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July 31, 1982 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-07-31

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, July 31, 1982-Page 5
'U' prof. studies robotics vs. jobs

By SCOTT STUCKAL
Whether employment will be adversely affected by
an increase in automated manufacturing, one of the
larger queationa facing the country, ia eapecially
crucial to the state, witheita current thrust toward
robotica.
The University of Michigan is one of the institutions
studying the question, and economics Prof. Frank
Stafford is attempting to gauge the effects of
automation by using basic payroll information and
county cenauaea.
IN THE PAST, the level of automation has
definitely reduced the amount of labor needed for
manufacturing, Stafford said, but the automation of
today is a mixture of robotics, computers and elec-
tronics, with more involved and complex effects on
labor than in the past.
"Manufacturing employment has declined in the
last ten years," Stafford said. In the 1960s, 47 percent

of America's paycheckscame from jobs in manufac-
turing induatriea.
Today, he said, only 40 percent of the country's em-
ployed work in factories. Stafford said he is in-
terested in finding out whether gains in labor produc-
tivity resulting from automation will make up for
America's loss in employment.
THIS COUNTRY'S economic system is affected in
many ways by an increase in automation, Stafford
said, including international trade, industrial
organization, and tax structure.
"The position of the U.S. manufacturing in the
world has eroded pretty dramatically," Stafford
said. "Suppose the U.S. gets involved in advanced
automation, what does this mean in terms of em-
ployment?"
Tax structure may change in the wake of increased
automation, Stafford said. "We have tended to tax
manufacturing relatively more than agriculture.

What will that do when we have advanced
automation?"
THE PHYSICAL change in factory organization
is also a point of research interest, Stafford said.
"You're dealing with designing from zero-totally
new plants."
To find some of the answers on what automation's
effect will be, economists are looking abroad,
especially to Japan, according to Stafford. "Industry
in Japan, like Toyota, tends to have a smaller num-
ber of employees."
He added, because manufacturing jobs in Japan
are secure, sometimes even for life, the suppliers of
raw materials used in manufacturing, rather than
the manufacturers themselves, tend to absorb em-
ployment fluctuations from automation.
In order to find answers to these questions, Stafford
said, "you have to be practical and go out and get
research funds."

Med unit reorganization
and layoffs stir controversy
(Continued from Page 1)
the General Medicine Unit and, the think that it (the unit) is probably
same day, the unit's pediatric com- becoming more medically-oriente
ponent transferred to another division rather than interdisciplinary."
of the hospital. ACCORDING to Jones, the unit ha
In addition to the administrative been "complementary to medicine.'
reorganization, the unit has switched She said that patients bve been mor
its health care philosophy, with receptive to the team approach as it
physicians now playing a greater role dicated by the unit's volume- highe
in the processing of patients while among the department's divisions -
decreasing the responsibility of nurses. and "lowest no-show rate of any clini
"THE IMPORTANT thing to remem- at the University."
ber is that the University Health Plan "They (patients) feel it is easier t
(General Medicine Unit) is going to ask us questions," Jones said. "We als
continue," Stross said. "The clinic will seem easier to approach because th
still function in an efficient, effective perceive physicians to be greate
manner," he added. authority figures."
In the past, the unit has emphasized a "It will be different than it has bee
"team approach" in delivering health despite the team care," said one of th
care. Each patient was seen by a nurses slated for layoff.
physician-nurse team who shared in the ANOTHER issue raised by sta
responsibilities associated wit the par- members if regarding the source of th
ticular case. In addition, an attempt layoffs.
was made to see that each patient was "They didn't send any of the peop]
examined by the same physician during who actually made the decisiont
each visit. deliver it (the layoff notice). So I'mi
Supporters of the "team concept" say the dark. All I was told was it was th
its advantages revolve around con- Department of Internal Medicine," th
tinuity of care-provided by nurses who nurse said.
have undergone special training to Employees were told that the layoff
examine and treat certain medical were a result of budget reductions. th
problems-and additional services unit received a rmajor portion of i
such as counseling that are sometimes budget from a Bureau of Health Mar
overlooked in a traditional health care power, Health Resource A(
setting. ministration grant that amounted t
STROSS stressed tht while the unit approximately $200,000 per year, a(
will change to give physicians an in- cording to Carpenter.
creased responsibility, the overall CARPENTER cited the transferc
changes will be minor, and consistent the unit's pediatric component as,
with the current philosophical direc- reason for the budget reduction. H
tion. estimated the reduction to be in th
"The reorganization is an attempt to neighborhood of $20,000.
strengthen the unit," Stross said. "It is Stross, however, said that a fet -
a plan that will aggregate all the in- report from the bureau identifie
dividuals together with a common in- several "weaknesses" in the unit a
terest in general internal medicine." a basis for allocation reductions an
Earlier reports indicated that Dr. that the loss was approximately "one
Robert Carpenter, former chief of the third" the original grant.
unit, resigned after disagreements with "I have thirty-days notice, whichi
Department of Internal Medicine what my union provides for," said on
Chairman Dr. William Kelley. of the nurses, adding, "I'm led t
REACHED at his new home in Texas, believe that they intend to keep me on.
Carpenter would only say, "It's a very
complicated thing, but I think it was a
time in my life to try something new."
"The Department of Internal
Medicine was taking more direct con-
trol over the division (Primary
Care/Community Medicine Unit) and
that brought about conflict in terms of
who was in chage," said Barbara
Jones, one of the nurses who received aichigan
layoff notice yesterday.
"I feel that some of the personal
touch may be lost with theDaily
reorganization," Jones said, adding, "I

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