This week, grad workers went public about facing intimidation from the campus cops over their participation in an action in April. On May 21st, at 6:30pm, DPSS police officer John Buehler (#167) approached a grad student in their home and attempted to intimidate them, threatening to file a report with the Washtenaw County prosecutor's office about the picket action. The same officer emailed another grad student with similar information. Neither student spoke to or made any statements to DPSS. Both instances were about the April 20 picket of President Ono at a downtown restaurant. The Administration is attempting to sow fear; our strongest defense is our solidarity, our care for each other, and our collective non-cooperation with police. Know your rights and don't talk to the cops; see for more.
The Administration's decision to pressure department chairs and non-instructional staff to submit hundreds of falsified grades for striking GSIs is coming under increased scrutiny. This week, the story was picked up The Detroit News, Fox 2, Detroit Metro Times, and Inside Higher Ed. Regent Paul Brown is now calling for an investigation into the fake grade scandal — though the form this investigation will take remains unclear. What is clear is that the pressure of our grade strike forced Admin to resort to mass academic fraud to try and withstand it. The Provost took a huge risk by ordering the mass fabrication of grades, a move that appears to be unprecedented in the history of academic labor disputes. Now it's time for us hold them accountable
In a move that is unprecedented in the history of academic labor disputes, the U-M Administration has pressured department chairs and non-instructional staff into submitting falsified grades for the students of striking GSIs. In some cases, this means that students are getting As across the board. In other cases, students are getting lower grades than they deserve – with at least one reportedly getting a failing grade when otherwise they'd have passed. Several department chairs report being coerced into submitting falsified grades, with one writing that "none of us are doing this willingly." The complete scope of the academic fraud is not yet clear, but it is likely one of the largest cases of mass academic misconduct in recent memory. According to GEO president Jared Eno, "the biggest threat to academic integrity on this campus is not ChatGPT, it is President Ono and Provost McCauley."
At bargaining on Friday, HR put forward a so-called 'comprehensive package' of proposals, addressing our entire suite of proposals. The package offered the same 'raise' in the first year of around $100 per month that HR has been offering since before grad workers went on strike. Though HR inched up by a few dollars in years 2 and 3, this sub-inflation raise in the first year represents an effective pay cut for grad workers and will exacerbate the already severe cost of living crisis. HR also made incremental movement on issues like harassment protections and support for international students, yet remains far from what GEO members say is necessary to meet our needs.
On Monday, grad workers took to the streets of Detroit alongside comrades from the Teamsters, UAW, and other allied organizations to celebrate International Workers Day. Workers gathered to hear speeches, poetry and music from dozens of comrades from across Southeast Michigan, reminding us that our struggles are deeply interconnected. GEO president Jared Eno spoke to the group: “We gather today to celebrate working people and the struggle for justice. President Ono talks a good game, about caring about people, about caring about students and workers. But when workers stand up for themselves and what they deserve, he suddenly changes his tune. Ono could change all of this today if he wanted to. The University makes over $400 million every year. That’s profit that workers produce! Bosses hide, they lie, they intimidate and retaliate because they are afraid. And they should be!” Afterward, the group marched through the streets of Detroit, chanting “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go” and “when workers rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”
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