The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 31, 2005 - 7A
E Continued from page 1A
centrally," Peterson said.
Despite the obstacles, Peterson said the Uni-
versity continues to work toward the goal of
evaluating all the lecturers currently employed
by the University and assigning them to their
respective title within the three-year time frame
required by the contract.
As of now, LEO has received criteria for eval-
uations from only the College of Literature, Sci-
ence, and the Arts and the Residential College,
She added that the level of lecturer input in
determining performance criteria has varied
"We have departments like Sweetland and
(the English Language Institute) where there are
a large percentage of lecturers who actually have
the michigan daily
been involved in the development of the crite-
ria," she said.
At its recent meeting, LEO discussed the
possibility of taking further action, as well as a
deadline tomorrow for the University to provide
performance criteria and the list of lecturers to be
LEO also voted on evaluation matters, voting
to insist that evaluations by colleagues be given
primary weight over student evaluations, and to
authorize the Contract Implementation Commit-
tee supplemented by volunteers to develop a more
detailed LEO proposal and negotiate it with the
RC Slavic studies lecturer Alina Makim agreed
that there needs to be more value placed on col-
"One thing I absolutely want to see is to have
lecturers evaluated by peers," Makim said, adding
that peer evaluations are highly important because
they are in the same positions and have a common
understanding of working in a classroom.
But some disagreed, placing peer and student
evaluation on equal footing.
"The most important dimension of the teaching
process is between the students and teacher," LSA
sociology lecturer Luis Sfeir-Younis said.
He said the contract issue is not just about
job security, but that this is an issue about
securing the best education possible for stu-
dents at the University.
Earlier last semester, LEO filed a number
of grievances with the University in regards
to laid-off lecturers and violation of the
guidelines established in the contract. One
of the major grievances filed was against the
English department because three qualified
lecturers were laid-off and allegedly never
called back when new positions opened - a
violation of the contracts that LEO has with
"One thing I absolutely want to see is to have
lecturers evaluated by peers"
- Alina Makim
Halloran said that they were able to reach a
settelment with the University in which the lectur-
ers were hired for the winter semester.
LEO hopes to continue working with the Uni-
versity in establishing open communication to dis-
cuss contract disputes.
"The one piece of positive news, finally, is
that the provost decided to come down from the
mountain ... It's the first time all year the pro-
vost has actually told deans and chairs that the
University has made a commitment to LEO and
the contract and that they have to do some work
... it finally lights a fire for some progress," said
LEO campus chair Kirsten Herold.
- Daily Staff Reporters Dayna Hogan-McLean
and Michael Kan contributed to this report
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ed anti-discrimination language in its
new contract. In the wake of the pas-
sage of Proposal 2 - an amendment
to the state constitution that defines
marriage and similar unions between
a man and a woman - GEO wants to
guarantee benefits to GSIs with same-
sex domestic partners. The union had
planned to bargain for this extra secu-
rity before Proposal 2 passed, but the
success of the gay-marriage ban has
made the issue more relevant to GEO.
The issue of health care is also
central to GEO's agenda because many
GSIs want clear language in the con-
tract that states medical care coverage
cannot be changed within the next three
years of the approval of the contract.
GEO members said that during the last
three-year cycle, the University slashed
coverage and increased costs.
Mental health coverage will also
be brought up because patients are
only allowed a limited number of vis-
its to a mental health physician under
the plan, GEO members said. There is
also no coverage for long-term therapy
or chronic problems. For example,
diabetes treatment is covered, but not
depression. GEO also wants long-term
coverage for prescription medication.
But GEO members said the University
Continued from page IA
Michigan students at the conference.
MSU junior Afra Ali said the con-
ference was "entertaining and well-
"It makes me proud to be a South
Asian," she said.
Alumni also attended and special
workshops were scheduled for them.
LSA senior and conference pro-
argued its proposed health care plan
meets GSIs' needs.
"Some people were pretty offend-
ed that the administration thinks
they know what (GSIs) need," said
Andre Wilson, GEO's lead negotia-
tor. "If you need medical treatment,
you need medical treatment."
GEO is also seeking equality for
international GSIs. Many internation-
al students are currently required to
go through weeks of extra training to
be able to teach. A test of proficiency
in English should be the only different
requirement between U.S. and non-
U.S. GSIs, according to GEO.
In addition to these proposals,
GEO is seeking better child-care ben-
efits, the right to honor picket lines,
standardized hiring practices across
academic departments and a guaran-
tee that all of the gains the union wins
during negotiations are put into prac-
Despite the numerous matters on
the negotiating table, GEO members
conceded that there has been some
progress on the medical front. On Jan.
21, the University began providing
dental coverage to first-year GSIs - a
benefit provided for only second-year
and more senior GEO members previ-.
ously. The University also gave union
members the option to buy in to more
comprehensive dental coverage.
grammer Akshay Bajpaee said the
planning process, which began last
April, was long and arduous but also
"We really wanted to motivate.
educate and inspire our student popu-
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efforts in his keynote address on Friday.
"The fact that a college campus can
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