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One-hundred-fourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.michaiandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan m Vol. CXV, No. 104 ®2005 The Michigan Daily
GEO votes to stage walkout strike
By Ekjyot Saini
Daily Staff Reporter
By an overwhelming vote last night, members
of the Graduate Employees' Organization voted to
go on a one-day walkout today. Union members
will forego teaching their classes and instead will
* be picketing outside of various University build-
ings where classes are taught - Angell Hall, the
Chemistry Building, Natural Science and others
- as well as staging a rally at 4:30 p.m. in front of
the Michigan Union.
University Provost Paul Courant has sent out an
e-mail to the University community condemning
GEO's plan for a walkout. In his e-mail, Courant
said, "I do not believe this action is warranted in
light of the University's serious and good-faith
efforts to arrive at a fair contract." He continued to
say that all University business, including classes,
would be conducted as usual.
Many professors and lecturers say they support
the efforts of GEO and its members, but they do
not wish to take away learning time from students.
Karen Weinbaum, an environmental science grad-
uate student instructor who is picketing today, said
that the professor of the class she teaches offered to
cover sections for his GSIs.
"(SNRE Prof.) Dave Allan has been here for
many years and understands that we need to picket
to support ourselves," Weinbaum said.
Other picketing GSIs have asked students to
attend other sections during the course of the week.
Some have decided to hold extra office hours, while
some plan on holding classes outside of University
building in coffee shops around campus.
Negotiation sessions continued yesterday dur-
ing the day and then well into the night, but a con-
tract settlement was not reached. The parties did
not make any substantial progress on the major
issues of increasing GSI wages and expanding
their health care benefits. Various proposals were
modified but no new key agreements have been
made outside of the inclusion of gender identity
and gender expression in the anti-discrimination
clause of the contract.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said
the current proposals offered by the University
indicate a great improvement over the previous
contract. These improvements offer health-care
with no premiums and include dental coverage,
life insurance up to $30,000 at no cost to mem-
bers and buy-in options for greater life insur-
ance. Also, GSIs working in the fall and 'vinter
semester, would be covered for the summer under
the new proposal. "In fact, in these negotiations
GEO has made more substantial progress in its
contract than we can recall in any of its past con-
tract negotiations," Peterson said.
In the last two days of negotiations, the Uni-
versity and GEO have both adjusted their salary
proposals. GEO had initially proposed that next
year's salary be increased to $16,000. The union
has reduced its demand to $15,300 and decreased
the increases for each year of the contract adjusted
according to increases in the consumer index,
which would be approximately 5 percent said
GEO president Dave Dobbie.
The University did not agree to the demands
of GEO in regards'to wages. Initially the Univer-
See GEO, Page 7A
By Ekjyot Saini
Daily Staff Reporter
While negotiations with the Lectur-
ers' Employee Organization have taken a
backseat to a walkout by graduate student
instructors, negotiations have continued
and have brought to the forefront prob-
lems dealing with a number of classes that
lecturers must teach, as well as repeated
issues with performance criteria.
A recent LSA proposal to revoke bene-
fits from lecturers who taught a .5 fraction
of the school year was met with hostility
from LEO. Ian Robinson, a sociology lec-
turer and member of LEO's implementa-
tion committee, said the average lecturers
who teaches a .5 fraction teaches an aver-
age of three classes over the course of two
semesters, which can be divided into one
class one semester, and two the next, or
none one semester and all three the next.
LSA wants to make changes that would
revoke benefits from those who teach and
require teaching a .5 fraction each year a
.5 fraction a semester. This change would
force lecturers to teach approximately 3
classes one semester in order to receive
The University has verbally assured
lecturers that LSA cannot implement
such a policy because it violates the con-
tract. The University has said that it will
form a benefits policy for lecturers who
abstain from teaching in one semester,
and their benefits will be dealt with on a
"This is definitely a positive devel-
opment because a potentially bad situ-
ation was stopped from occurring,"
While some slow progress has
been concerning the creation of per-
formance evaluation criteria for the
rehiring of lecturers and the reclassifi-
cation of lecture titles.
Under each title, lecturers would
receive specific benefits. But because the
University has yet to fully implement the
reclassification scheme, LEO has urged
the University to place pressure on the
lagging academic departments to meet
The process has become even slower
in light of the University and its nego-
tiations with the Graduate Employees'
Organization, overshadowing LEO's
recent efforts. Last month, Provost
Paul Courant intervened in the nego-
tiation efforts and said he would work
to accelerate the implementation pro-
cess of the reclassification titles.
"It is frustrating," said Robinson.
"Human resources has only a limited
number of people and scarce times to
See LEO, Page 3A
re duction s
U Governor's plan will reduce
funding to state colleges and
universities by $30 million
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter
University President Mary Sue Coleman protested reductions
in funding to state universities in her testimony to the Higher
Education Subcommittee of the state House yesterday.
Meanwhile, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and state legislators broke
their impasse over higher education funding when Granholm's
revised budget was approved by the House and Senate appropria-
Granholm's revised spending reduction plan - which aims
to remedy a $380 million revenue shortfall in the current fiscal
year - still cuts funding to state colleges and universities by $30
million but makes available $200 million in capital expenditure
funds to state schools. These funds can be used to finance con-
struction and other infrastructure projects. The governor's previ-
ous plan, which was rejected by the legislature, only offered $100
million in capital outlay funds.
The new budget stipulates that the $30 million will be restored
if tax revenue in the remainder of FY 2005 exceeds estimates.
Granholm's budget lacks the tuition restraints that her origi-
nal proposal contained. The governor is expected to sign the
revised budget into law today.
In her testimony, Coleman listed the measures the University
has had to take to cope with falling state appropriations, includ-
ing eliminating vacant faculty positions and canceling University
library subscriptions to many scholarly journals.
But these measures, Coleman said, will not be enough to sustain
the quality of education at the University
"The new cost-effective programs are not enough to make up
for the dramatic decrease in appropriations," she said. "It is not a
See COLEMAN, Page 3A
University President Mary Sue Coleman spoke yesterday in front of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the state House,
protesting Gov. Jennifer Granholm's budget, which includes a $30 million in cuts to state colleges and universities.
Hayden, other activists convene for teach-in
By Farayha Arrine
Managing News Editor
When Tom Hayden arrived at the University in the late '50s
and became a voice on campus through his reporting in The
Michigan Daily, Al Haber, an older student and campus activ-
ist, knew he had to recruit Hayden for his social justice group.
Together, Hayden and Haber worked to further Students for a
Democratic Society, becoming icons for '60s liberalism that in
many ways began at the University.
Haber would go on to participate in the first teach-in ever to be
held, while Hayden made his name by protesting the Vietnam War
through his leadership in rallies in the '60s, particularly those outside
the Democratic National Convention in 1968.
Hayden, Haber and other activists will reunite today to celebrate
the 40th anniversary of the teach-ins, which came into existence at
Angell Hall in 1965 and have since then been scattered throughout
the University's history when activists have desired a forum to express
their beliefs or encourage dialogue on government policies or social
injustices. Today's teach-in will feature University professors, as well
as a few participants of the original teach-in 40 years ago, who will
talk about topics ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to mass
media and corporatism.
While the first teach-in was supported by the administration, in
that they saw it as a trade-off to discourage a faculty strike, some
students, activists and faculty members have expressed discontent in
what they see as the administration and faculty's lack of support for
today's teach-in and the overall shift from the atmosphere of progres-
sivism that existed on campus.
Hayden said part of the reason that the climate on campus has
changed is because the momentum of the war protests in the '60s
was driven by the draft and the fact that young men could be drafted
without having voted for their representatives, since the voting age
was 21 at the time. With no draft right now, the reaction is not as
dramatic because it does not as directly affect this generation, many
But most attributed the change to a lack of interest among faculty.
The original teach-in took place when faculty members threatened to
cancel class so that they could debate Vietnam policy with their
students. Even with government pressure that the professors were
in violation of their contracts, then-University President Harlan
Hatcher agreed to allow University buildings to stay open after-
hours to appease the faculty and allow campus-wide dialogue
on the topic.
The administration has always been against teach-ins and for
the status quo, but this type of faculty support that existed for
the first teach-in is not the same now, said Women's Studies
Assistant Prof. Andrea Smith.
"In the '60s, there were professors coming out with more
accountability. People have become more career-oriented and
less focused on social justice, expect for in a more abstract
way," she said.
Students echoed Smith, saying that faculty support would help
their event achieve more success. LSA senior and teach-in orga-
nizer Emily Hilliard said students organizing such events must
overcome additional hurdles without the support of faculty.
See TEACH-IN, Page 3A
MCRI's passage may harm women-oriented faculty programs
University staff is concerned that
initiative would dissolve efforts to
increase women in science fields
project said they are concerned that if MCRI passes on the
2006 ballot, the program could be in jeopardy.
Because the initiative seeks to, "Prohibit the Universi-
ty of Michigan and other state universities, the state, and
all other state entities from discriminating or granting
to women can be affected, that's an exaggeration," Zarko
said. Only programs that apply to public hiring, public educa-
tion and public contracting and those that give preference, not
merely assistance, are affected."
According to the information presented by ADVANCE at
science professor and a member of STRIDE - a subcommit-
tee of the ADVANCE project - said she thinks the program
has been very beneficial to women faculty at the University.
"Personally, I think that STRIDE has made an enormous
difference in the climate of the University of Michigan and