GAPSA passes 2 resolutions concerning strike

Some members questioned one resolution’s neutrality.

Jens Krogstad

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly passed two resolutions Tuesday concerning the University clerical workers’ strike.

The first urged the University and striking members to resolve their differences as quickly as possible.

The second resolution addressed graduate students’ concern about increased workloads at their teaching and research assistantships.

GAPSA representative Sean McNee introduced both resolutions.

“It’s not meant to make a political statement,” McNee said of the first resolution. “It’s just meant to say, ‘When there’s a strike, students suffer.’ “

Some GAPSA members questioned the purpose of the resolution because of its neutrality. Some called it “useless.” The resolution passed narrowly.

The second resolution was prompted partly by an Oct. 10 e-mail from University Human Resources to all faculty and staff that said in the event of a strike, student employees and graduate assistants “may be assigned tasks different from those which they normally perform.”

McNee said the e-mail did not address compensation for graduate and professional students who are assigned extra duties.

“As teaching assistants and research assistants, we have enough on our plate already. I understand that the University is in a difficult position, but we are not the solution,” McNee said.

The resolution calls on the University administration to “minimize the workload placed on graduate assistants and instructors” during the strike and to provide clear compensation guidelines for performing tasks normally done by striking employees.

The resolution passed with two of 30 members not voting for it.

Vice President for Public Affairs Todd Reubold updated GAPSA on the “safety sweeps” in Southeast Minneapolis rental properties and the defeat of St. Paul City Council member Jay Benanav’s, Ward 4, proposal to limit student housing density.

Reubold said fines for safety violations by landowners, usually approximately $100, were “pocket change” for landlords with many properties.