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August 08, 2011 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-08-08

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Monday, August 8, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


'U' and Michigan Nurses Association in negotiations

Officials are
optimistic MNA and
UMHS will come to
an agreement
Daily StaffReporter
The University has encoun-
tered increased resistance from
the Michigan Nurses Association,
which recently claimed in an
amended complaint the Univer-
sity has been unfairly changing
labor practices involving health
insurance without consulting

Despite failures to reach a
compromise over issues in the
past involving benefits and salary
changes, both parties expressed
optimism that they would come
to an agreement on the contracts
when negotiations began on Aug.
The disagreements over the
contract come on the heels of a
grievance against the Univer-
sity filed by the MNA on June 21,
charging unfair labor practices,
according to a July 8 article in
The Michigan Daily. Specifi-
cally, the complaint dealt with
an announcement by University
of Michigan Health System that
it would alter six nurses' sched-
ules without first negotiating the

changes with the MNA.
According to Ann Sincox of
the Michigan Nurses Association,
the union hopes that the negotia-
tions will benefit both the nurses
and UMHS, and continue to fos-
ter a program that draws high
quality nurses to the University.
"We believe that (UMHS) is
also concerned about providing
world-class patient care," Sin-
cox said. "Our goal is to reach an
agreement that allows UMHS to
attract the high-caliber nurses
necessary to care for the patients
at UMHS."
She added that she believes
negotiations will ultimately end
in an agreement that will satisfy
both sides.

"We have a long relationship
with UMHS and are confident
that we will be able to reach an
agreement that will support the
nurses ability to continue provid-
ing quality patient care," Sincox
Sincox said the nurses union
claims that the proposed changes
to nurses' health care benefits
would compromise the hospital's
ability to attract and maintain a
top nursing staff.
"The key issues in the con-
tract revolve around the ability
of (University) nurses to continue
providing safe, quality patient
care both now and in the future,"
Sincox said. "These nurses are
being asked to take substantial

cuts in benefits and to pay more
for their health insurance ... If
you cannot attract and keep the
nurses who fit (the University's)
high standards, then patient care
will be affected not only now, but
in the future."
According to Steven Strahl,
a registered nurse at the Uni-
versity and member of the bar-
gaining team, when benefits are
decreased, quality care may be
compromised since potentially
less high-quality nurses will be
interested in working for the Uni-
"(The University) is a world-
known health care institution,"
Strahl said. "People come from
See MNA, Pagel7
Mention This AD
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nation's leaders in test preparation.
'Small Classes

University team hopes to expand
digital freedom through program

Telex system aims
to increase Internet
access abroad
Daily StaffReporter
Though Internet access is
essentially unrestricted in the
United States, citizens in other
countries do not always have free-
range over its resources due to
usage restrictions imposed by their
governments - an issue a group of
University students is trying to alle-
Alex Halderman, assistant pro-
fessor of Electrical Engineering
and Computer Science at the Uni-
versity, and graduate students Eric
Wustrow and Scott Wolchok are
aiming to make digital freedom a
global right with their newly devel-
oped Telex system.
Telex, which began develop-
ment in fall 2010, aims to serve
as a prototype to end the "cat and
mouse game" between proxy site
users and restrictive governments,
Wolchok said, since citizens in
Internet-restricted countries must
use proxy websites in order to visit
banned addresses.
According to Wustrow, Telex
is a two-part system where users

download software that allows
Telex stations to act as a proxy site
outside of the restricted country.
He noted that one major difference
between a typical proxy website
and Telex is that proxy websites
often have only one IP address that
needs to be blocked, but Telex will
have multiple addresses, making
censorship very difficult.
Wustrow added there are only
a handful of undersea cables to
China, but Telex stations would be
sufficient for the program to work
there. Nonetheless, there are still
several hurdles to the implementa-
tion of this program.
For example, Wustrow said
there is no definitive price, but each
Telex station could cost thousands
of dollars and the stations would
have to be incentivized for Internet
Service Providers to install them.
He added that in return for install-
ing Telex stations, ISPs could sell
the service to users to subsidize
costs or the U.S. government could
sponsor efforts toward increased
Internet freedom.
According to the United King-
dom technology website www.
theregister.com, the U.S. govern-
ment supported a similar program
called Anonymiser in 2003, which
aimed to provide an insurmount-
able number of proxies for Ira-
nian citizens. However, Wustrow

described this direct foray into ExpertInstructors
international digital freedoms as " Free Extra Help
Among Internet-censoring (j c4tOf
countries, China has seen the larg- 1.eview
est increase of Internet users and
citizens have uncovered various
ways around censorship, accord-
ing to Mary Gallagher, director of
the University's Center for Chinese
"Chinese Internet users are
becoming increasingly sophisti-
cated and they're also becoming'S6
increasingly dissatisfied with cen-
sorship," Gallagher said. "Chinese 6 3
society has become more adept at
using information technologyto get 9 .
around censors."
She addedthat since China cur-
rently blocks Facebook, YouTube, 3 7 8
Twitter and similar websites, peo-
ple have created alternatives sites
like Weibo - a website comparable
to Twitter.5,,y f )
While the Chinese government
blocks many international social
networking websites, Gallagher r 6
said other Chinese social network-
ing websites have been useful and
effective for social activists.
She added that in the aftermath
of a recent crash of a passengertrain 2
in the Zhejiang province, Chinese
social media websites provided a
forum to discuss an event largely
unmentioned by traditional media.

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