2 comments on “Open Letter to GEO Members

  1. Here’s a response that was sent to the Provost from a fellow grad student (let’s all write back!):

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am an international PhD student from Spain that is currently enrolled in a PhD program at your university. I am, as many others, TAing for a living.

    It strikes me to receive an email such as the one you just sent, because I’ve been getting very mixed informations on the topic, I hope you can help me clarify.

    You say that you are commited to continuing the TA and RAship system, my question would be: why do you then refuse to write it in the contract that GEO is bargaining?

    You address the concern that GEO raises about not paying ‘enough’ money. I am an international student and I have had to prove (twice now) that I have enough funds myself to cover the gap between the salary the University pays for my 50% appointment and the minimum that the university requires from me. It strikes me as surprising that the salary you’re giving is below the minimum amount you yourselves think is required to live here. It’s even worse that I had to ask for money to my parents to prove I can make up for the difference.

    There’s also several different versions of the raising of the salaries during the last years. Do you have an official document that explains (with the real numbers) how the increase is has happened? As I understood it was way below the inflation and also it’s part of the bargain right now, so having official numbers will surely help me understand.

    I thank you for the last paragraph, since I also believe it’s not necessary to strike and that negotiation and mediation are the best way to get to an agreement. However, as of right now, it looks like the university is been pushing the mediation off the table for some time and has failed to recognize the mediator’s judgement about GEO having legitimate claims.

    The only reliable information I have comes from the GEO, so I hope you can help shed some light onto my questions or else I will be forced to strike for my rights and the rights of all new international students that, like me, will have a hard time surviving AND then have to prove that they have more funds than those you give as a university requirement.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely,


  2. Pingback: » Highlights from the IL Labor Board decision Welcome to the GEO Website

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