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November 08, 2011 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

Tuesday, November 8, 2011-- 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 7

Nurses union, UMHS
praise new contract

Students continue to work
on Open Housing Initiative

Seven months
in the making,
contract passed
Daily Staff Reporter
University of Michigan Health
System nurses praised the ratifi-
cation of a new contract between
UMHS and the Professional Nurse
Council over the weekend and
expressed relief as seven months
of negotiations and more than 50
meetings between the two parties
came to a close.
According to Ann Sincox, a
spokeswoman for the Michigan
Nurses Association, the final
meetings to discuss the contract
took place on Friday and Satur-
day nights. Members of the Pro-
fessional Nurse Council and the
MNA voted affirmatively on the
contract late Saturday evening.
Overall, the nurses are collectively
pleased with the contract, which
extends benefits to more than
4,000 University nurses, Sincox
"I think the general impression
was that this was a pretty decent
contract," she said.
The contract passed by about a
2 to 1 margin, according to Katie
Oppenheim, president of the Pro-
fessional Nurse Council. She said
University nurses were successful

in implementing many proposed
contract changes.
"As a result of all of our pushing
back on the University, we were
able to get increased language
(in the contract) around nursing
practice issues as well as language
around shifts, lunch breaks and
things like that, as well as wage
increases," Oppenheim said.
Keri Bokor, a registered nurse
in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit
at the University Hospital, said
though the nurses made some sac-
rifices on behalf of UMHS, they
were warranted in light of a chal-
lenging economy.
Bokor spoke before the Uni-
versity's Board of Regents in Sep-
tember and called attention to
UMHS's plans to reduce benefits.
She said she is satisfied with the
progress both parties made in
their negotiations.
"I don't think that anybody
got everything they wanted, but
everyone got a little bit of what
they wanted," Bokor said.
UMHS released a written state-
ment on Sunday expressing its
support of the finalized contract,
which will expire in June 2014.
"We value our nurses highly, as
they play a crucial role in the qual-
ity and safety of care we provide
at UMHS," the statement reads.
"UMHS is pleased that we have
come to this agreement. We look
forward to continuing to recruit
and retain the highest caliber
nurses in the country."
Negotiations began last April

following an announcement by the
University that six nurses' sched-
ules would be altered without the
permissionofthenurses' union. In
July, the Michigan Nurses Associ-
ation filed a grievance against the
University, suggesting that UMHS
violated state law and the health
system's collective bargaining
agreement with the nurses' union.
Last month, nearly four months
after the nurses' former contract
with the University expired,-both
parties reached a tentative con-
tract agreement. Oppenheim said
at the time that the nurses were
"unanimously recommending"
the ratification of the agreement.
The tentative agreement came
after what Oppenheim called "sig-
nificant movement" by UMHS
beginning in September.
Commentingonthe lengthiness
of the negotiations, Oppenheim
said she felt the mediator involved
in discussions only complicated
the resolution of various issues.
"Once (the nurses and the Uni-
versity) started talking with each
other again, which is something
you don't do when you have a
mediator, things began to move a
bit," Oppenheim said.
Sincox praised the persistence
of the nurses' bargaining team
throughout the negotiations.
"Anytime you're going through
a contract negotiation ... it's a
long process," Sincox said. "(The
nurses) weren't going to stop until
they had gotten patientcare issues

Project aims to
have more choices
on next year's
housing form
For the Daily
Twenty-five students from
across campus contributed strat-
egies and solutions for gender-
neutral housing at the University
during a meeting in the Michi-
gan League last night.
The Open Housing Initiative,
first proposed by the Spectrum
Center, the University's chapter
of the American Civil Liberties
Union and later supported by the
Michigan Student Assembly last
fall, seeks to give students the
right to choose their roommate
regardless of their gender iden-
tity, gender expression or gender
non-conformity. A goal of the
initiative is to include a wider
range of open housing options on
next year's housing application,
and members plan to submit
another formal proposal to the
administration by Dec. 1.
As a result of MSA's lobbying
last year, the University current-
ly allows student requests for
gender-neutral housing. Howev-
er, the requests are dealt with on
a case-by-case basis rather than
on the general housing applica-
tion, and students must have a
roommate in mind.
Students at the forum pre-
sented aPowerPoint showingthe
number of universities across the
country that offer gender-neu-
tral housing options is steadily
rising. The University is the first
among the Big Ten schools to add
it to its agenda.
LSA sophomore Dencio Man-
glona attended the student
forum and is a member of the
Open Housing Initiative. Man-
glona has witnessed the trans-

formation of the proposal - from
its genesis with the ACLU, Spec-
trum Center and OHI to the sub-
stantive approval from MSA and
LSA Student Government.
"Seeing this initiative move
from theory and proposals to
actual boots on the ground,
meeting with University officials
- seeing that transition really
gives me hope for the future of
the University ... " Mangloma
In an interview before the
event, Spectrum Center Director
Jackie Simpson highlighted the
University's history of support-
ing topics pertaining to sexual
orientation and gender orienta-
tion, including the creation ofthe
Spectrum Center in 1971.
"The University has a lot to
be proud for, but it still doesn't
mean there isn't progress to be
done," she said.
Simpson said she would like to
see an even more open policy for
"I know that students would
like for anybody to room with
anybody," Simpson said. "But at
the end of the dayI'm most inter-
ested in students who identify
as transgender and gender non-
conforming to be able to have an
equitable experience as all our
students and to be able to feel
safe in the residence halls."
Simpson added that she val-
ues the student enthusiasm, but
there will still be a long-waiting
process before the University
passes any measures.
"We're talking about not
only students, but faculty, staff,
alumni, parents. The University
institution is made up of a lot
of constituents," Simpson said.
"These things take time."
In an interview last week, MSA
Vice President Brendan Camp-
bell, a member of the Open Hous-
ing Committee, said the assembly
will continue to push for further
gender-neutral policies.
"We're aiming to have chang-

es in place for next year's hous-
ing application and for the next
year of students living in the
residence halls," Campbell said.
"We're hoping that each year
we will be able to increase the
options and inclusiveness for all
He added that he appreciates
the administration's support of
the initiative.
"We recognize the challenges
that the administration face,
and we're encouraged by their
willingness to work with us that
we'll be able to continue making
changes in the future," Campbell
Following the presentation
portion of the forum, students
voiced their ideas for future
approaches to the initiative.
Many students agreed that the
movement's momentum rests on
spreading awareness to fresh-
men and sophomore students
who can set the precedent and
follow through with it.
LSA junior Noel Gordon said
he thinks the initiative has made
progress in LSA but needs to
reach out to other schools like
the Ford School of Public Policy
and the Ross School of Business
to gain more support.
Other students mentioned
adding gender-neutral options to
the scripts of Campus Day tours
and organizing an Education
Theater Production. The group
emphasized that open discussion
on the issue is most important,
especially for different student
organizations and student gov-
ernment representatives.
LSA senior Amy Navvab, a
founding member of OHI, moni-
tored the discussion and said she
was pleased with its outcome.
"I really appreciated the feed-
back that everyone brought to
the town hall meetings," Navvab
said. "We have a lot of new ideas
that we're definitely going to be
incorporating into our next steps
for this comingyear."

Chicago wom an accuses
Cain of sexual advances

Herman Cain's
campaign denies
allegations of
NEW YORK (AP) - Leav-
log little to the imagination, a
Chicago-area woman yesterday
accused Republican presidential
hopeful Herman Cain of mak-
ing a crude sexual advance more
than a decade ago when she was
seeking his help finding a job.
"Come clean," Sharon Bialek
challenged Cain at a news con-
ference in New York at which she
described herself as "a face and a
voice" to support other accusers
who have so far remained anony-
Cain's campaign swiftly
denied Bialek's account. "All alle-
gations of harassment against
Mr. Cain are completely false," it
said in a written statement.
Even so, Bialek's nationally
broadcast appearance on cable
television marked a new and -
for Cain - dangerous turn in a
controversy thathe has struggled
for more than a week to shed. An
upstart in the presidential race,
Cain shot to the top of public
. opinion polls in recent weeks
and emerged, however tempo-
rarily, as the main conservative
challenger to Mitt Romney.
Accompanied by her promi-
nent lawyer, Gloria Allred, Bialek
accused Cain of making a sexual

Many continue without power
after storms slam East Coast

Attorney Gloria Allred holds up two sworn statements as Sharon Bialek, right, of
the Chicago-area, looks on during a news conference at the Friars Club, in New
York, yesterday.

advance one night in mid-July
1997, when she had travelled to
Washington to have dinner with
him in hopes he could help her
find work.
She said the two had finished
dinner and were in acar for what
she thought was a ride to an
office building.
"Instead of going into the
offices he suddenly reached over
and he put his hand on my leg,
under my skirt toward my geni-
tals," she said.
"He also pushed my head
toward his crotch," she added.
Bialek said she told her boy-
friend, an unidentified pediatri-
cian, as well as a longtime male
friend about the episode.

None of Cain's other accusers
has provided details as graphic
as Bialek's account. But Joel Ben-
nett, an attorney who represents
one of them, said her details
were "similar in nature" to what
his client encountered.
Allred, a prominent sex dis-
crimination attorney with Dem-
ocratic ties, moved preemptively
to blunt any attacks on Bialek's
motives. She described her client
as a registered Republican, a sin-
gle mother and a woman with a
long and successful work history.
She also said Bialek "could
have attempted to sell her story
but chose not to do so," and knew
that by stepping forward, she
would receive scrutiny.

After two weeks,
homes, business
lack electricity
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -
Businesses big and small have
taken a beating from the power
outages caused by the record-
setting October snowstorm and
the losses are only beginning to
be tallied, owners and experts
said yesterday as tens of thou-
sands of Connecticut homes
and companies entered a second
week without electricity.
"I think there's going to be
a huge trickle-down effect and
we may not know the results
for several months," said Andy
Markowski, Connecticut direc-
tor for the National Federation
of Independent Business. "I
don't know of any small busi-
ness that can afford to lose a
week or more of sales. ... We're
just literally and figuratively
beginning to pick up the piec-
The Oct. 29-30 storm

dumped heavy snow across the
Northeast and downed scores
of trees and utility wires. Three
million homes and businesses
lost power at the height of the
Connecticut was hit the
hardest, racking up more than
830,000 outages, and more
than 37,000 utility customers
remained in the dark Monday.
New Jersey utilities said every-
one was back on line, while
Massachusetts power compa-
nies were working to restore
electricity to about 300 custom-
The storm also is affecting
municipal elections Tuesday in
Connecticut, where nine cit-
ies and towns were moving and
consolidating their polling plac-
es. Secretary of the State Denise
Merrill said some polling loca-
tions do not yet have electricity
while others have been dam-
aged or are being used as shel-
ters and warming centers.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has
called the duration of the out-
ages unacceptable and has

launched an independent probe
of the utilities' response. He
said the state is keeping its legal
options open in case there are
grounds for recourse in the
courts once the circumstances
are examined.
When asked how he planned
to holdl the utilities accountable
for the slow recovery response,
as he has promised, the gover-
nor said it will be through the
state's regulatory process.
"We can bring dockets and
ask for things to happen with
respect to how they conduct
their business and what way
they conduct their business and
what they recover losses for, for
instance," said the governor,
who said he presumed that the
investigation of Connecticut
Light and Power, the state's
largest utility, would uncover
"some degree of malfeasance"
and could lead to legal action by
the state.
Some homes and businesses
weren't expected to get their
power back until Wednesday

Interested in Health in a post-conflict setting?
r- The Center for Global Health in partnership with the Center for Education of Women,
a the Center for Human Growth & Development (MHIRT Program), the Institute for 03
Research on Women & Gender, and the Office of Global Outreach, School of Nursing,
invite you to join us at the
3rd Annual Student Global Health Day
November 11, 2011. Events from 9:30am - 4:30pm
More info
http://www.globalhealth.umich.edu/studentglobalhealthday2Oll.html .
Register -
Watch Student-led presentations and view their posters

ed Info Event:
Wednesday, Nov. 9th
6:30 pm
International Ctr, Rm 9
Like us on Facebook for more info and a full list
of campus events: facebook.comUMPeaceCorps
800.424.8580 " peacecorps.gov


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