The Michigan Daiy - Wednesday, September 15. 1999 5
Field trip fun
talks as contract
By Jeanni Batr
At last ni~ ghNs
Assembly e nic t
Vikram Sarm', ai f
tion a statement tha
"to questiOn he
Defend Affirmi A
the Michigan St
Elections - Nv
lished in the Aciv
publication putO eut
"Why is MSA en
paign?" Sarma ask
assembly that embr
ideologies and I d
priate that MSA has
port one group. MS
its money properly w
invests its own mnr
campaign parap hcna
But Sarma nte.-
this is a grt news
Scon needs to tale place.
He added that it is possible that
tment could be a violation of the
Miign ~ Siud't assembly's code.
r, LS A junior At next Tuesday's regular meeting,
rmer MSA memn- Elias explained, an MSA representa-
asmby'seae- tive could move to form an ethics
said : him committee of randomly chosen MSA
intgity of the members, who would investigate
whether Curtin and other members of
"Rtn with the the assembly have misused MSA
Ain Party in resources.
ue Assem ibly if MSA votes to form a committee,
r rtpb after a two week investigation, the
swseter, a ethics committee would make a rec-
5y th Summer ommnendation to the assembly, on
how to deal with any potential assem-
drs no cam- bly code violations.
ed. "Ibis is an "Bram and I think there is suffi-
dany dcvers~e cient evidence that will lead us to.
tink A ppr.o beleve that it's a possibility they
newslettr to sup- misused resources," Coulouris said.
is no spendng Curtin says she views the potential
hen the assetmbhly investigation as a "political witchhunt."
y twrd expMicit "It's being used as a pretext for a
political attack," she added.
that, "otherwiso, Curtin said BAMN offered to
t ieri delete the statement on all copies
a Defend currently at distribution spots on
By Any Means; campus and redistribute the newslet-
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) --
Contract talks between the United Auto
Workers and automakers intensified
yesterday as agreements covering
407,000 workers were due to expire at
The union, which has said little
about the progress of the talks,
appeared to be negotiating hardest with
DaimlerChrysler AG. Officials met at
the German-American automaker's
U.S. offices in Auburn Hills late into
Monday night and resumed talks early
"The negotiations are proceeding
very, very well ... but it isn't over 'til its
over and we'll all just have to wait and
see," DaimlerChrysler co-chair Robert
Eaton told the cable financial network
CNBC in an interview yesterday morn-
ing from Frankfurt, Germanywhere he
was attending an industry trade show.
Negotiations were also under way
with General Motors Corp. and Ford
Motor Co. UAW negotiators met at
GM during the weekend, but did not
meet at Ford.
. In the past, the union has extended
contracts past the deadline. Ford
spokesperson Ed Miller said the UAW
had indefinitely extended Ford's con-
tract until midnight last night.
An extension had yet to be arranged
for DaimlerChrysler or GM, but
experts said a strike that would threat-
en a boom year for the auto industry
seems unlikely. The UAW has not
called a national strike during contract
negotiations since 1976.
The UAW usually chooses one
automaker to make a deal with first,
then uses that deal as a template for
other contracts. This year, union
President Stephen Yokich has kept
talks going with both GM and
DaimlerChrysler, and refused to pub-
licly name a target.
Both sides have released little infor-
mation about the talks. Wages, job
security, health-care costs, overtime
demands and the assignment of work
to outside suppliers were expected to
be among the top issues in this year's
talks, as they were during the last
round in 1_.
Union leaders have said that workes
were entitled to a share of rccotd
automaker profits: the three compani+
combined earned m we than .SS bi
lion in the second quarter of 199
There are few indications ot what
proposals the UAW and
DaimlerChrysl er might be negotiatngy
The union has discussed efforts to
organize Da imler 'hrv ser's nonunion
plants in the United Stes: a
Mercedes-Benz sport utilty factory in
Alabama with 1,600 workers and t
Freightliner commercial truck plans in
the Ca rolinas.
UAW leaders have complained about
company moves against organizers.
DaimlerChrysler has vowed to remain
neutral in the UAW 2' efforts.
It is against federal labor rules for
the issue to be part of the UAW's con-
tract. But problems in the organizing
campaign will a ffect
DaimlerChrysler's relationship with its
largest U.S union.
Wages are an issue at GM. which has
sought to mend fences with the UAW
after last summer's 54-day strike at two
Flint, Mich., parts factories that virtu-
ally shut dow the automaker's North
According to union newsletters. the
UAW has asked (3M for higher wages,
and sought better overtime Compens-
tion with more money and extra time
off. In recent years, automakers have
held down employment by increasing
overtime; the average GM hourly
worker adds about 9 hours of overtime
GM has offered to guarantee lifetime
employment for workers with at least
10 years of expelienlce;
DaimlerChrysler reportedly has
offered a similar proposal. In return.
the companies would likely seek more
flexibility in hiring or job rules.
The thorniest issue appears to lbe t
Ford, which would like to spin off its
Visteon parts unit that employs 23,500
UAW workers. The UAW is opposed to
the move, fearing job cuts and lower
wages at a separate company.
Necessary member, who claimed
partial responsibility fo his state-
ment, apologize and said ii was an
oversight. But she did note that the
newsletter was "agood step forward
for the assembly"
Editor of the pubbicaticn, Rackham
Rep. Jessica Curtin also apologized for
After the meei a MSA
Vice Presidet An urs a
a meeting to d ue
Coulouris said t w
meeting, but Cu d
meeting, as a reprate of DAAP,
called it official.
Curtin said that the statement "is a
really petty oversight on our part.
The whole thing is bein blown out
Coulouris said he and MSA
President Bra n E think some
In other MSA business, Glen Roe
Budget Priorities Committee Chair
4 nnounced that the BPC has an
updated application for student
groups, and Elias also announced
plans to hire a Website manager for
MSA's existing Website,
"The Website used to be run on a
volunteer basis, so it wasn't always
updated," Elias said. "With a Website
manager, the Website is going to be
updated daily, and we can start to
focus a lot more student government
on the Web."
Elias said that the Website will also
have more enhanced features, includ-
ing an online student group funding
application and an online student
book exchange. The student coursep-
ack service was also announced to be
implemented as a permanent service
once it has undergone analysis for
. f assi45gn
v I .asset
I SAM HOLLENSHEAD/Daily
Fifth-grade students from the Beacon international Academy i Detroit enjoy
their day at the University's Art Museum yesterday.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Millionaire Republican presidential
candidate Steve Forbes emphasized his support for a ban on a certain type of abor-
tion as he visited a Christian-based pregnancy counseling center in this Detroit
"Life begins at conception and should end only at natural death," Forbes said.
"The law protects all of us, not just the healthy, strong, the rich, but also the elder-
ly, the infirm and the unborn."
He said signing a ban on late-term procedures called "partial birth" abortions,
with exceptions to preserve the life of a mother, would be one of his first actions
in office if elected. He said he would sign a ban with or without exceptions for
cases of rape or incest.
"I think Congress is ready to do it," he said. "The ground is shifting, and I can
feel it across America."
Before touring the Compassion Pregnancy Center of Macomb County, Forbes
also told reporters of his support for school choice, a flat-rate income tax, and
changes in Social Security.
A handful of community members, like Forbes supporters Caroline and
Paul Viviano of Clinton Township, also gathered to see Forbes before he left
for a scheduled stop at the Nevada Street campus of Cornerstone Schools in
"He seems to be such a contrast from what we've had in the last eight years,"
said Caroline Viviano, 33. "There's been so much deception and double-talk. He's
forthright and has a lot of courage in his convictions."
This is Forbes' third trip to Michigan since March. He visited Lansing and
Kentwood on Monday.
To win the Republican nomination in his second presidential bid, Forbes must
overcome Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who has the backing of Michigan Gov. John
"Right now, I'm not worrying about polls," Forbes said. "I worry about getting
the message across."
Part of that message includes support for school voucher proposals to allow par-
ents to choose which school their children will attend.
"No mother should be forced to send her child to a lousy school," Forbes said.
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WLANSING (AP) - tate officials
are trying to figureou jusat how much
state governnt assets arc worth
and a sttdy to place a dollar ahue on
everything from highways to govern-
ment land and buildings could cost
Michigan taxpayers $3 million.
New federal accounting standards
require the work The Governmeital
Accounting Standaids B3ard wants
state and local governments and univer-
sites to start keeping their books more
like businesses do
The requirmonl is part of a package
of changes that will he p ctizens more
easily figure out what inancial shape
their governments aie in and how much
the services iney piovide actually cost,
said Kelly Chesnev, a state Dcpartmeni
of Management and budget spokesper-
In theory, the changes also could
*help governments nake informed
decisions about privatization, selling
off public services or assets to the pri-
But othet officials -especialy
those in local 0;ernment say the
changes that take efect staring i 2001
will waste time and mnoney and provide
little useful information.
"I'm not sure the average citizen is
going to find it more user-friendly,"
Kathy Smith-Roy, finance director for
the city of Novi and president of the
Michigan Municipal Finance Officers
Association, told the Lansing State
Journal. "We're just adding another
layer to an already large reporting doc-
Grudgingly or not, state and local
governments alike are expected to com-
ply with the new standards, even
though they're not binding. Failing to
comply could drive up botrowing costs,
because agencies that give credit rat-
togs to governments would notice.
The accounting standards board
approved the new standards this sum-
mer, and most governments haven't yet
estimated the cost of implementing
For the state of Michigan, putting a
value on more than 12,000 assets is
estimated to cost $3 million, Chesney
said. The budget department's Office
of Financial Management will head up
the project, assisted by financial con-
sultant Plante & Moran of Southfield,
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