Week,
estimated that week will double the
amount of community service hours
that members have already logged in.
"We've already completed 1,000
hours of service. By the end of Greek
Week we're hoping to complete 2,000
hours," Saad said.
Saad added that Greek members
an on hosting a carnival for the chil-
dren of the Ann Arbor Community
Center on Saturday as part of their
Community Service Day.
Other organizations to which they will
contribute time and money during Greek
Week include Camp Heartland - a
camp for children with AIDS, Students
Establishing Educational Dreams,
Added Dimension - a test preparation
gter that uses athletics as an incentive
or excelling in school - and the Ann
Arbor AIDS Resource Center.
Three events that will highlight Greek
Week include the Educational Forum, a
Blood Drive sponsored by Red Cross
and the annual Sing and Variety Show,
which culminates the week's activities.
The Educational Forum, scheduled
for March 23 at 7 p.m. in Rackham
Auditorium, is open to all University
students and faculty.
Children from Camp Heartland will
the main speakers at the forum.
They will speak about their experiences
growing up with HIV/AIDS and how
Camp Heartland has helped them.
Saad said it costs about $2,000 to
send one child to Camp Heartland for
two weeks. Through this year's fund
raising events, Saad said, the Greek
system hopes to give some children the
chance to experience what Camp
. eartland has to offer.
"We hope to sponsor 20 children and
give them the opportunity to go to
Camp Heartland," Saad said.
The week's Blood Drive is also open
to all who wish to donate. Sponsored
by the Red Cross, the drive will take

there has been an increase in birth
defects, cancer, leukemia and mal-
nutrition, he said, and children are
dying from common ailments
including diarrhea.
Halliday added that "safe water is not
available to city dwellers around the
In the 1980s, Iraq was a country that
had a standard of living comparable to
that of Western Europe, Halliday said,
explaining that since the sanctions have
been imposed, that standard of living
has been shattered.
There has also been more crime and
prostitution in addition to increased
mortality rate of children under five
because of waterborne diseases, lack of
health care and sick mothers, Halliday
said. As part of the social conse-
quences, education has diminished
because children are taken out of
school to beg on the streets.
Halliday and Bennis both stressed that
UN and American sanctions have failed.
"T he sanctions are supporting the
regime," Bennis said, explaining that
sanctions cause people to be dependent

U LWItL lUiVNI -/u017
Hindu students participate in Ran Navami, the celebration of Rama, yesterday in the Anderson Room of the Michigan
Union. Students held a prayer session and a feast to honor the occasion.

sanctions. Since they
imposed following the

have been
Gulf War,


Protest I
By Michael Grass
Daily Staff Reporter
More than 300 University students,
faculty and area residents marched on the
Fleming Administration Building Friday
afternoon following a mass rally on the
Diag to protest the use of sweatshop
labor in the collegiate apparel industry.
Gathered in front of Fleming on
Regents' Plaza with sidewalk chalk in
hand, protesters wrote anti-sweatshop
slogans on the building's walls, the
ground and on the Cube.
Chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, sweatshop
labor has to go" and "the living wage is
our demand, we know their lives are in
our hands;' the group called on the
University administration to adopt a set
of stronger labor expectations for manu-
factures who produce licensed merchan-
dise for the University.
The Collegiate Licensing Company -
the licensing agent that handles contracts
between manufacturers and the
University along with 160 other schools
- is facilitating talks to improve wages
and conditions in factories, but student
groups at campuses across the nation
have said what is being proposed is not
strong enough.
Protesters, led by Students Organizing
for Labor and Economic Equality, called
on University administrators to meet

Head contestant coordinators Susanne Thurber and Glenn Kagen ask College
Jeopardy! finalists questions Friday near a poster of host Alex Trebek.
Students attempt to win
spot on game show

By Robert Gold
Daily Staff Reporter

Answer: The fear of being trapped
in a small place with a famous
Christmas figure. Question: What is
Santa Claustrophobia?
For six hours .Friday, Pierpont
Commons was transformed into a
virtual Jeopardy! playground as
game show officials and their travel-
ing "Brain Bus" invaded Ann Arbor
with answers and questions like this
in search of talented students worthy

the famed game show and drawn by
the party-like atmosphere.
For many, it was a chance they
cofdn't pass up.
"The game show network is my
favorite station," LSA sophomore
Mara Braspenninx said.
Students at the event were given a
chance to test their trivia talent by
playing a mock version of Jeopardy!,
winning prizes such as hats, key
chains, T-shirts and frisbees. Those
shouting out correct answers were

Graduate first-year student Cedric De Leon speaks Friday to a crowd at an
anti-sweatshop rally in Regents' Plaza. The rally was organized by SOLE members.

leaders of SOLE set Friday as the dead-
line to take action on their demands.
Since January, protests at the University
of Wisconsin at Madison, Duke University,
Georgetown University and various other
campuses forced administrators at those
schools to call for stronger labor standards
for manufacturers who produce licensed
collegiate merchandise.
The rally also brought attention to the

agreement with the University on
GEO President Eric Dirnbach and
GEO strike committee member Cedric
De Leon told the crowd that negotiations
of GEO and sweatshop labor are related.
"Now we want to raise the standards
across the board," Dirnbach said.
De Leon compared University admin-
istrators like University Chief Negotiator
Darn Ga~mble.IUniversity President L ee



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