10 - The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2005
GSIs walk out
hold line against 'U'
March 25, 2005
By EkJyot Saini
Daily Staff Reporter
Resounding chants of "No contract - no work, no peace" could be heard
all over central campus yesterday as members of the Graduate Employees'
Organization staged a one-day walkout in protest of the University and its
alleged lack of cooperation in negotiations.
Graduate student instructors were joined by students, members of other
unions and various faculty and staff in picket lines in front of University
buildings and construction sites. Placards that proclaimed "I (heart) my GSI,"
"Honor thy GSI" and "Will teach for food" were prominently displayed and
caught the attention of those who were unaware of the issues.
A rally of about 100 GEO members, along with many supporters from
the Lecturers' Employee Organization and the student body, was held on the
steps of the Michigan Union to conclude the walkout. Passers-by stopped to
listen, while passing drivers honked to show their support.
Andre Wilson, lead negotiator for GEO, said the union had made signifi-
cant concessions in the last week and that he had seen none from the Uni-
versity. He also said that, with a possible open-ended strike starting April 4
remaining an option, GEO would need all the support it could muster.
"Over the next week, we need you to start thinking about April 4. We are
going to need your help," Wilson said to GEO members.
LEO President Bonnie Halloran offered her union's support in a show of
solidarity. Various LEO members also cancelled classes and marched along-
side GEO in its picket line. It was a scene similar to last year, when GEO
members stood in solidarity with striking lecturers.
"LEO and GEO stand together, shoulder to shoulder," Halloran said.
TOP: Sociology lecturer Cedric De Leon leads GEO supporters in a chant on the steps of the Michigan
BELOW: Engineering freshman Ann Griffin holds up a sign as she walks through the Diag to show her
disagreement with the walkout.
Some students, faculty cross
picket line, question demands
March 25, 2005 attend. Like the students, however, she had but I have a responsibility to myself and my
By Carissa Miller and Kim Tomlin mixed reactions to the strike. parents to get good grades," Calderon said.
Daily Staff Reporter "I feel sorry for the GSIs," Scodel said. "If I miss lecture, there are things on the
"I respect our GSIs, and my students want exam I won't have."
With no agreement reached in GEO to respect them, but I have an obligation to However, Calderon said he and his
negotiations, graduate student instructors show up for class," she added. friends support the walkout. Because they
formed picket lines in front of Univer- In addition, Scodel said she thinks some aspire to work as GSIs in the future, he said,
sity building doors to persuade students of GEO's demands are "excessive" and they feel sympathetic toward GEO's desire
and faculty not to enter. The picket lines "foolish." for a better contract.
yielded the desired results in many cases "I think the financial demands are unrea- The strongest opposition to the walkout
- but some students and faculty ignored sonable, especially given the condition of came from Young Americans for Freedom,
the chants and entered University buildings the state and the University's (appropria- a conservative student group, which protest-
all over campus. tions cuts)," Scodel said. ed GEO's contract demands and negotiation
Greek and Latin Prof. Ruth Scodel LSA junior Dan Calderon crossed the tactics. Facing off outside of Mason Hall,
crossed the picket lines to hold her classes, picket lines to attend classes in Angell Hall. YAF undergraduates and GEO picketers
where only three of the 13 students did not "I felt bad, because I do support GEO, clashed over the union's right to strike.
GSIs resolve contract issues
March 28, 2005
By Ekjyot Saini
Daily Staff Reporter
After a one-day walkout last Thursday,
both the University and the Graduate Employ-
ees' Organization have returned to the bar-
gaining table, reaching an agreement on a few
The University and GEO came to an agree-
ment on child care benefits and the language that
will be added to the anti-discrimination clause
of GEO's new contract. The clause will include
gender identity and gender expression.
The inclusion of gender identity and gender
expression in the contract was agreed upon in
bargaining sessions in February. GEO's lead
negotiator Andre Wilson said the final wording
of the clause was not agreed upon until Friday.
The amended clause prohibits discrimination 4
based on "a gender-related identity, appearance,
expression or behavior of an individual, actual
or perceived, and regardless of the individual's
assigned sex at birth."
The University also addressed GEO's con-
cern over the rising costs of child care. Under
an agreement reached Friday, the child care sub-
sidy for next year would be increased to $1,750 4
for the first child and $900 for each additional
child. This represents an increase of $50 per
child. Beginning in the fall, the subsidy increase
will be determined according to the average fee
increase at the University child care centers out-
side of the University Health System.