# Clinton cancels commencement speech

Staff Emeritus
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## Main Question or Discussion Point

This is so dumb. It has nothing to do with the students.

Bill Clinton cancels commencement speech at UCLA
12 hours ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bill Clinton on Tuesday canceled a commencement speech at the University of California, Los Angeles, because of a lingering labor dispute.

The former president was scheduled to address 4,000 graduating seniors on Friday, but his office said he would not appear because of the long-running rift between the university and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The 20,000 workers involved in the wage dispute range from technicians at UC medical facilities to janitors and landscapers. Contract talks have sputtered for months.

"Due to the ongoing labor dispute, he regrets that he will be unable to participate in commencement this year and he wishes the UCLA graduates the best of luck," Clinton's office said a statement.

Instead, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will deliver keynote remarks.
I heard on the radio that the union has been pressuring all the UC commencement speakers to back out.

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Of course it has something to do with the students. They knew about the labor dispute. They knew Clinton is pro-union. Today they learned something at school. Do you suppose that a little bit of the liberal agenda goes a long way with them? Why are they going to the commencement?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Now he backs out - two days before.

Why doesn't he offer to sit down with the union and the university.

Of course, if it was me, I wouldn't want BC involved in my affairs.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Of course it has something to do with the students. They knew about the labor dispute. They knew Clinton is pro-union. Today they learned something at school. Do you suppose that a little bit of the liberal agenda goes a long way with them? Why are they going to the commencement?
:rofl:

Well, I will certainly be there. My cap and gown is ready to go and my parents will be in town in -- yikes -- two hours!!

I am certain Chancellor Block will do a great job with the commencement speech. I think he's aces.

Staff Emeritus
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Now he backs out - two days before.
I know. That's pretty rotten.

I wonder how much he was going to get paid for this.

Evo
Mentor
Labor unions have long outlived their original purpose. I worked in a company that had a labor union. One side of the office, non-union = people working hard, the other side, union = no one working, standing around in small groups gossiping, painting their fingernails, watching tv. It really turned me against them.

Congrats on your graduation MIH!! We'll be expecting pictures!! Did you get a matching cap and gown for Jellyroll?

Ivan Seeking
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Sorry to hear MIH. That really stinks!!!

Staff Emeritus
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Labor unions have long outlived their original purpose. I worked in a company that had a labor union. One side of the office, non-union = people working hard, the other side, union = no one working, standing around in small groups gossiping, painting their fingernails, watching tv. It really turned me against them.
I totally agree. They tried to get my job classification into a union but thank heavens it got voted down. No way would I go on strike. Ever. When I'm unhappy at a job I leave it and go work somewhere else.

Congrats on your graduation MIH!! We'll be expecting pictures!! Did you get a matching cap and gown for Jellyroll?
Thanks! oh, a kitty cap and gown would be so cute!!

I'm sure dad will take an obnoxious amount of pics.

Staff Emeritus
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Sorry to hear MIH. That really stinks!!!
Thanks, Ivan. Ah, well. I can't complain. It's gonna be a great commencement no matter what.

lisab
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A big thumbs up, MIH - congrats!!

Are you going to stay at your job?

Ivan Seeking
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Yes, it is an exciting day! Congratulations!!!

Haha! I hadn't noticed your quote from Johnny 5. Very appropriate for a psych major!

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I know. That's pretty rotten.

I wonder how much he was going to get paid for this.
Too much! He's made $10's of millions in speeches since leaving office. That's ********! Why are they going to the commencement? Sorry MIH, I didn't know that you are they. It's a rare occasion when you can attend a Clinton speech without paying through the nose for it. Too bad the freebie fell through. Will you have to cross a picket line to get your diploma? I wish I could opt out of the graduate student union at my school. One of the key points at the first speech was how they are trying to negotiate with the school so that all TA's, regardless of major, get paid the same. About 80% of the students that attended clapped, the other 20% (engineers, scientists, med students, mathematicians, biologists, and chemists alike), all had a quizzical look, like "why should I get paid the same as an art history major when I do 3 times the work?" Show me the last time a non-hard science TA has to teach three two-hour labs, put in multiple hours at a resource center, give a quiz section, moderate common-hour exams, and take three 3/4 credit courses while making sure to study not only for your exams, but the qualifying exam at the end of the semester. Grading the midterms took up about 8 hours worth of time because of having to give partial credit. I should strike against the union. lisab Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I wish I could opt out of the graduate student union at my school. One of the key points at the first speech was how they are trying to negotiate with the school so that all TA's, regardless of major, get paid the same. About 80% of the students that attended clapped, the other 20% (engineers, scientists, med students, mathematicians, biologists, and chemists alike), all had a quizzical look, like "why should I get paid the same as an art history major when I do 3 times the work?" Show me the last time a non-hard science TA has to teach three two-hour labs, put in multiple hours at a resource center, give a quiz section, moderate common-hour exams, and take three 3/4 credit courses while making sure to study not only for your exams, but the qualifying exam at the end of the semester. Grading the midterms took up about 8 hours worth of time because of having to give partial credit. I should strike against the union. I used to have the same argument about the number of credits a class is worth. My quantum mechanics class was worth 3, my history class was worth 5. I assure you, I did far more than 3/5 of the work in the QM class as the history class!! loseyourname Staff Emeritus Gold Member I wish I could opt out of the graduate student union at my school. One of the key points at the first speech was how they are trying to negotiate with the school so that all TA's, regardless of major, get paid the same. About 80% of the students that attended clapped, the other 20% (engineers, scientists, med students, mathematicians, biologists, and chemists alike), all had a quizzical look, like "why should I get paid the same as an art history major when I do 3 times the work?" Show me the last time a non-hard science TA has to teach three two-hour labs, put in multiple hours at a resource center, give a quiz section, moderate common-hour exams, and take three 3/4 credit courses while making sure to study not only for your exams, but the qualifying exam at the end of the semester. Grading the midterms took up about 8 hours worth of time because of having to give partial credit. I should strike against the union. Unless they're going to even the pay by cutting yours, what difference does it make to you? You're not going to get anything less. I'm not even saying I would feel differently, but rationally, it makes no difference. It's strange the way the mind works. Maybe it's apocryphal, but I recall hearing of a survey conducted in which people would rather make$50K a year if the average salary was $40K than$100K if the average was \$200K, with no chance of inflation. (Numbers are made up, but you get the idea.)

JasonRox
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union = no one working, standing around in small groups gossiping, painting their fingernails, watching tv.
Automakers in Germany are unionized and don't have that problem. Hmmm...

It has more to do with the philosophy of those who live in North America.

JasonRox
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I wish I could opt out of the graduate student union at my school. One of the key points at the first speech was how they are trying to negotiate with the school so that all TA's, regardless of major, get paid the same. About 80% of the students that attended clapped, the other 20% (engineers, scientists, med students, mathematicians, biologists, and chemists alike), all had a quizzical look, like "why should I get paid the same as an art history major when I do 3 times the work?"
Show me the last time a non-hard science TA has to teach three two-hour labs, put in multiple hours at a resource center, give a quiz section, moderate common-hour exams, and take three 3/4 credit courses while making sure to study not only for your exams, but the qualifying exam at the end of the semester. Grading the midterms took up about 8 hours worth of time because of having to give partial credit.

I should strike against the union.
I never seen science majors grade 50+ essays that are 10-20 pages or more in length.

Don't be so ignorant.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
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I wish I could opt out of the graduate student union at my school. One of the key points at the first speech was how they are trying to negotiate with the school so that all TA's, regardless of major, get paid the same. About 80% of the students that attended clapped, the other 20% (engineers, scientists, med students, mathematicians, biologists, and chemists alike), all had a quizzical look, like "why should I get paid the same as an art history major when I do 3 times the work?"
Show me the last time a non-hard science TA has to teach three two-hour labs, put in multiple hours at a resource center, give a quiz section, moderate common-hour exams, and take three 3/4 credit courses while making sure to study not only for your exams, but the qualifying exam at the end of the semester. Grading the midterms took up about 8 hours worth of time because of having to give partial credit.

I should strike against the union.
I hope that works out better for you than when I was in grad school. I never even got the normal annual raises because the contract ran out and they took years to renegotiate it, with salary freezes the entire time. When they finally got a new contract, they gave us some pittance of a bonus that didn't even come close to what I should have gotten in a stipend if they had never meddled in the first place.

Unions are just more harm than good anymore. They benefit the slackers and punish the hard workers. And in this case, hurt students who have nothing to do with their dispute. Hearing that the union is pressuring commencement speakers to cancel and ruin the big day for the graduates would make me more reluctant to give them anything they want...if people working at a university want to piss on the students, they don't deserve jobs at a university.

Moonbear
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I never seen science majors grade 50+ essays that are 10-20 pages or more in length.

Don't be so ignorant.
You've never graded biology lab reports then. The reason the science departments pay their TAs better than the liberal arts departments is that the science departments are the ones bringing in the grant funding that pays for a lot more than their share of expenses at the university. Science departments basically are the bread and butter that lets the liberal arts departments exist.

JasonRox
Homework Helper
Gold Member
You've never graded biology lab reports then. The reason the science departments pay their TAs better than the liberal arts departments is that the science departments are the ones bringing in the grant funding that pays for a lot more than their share of expenses at the university. Science departments basically are the bread and butter that lets the liberal arts departments exist.
Political Science departments can bring money in.

I'm guessing they do.

Plus, you might want to think which group of Alumni's bring the most money in. I'm sure some Alumni's bring in a lot more money than grants do.

I wouldn't think science majors are the top contribution donors in the Alumni. I would guess Political Science majors, Business majors and such.

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Gokul43201
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Unless they're going to even the pay by cutting yours, what difference does it make to you? You're not going to get anything less.
Unless the University recently won the lottery, there's no way they can do this without cutting stipends at the high end. And even if they did have the money to put this money into TA stipends, a flat rate would be an unfair distribution of the benefits.

If they are going to spend more money on TAs, I want some of it too!

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Moonbear
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Unless the University recently won the lottery, there's no way they can do this without cutting stipends at the high end. And even if they did have the money to put this money into TA stipends, a flat rate would be an unfair distribution of the benefits.

If they are going to spend more money on TAs, I want some of it too!
Or they'd have to cut budgets somewhere else to make up for the stipend increases.

Staff Emeritus
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what a debacle! I ended up skipping the Friday night ceremony. They sent out these last minute announcements saying Ariana Huffington was going to speak. I don't care anything about her so I passed. Anyhoo, I just found out that she was a no show - so there was only a student speaker and a keynote from our chancellor. Seriously, everyone was all seated and someone came out and announced that Ariana had cancelled. AND the stupid union people were protesting outside the graduation. God, I am glad I didn't see that. I might have gone completely berserk! It makes my blood boil.
Found a blog on it:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/6/18/11135/6471

Thanks for the congrats, you guys. We had the most wonderful departmental graduation last Saturday morning. They had it in Pauley Pavillion where they have the basketball games, and they were showing us up on the Jumbotron!!!! I'll have some pics to share in Sunday's chat.

BobG