The 2017 Bargaining Process

About the Bargaining Sessions

What has happened so far?

GEO filed an Intent to Bargain in February 2017. Our first bargaining session was held on March 30th. You can find summaries on the GEO website of bargaining sessions, written by the Communications Committee and Bargaining Team.

Here are quick links to the sixth (June 20), fifth (June 6), fourth (May 23), third (May 2), second (April 17), and first (March 30) bargaining sessions.  


How does GEO approach bargaining?

GEO began the process of preparing for bargaining by forming a Bargaining Research Team (BRT) months before bargaining with the UIUC Administration began. The BRT conducted research on issues important to members and administered a survey of contract priorities in October and November 2016. As a result of the survey and conversations with members, the BRT drafted a bargaining platform composed of four pillars (protecting tuition waivers, raising wages and eliminating fees, ensuring quality healthcare, and promoting access and equality, which includes creating childcare support, strengthening our nondiscrimination statement, and expanding parental, bereavement, and visa/immigration leave). In February 2017, at a General Membership Meeting, GEO members voted to approve the bargaining pillars and elected a group of members to serve on the Bargaining Team (BT) to conduct negotiations with the UIUC Administration.


Who can attend a bargaining session?

Bargaining sessions are open to all members, but for legal reasons, GEO cannot invite non-members to bargaining sessions. If you have questions about whether you can attend a bargaining session, please email

During breaks in the bargaining session, BT members actively engage members in the room in discussions about the issues being negotiated at the table. When important decisions need to be made about contract priorities, the BT sends those issues to the Stewards’ Council and/or to a General Membership Meeting for a vote.


How can I attend a bargaining session?

Members can attend bargaining sessions, and are not required to stay the whole time. Those who are eligible for membership but have not yet signed a membership card can do so at the bargaining session. Bargaining sessions are open to all members, but for legal reasons, GEO cannot invite non-members to bargaining sessions. If you have questions about whether you can attend a bargaining session, please email

Directions and Travel Information to Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) at 11 Gerty Drive in Champaign:

Take Neal Street to Gerty Drive, turn by the Credit Union, and go to the end of Gerty Drive (past the stop sign). The Illinois Fire Service Institute will be on your left.

  • Carpool: the Bargaining Team has organized a carpool for members. If want to attend and need a ride, please fill out the carpool signup form on our website. Carpools will travel between the GEO Office and IFSI. Please let us know a few days in advance if you’d like a ride.
  • Parking: it is free to park in the designated visitor section of the IFSI lot.
  • Bike: there are at least two bike racks available in front of the IFSI main building.
  • Bus: the bus line is 1 South Yellow to Water Survey and the stop is the Water Survey building. Be sure your bus is labeled Water Survey, not Lot E-14 or Savoy Wal-Mart.


Who can I contact with questions about bargaining?

You can email the Bargaining Team regarding bargaining questions at



Timeline of Bargaining

The first bargaining session was on March 30, 2017, and they have continued approximately every two weeks since then.


Upcoming bargaining session dates:

  • 7th Bargaining Session: Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 9:00am-12:00pm
  • 8th Bargaining Session: Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 9:00am-12:00pm

Future bargaining session dates and times TBD.

Our current contract ends on August 15, 2017.



How to Get Involved

If you can’t make it to the bargaining session, you can still keep up with bargaining updates by attending GEO committee meetings and general membership meetings, following GEO on social media, and reading GEO emails.

More ways to be involved with bargaining:

  • Talk to your GEO department Steward
  • Attend a Bargaining Team meeting
  • Attend bargaining sessions
  • Talk to your GEO colleagues


See the GEO event calendar for future Bargaining Team meetings, bargaining sessions, and other events. Add it to your Google calendar by searching for Bargaining Team meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members. Please contact the Bargaining Team ( with any questions.


Call for Testimonials

One powerful tool in bargaining is member stories, and we want to hear from you! If you have a story related to our contract, email to share it with the Bargaining Team.  

If you have an experience to share about these (or other!) issues, please consider coming to the bargaining sessions and voicing it. If you do not feel comfortable speaking in the session, that is okay too. With your permission, someone else can read your written statement without mentioning you as the author. You can indicate to the Bargaining Team how you want your story shared.


The Bargaining Team

GEO’s Bargaining Team (BT) is composed of members from a diverse array of departments who were elected to serve on the BT. Per the GEO constitution, several GEO officers serve on the BT.

BT members do not have a designated leader, but rather operate on a model of shared distribution of labor.

You can contact the Bargaining Team at