GEO Election Results and End-of-the-Year Party!

GEO Party Flyer 2017

Table of Contents:

ELECTION RESULTS
EVENTS

 

  1. ELECTION RESULTS

At the General Membership Meeting on April 26th, and for two days thereafter , members voted for the Coordinating Committee that will lead GEO into the next 2017-2018 academic year. In the year ahead, we will continue bargaining a new contract with the UIUC Administration, while also sustaining the grievance, solidarity, and organizing work we currently do.

We are proud to welcome (and welcome back):

Co-President: Marilia Correa (History)

Co-President: Gus Wood (History)

Grievance Officer: Bruce Kovanen (English)

Solidarity Officer: Roshni Bano (Physics)

Communications Officer: Maria Garth (Art History)

Treasurer: Alvaro Cruz (Psychology)

Officer-at-Large: Thomas Day (History)

Officer-at-Large: Zoe MacDowell Kaswan (Neuroscience)

Officer-at-Large: Eva Rogaar (History)

 

Additionally, elected last week through a separate voting process within Stewards’ Council:

Stewards’ Council Chair: Andy Bowman (English)

All officers can be contacted via the “Contact Us” page on the GEO website.

 

  1. EVENTS:

See a full schedule of GEO meetings and events here, and contact geo@uigeo.org with any questions.

Wear your GEO shirt or pin on Wednesday for “Wear it Wednesday”! Take a photo and post it with the tag #WearitWednesday to share with us on Instagram or Twitter.

Coffee Cart

The GEO coffee cart is coming to you! Grab a free cup of coffee, some GEO swag, and chat with GEO members as the cart makes its way around the quad and into nearby buildings on Wednesdays from 11am to 1pm.

 

End-of-the-Year Party!

We’re having a party to celebrate the end of the academic year! Join us on Saturday, May 6, 9:00pm to midnight at Pizza M in Urbana. We’ll have free food and drinks for members, and GEO swag. Here’s a link to the Facebook event.

 

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uigeo.org

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc


Text Updates: text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

BARGAINING: Third Session Summary May 2, 2017

Today, the GEO Bargaining Team (BT) and the UIUC Administration held their third bargaining session. Thank you to all members who attended! Please read below for more information on what happened today and what comes next.

NEXT BARGAINING SESSION: May 23, 2017, 9:00am-12:00pm, location TBD (see below!).

What GEO Did

Despite the repeated insistence by the Administration to hold bargaining sessions at the Fire Service Institute (FSI), away from central campus where we teach, research, and work, GEO successfully negotiated McKinley Foundation as a more member-friendly location for our third meeting, and came prepared to reiterate why FSI is an unsuitable location going forward.

Prior to this session, we reiterated the need for a comprehensive counter-proposal from the Administration to help move forward with bargaining. We must know everything that’s on the table before agreeing to anything. After presenting our original proposal on March 30th, the administration has now had over a month to respond. We came prepared to begin moving forward on the four pillars decided by the membership.

Key Takeaways of the Session

  1. The Administration won’t agree to bargain in a central campus location. Despite today’s success in having the meeting at the McKinley Foundation, the Administration is still pushing to meet at the FSI going forward. In fact, they’ve indicated that they’re only willing to meet somewhere else if FSI is booked!
  2. The Administration’s response was unprepared and inadequate. GEO presented the Administration with a full and comprehensive proposal at our first bargaining session. The Administration has not done the same. They still have not provided us with their full and comprehensive proposal, and they even claim that they do not need to (despite it being standard practice in bargaining and established precedent at this University). We need to see their full proposal in order to bargain fairly. As our lead negotiator pointed out, they are behaving like a student unprepared for class. In fact, one of the “new” articles they proposed was already included in the current contract–something the Administration apparently didn’t realize.
  3. The few things that the Administration proposed would harm GEO employees. The Administration gave us several proposed changes to articles today.

In our comprehensive proposal, GEO proposed expanding our contractual non-discrimination clause to protect members on the basis of parental status, medical status, ethnicity, gender expression, or union membership, and to explicitly define and protect against discrimination, harassment, and micro-aggressions. Despite claiming a strong desire to protect graduate employees, they’ve refused to go beyond anything than the bare minimum of “what is covered under the law.” When reminded that they could choose to go above and beyond the bare minimum, they reiterated their intent to merely comply.

The Administration said that getting appointment letters out within at least 60 days of the start of the appointment is “not practicable,” and proposed eliminating the deadlines on appointment letters altogether! GEO recently won an arbitration based on the fact that 95% of appointment letters are late. Rather than addressing the problem, they want to eliminate the deadline.

Overall, the Administration refuses to give us what we need for bargaining–a comprehensive proposal. We’re ready to bargain whenever they are.

What Comes Next

Please attend the next bargaining session: we need you!

The Bargaining Team represents you at the table. We look to you for input when we go to break out sessions. The more people in the room, the better informed our decisions at the table.

Attending bargaining sessions is the best way to actively engage in the negotiation of your wages, healthcare, and other protections. It is perfectly acceptable to come late or leave early from a bargaining session if you can’t stay the entire time. Just being present demonstrates our unity and strength to the Administration. You can even bring your work if you want. Coffee and food will be provided.

The BT and the Administration agreed to meet for our next bargaining session on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Administration proposed to meet at the FSI. GEO will respond soon. If we do meet at FSI, we’ll have a carpool to make sure all members who want to attend can do so.

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.

Here is a summary of the second bargaining session (April 17), and a summary of the first bargaining session (March 30).

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

The next GEO Bargaining Team meeting is on Thursday, May 4, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the GEO office in the McKinley Foundation Sun Room (809 S. Fifth St., Champaign). All members are welcome to the meeting. If you have questions about bargaining or the BT’s proposal, attending this meeting is the best way to address them. You can also reach us at barg@uigeo.org. All members are welcome!

See the GEO event calendar for future Bargaining Team meetings, bargaining sessions, and other events. Add it to your Google calendar by searching for geo@uigeo.org. Bargaining Team meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members. Please contact the Bargaining Team (barg@uigeo.org) 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 barg@uigeo.org to share it with the Bargaining Team.


Our pillars of bargaining are 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. 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 OK 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.

Follow GEO Online:
Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Text Updates: text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

 

 

 

May Day Rally A Success!

May Day Rally Flag Photo

 

Thank you to our allies, supporters, and everyone who attended today’s May Day rally for International Workers’ Day and celebrated GEO’s 20th anniversary with us.

May Day Speech 2

GEO member Gus Wood gave a rousing speech about May Day, which you can read here: “Comrade Workers.” The speech from last year’s May Day can be found here.

 

May Day Speech 1

 

As we described in our birthday announcement, we plan to carry this collaborative momentum and solidarity forward, and will continue fighting for rights and social justice!

May Day Speech 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May Day 2017 crowd

UIUC GEO COMMEMORATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST UNION ELECTION WITH NOON MAY DAY RALLY ON CAMPUS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UIUC GEO COMMEMORATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST UNION ELECTION WITH NOON MAY DAY RALLY ON CAMPUS

Urbana-Champaign (May 1, 2017): The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, AFT/IFT Local 6300, is celebrating its 20th birthday on May 1, 2017. After several years of collective organizing, UIUC graduate employees voted to establish GEO as their official union representative in the spring of 1997. The University of Illinois refused to recognize the results of the election but years of organizing and civil disobedience, alongside a legal battle, culminated in an occupation of Swanlund Administration Building in 2002 and subsequent negotiations with University officials. The first contract was signed in 2003.

Since then, GEO has bargained three additional contracts, secured tuition waiver protections, won improved wages and more affordable healthcare, established a grievance procedure to protect graduate employee rights, and much more. In GEO’s official twenty-year history, it has become famous among labor organizations nationwide for its strength and commitment to democratic principles, and a 2009 strike that brought more than 1,000 people to campus picket lines.

“Regardless of our changing membership, intense repression by the Administration, and federal, state, and local policies that curtail union power, the GEO has always and will continue to sustain a powerful rank-and-file membership through a democratic structure with the material and social interests of our membership as our sole organizing force,” said GEO member Gus Wood.

GEO will celebrate its birthday as a part of the May Day (International Workers’ Day) festivities it is planning for Monday in tandem with other campus and national labor unions and organizations. All community members are invited to a rally at Anniversary Plaza on UIUC’s north quad from 12:00 to 2:00pm, to celebrate workers’ contributions to society and reaffirm their commitment to fighting for labor and immigrant rights. There will be speakers from GEO, NTFC, SEIU, AFSCME, IWW, and a number of other organizations.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, represents approximately 2,700 Teaching and Graduate Assistants on the UIUC Campus. In November 2009, over 1,000 GEO members successfully went on strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.

For more information, please contact Maria Garth, at commcomm@uigeo.org. More information can also be found on GEO’s website at www.uigeo.org.

Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo
@geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

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May Day, GEO 20th Birthday, Bargaining, Announcements, Updates, and Events

Table of Contents:

MAY DAY HISTORY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEO
MAY DAY RALLY

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Third Bargaining Session
Call for Testimonials

COMMITTEE UPDATES
Grievance Committee
Steward’s Council
Communications Committee
Solidarity Committee
Coordinating Committee
Healthcare Working Group

EVENTS
Wear It Wednesday
Physics Grads: GEO Bargaining Updates & Work Actions
Coffee Cart

 
 

May Day Email Banner

MAY DAY HISTORY

On May 1, 1886, workers took to the streets in a general strike throughout the entire country to force the ownership class to recognize the eight-hour work day. Over 350,000 workers across the country directly participated in the general strike, with hundreds of thousands of workers joining the marches. On May 3rd in Chicago, the city police opened fire on the unarmed striking workers at the McCormick Reaper Works, killing six workers and wounding countless others in the Haymarket Massacre. On May 4th, workers across the nation quickly rose up, particularly the Chicago anarchists of the IWPA (International Working Peoples’ Association), who organized a rally of several thousand workers at Haymarket Square to protest the continuing police violence against striking workers on the South Side. As the last speaker finished his remarks, 180 armed police marched forward and demanded the workers to disperse. Then, deep within the police ranks, a bomb exploded, killing seven officers. The police opened fire on the unarmed workers. Eight anarchist workers were convicted of murder and inciting a riot. Only one of the eight men accused was present at the protest, and he was attempting to address the crowd when the bomb went off.  No evidence was ever produced to uphold the accusations. Four of the prisoners – Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel and Adolph Fisher – were executed while Louis Lingg committed suicide and the three remaining were pardoned due to immense working class uprisings. On May 1, 1890, in accordance with the decision of the Paris Congress (July 1889) of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket martyrs, workers organized mass demonstrations and strikes across multiple continents. The workers put forward the demands for an 8-hour workday, better health conditions, and further demands set forth by the International Association of Workers. Workers symbolized the red flag as a working-class commemoration for those lost through exploitation and oppression. From that day forward (starting in 1891 in Russia), workers throughout the world began to celebrate the first of May as a day of international worker solidarity, fighting for liberation, celebrating the past, and building our future without the oppression and exploitation of the state.

Today, unions like GEO continue to be on the forefront of fighting for workers’ rights and fair working conditions.

 

GEO Birthday Flyer

HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY GEO!

This spring, GEO is celebrating its 20th birthday! UIUC graduate employees voted to establish GEO as their official union representative in the spring of 1997, after several years of organizing. Since then, we’ve bargained four contracts, secured tuition waiver protections, won improved wages and more affordable healthcare, established a grievance procedure to protect our rights, eaten a LOT of pizza, and much more. In our twenty-year history, we have become famous among labor organizations nationwide for our strength and commitment to democratic principles. We hope you’ll come out and celebrate with us at the May Day rally on May 1st (details below). Here’s to many more years and victories!

 

May Day Rally Banner

MAY DAY RALLY

Join us at the May Day rally to celebrate campus labor and social justice, and GEO’s birthday! Workers from several campus labor unions will speak at the rally on Monday, May 1, 12:00pm, at Anniversary Plaza. Here is the Facebook event link for the May Day Rally.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Third Bargaining Session:
GEO’s third bargaining session with the UIUC administration will be on Tuesday, May 2, 9:00am-12:00pm, at the McKinley Foundation (809 S 5th St, Champaign, IL) on campus. All members are welcome to attend this bargaining session. Refreshments will be provided for members in attendance.

The GEO recognized the Fire Services Institute as unsuitable for member attendance and prioritized securing a more accessible space for bargaining. As a result, the GEO successfully moved the third bargaining session to the member-friendly McKinley Foundation. Securing a negotiated, member-friendly campus space for bargaining not only serves to increase member attendance and participation in bargaining, but also significantly shifts the power dynamics (control of our bargaining) in our favor. With this early victory, members can be assured that the Bargaining Team will stand firm on all contract proposals to advance the material and social condition for all workers!

Here’s a link to the Facebook event for the third bargaining session.

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.

Here is a summary of the second bargaining session (April 17), and a summary of the first bargaining session (March 30).

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

Join the Bargaining Team at their next meeting on Thursday, May 4, 3:00-5:00pm, at the GEO Office. All members are welcome!

See the GEO event calendar for future Bargaining Team meetings, bargaining sessions, and other events. Add it to your Google calendar by searching for geo@uigeo.org. Bargaining Team meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members. Please contact the Bargaining Team (barg@uigeo.org) 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 barg@uigeo.org to share it with the Bargaining Team.

Our pillars of bargaining are 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. 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 OK 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.

 

COMMITTEE UPDATES:

Grievance Committee:
A contract is only as good as our ability to enforce it. The Grievance Committee is responsible for advocating for fair labor practices at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and protecting graduate employees from abuse… and we need your help! Join the Grievance Committee for an opportunity to have a lasting impact on the lives of your peers all across campus. We meet every Tuesday at 7pm at the GEO Office.

DID YOU KNOW???

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement protects members of the Bargaining Unit from being overworked? You can refer to your appointment letter for information on the maximum number of hours you can be asked to work per week. If you are consistently being asked to work more than your appointment letter specifies, remain calm! Complete the work you were asked to perform, but take detailed notes and contact the Grievance Committee for advice about how to raise the issue to your employment supervisor. See Article VII in the GEO’s Collective Bargaining Agreement for more information.

Don’t forget to check out our new online “Submit a Grievance” web form, which is available at http://www.uigeo.org/grievances/grievance-report/. Please pass this link along to your colleagues if you hear of someone that might need to speak with the Grievance Committee.

 

Stewards’ Council (SC):
The Stewards Council is always looking for new members who want to help organize their departments! We are especially looking for grad workers who would like to be Stewards who are planning to stay in Champaign-Urbana over the summer. Please contact sc@uigeo.org with any questions.

Stewards are a visible representative of the GEO in their departments, and representatives of their department to the GEO. They are the go-to people for fielding questions about the contract, or other issues that GEO members might be facing, and are essential for communicating problems in their department to the GEO. They also help keep membership in their departments informed and up-to-date about GEO activities. The SC plans a variety of events every year, such as happy hours, general membership meetings, and informational sessions for departments. By being a steward for your department, you can work with GEO to make events tailored to your department’s students’ needs and interests.

Our meetings are open to all GEO members. While each department has its own method for appointing stewards, any GEO member may serve as a steward. Some department have co-Stewards. The next meeting is on Tuesday, May 9, 5:00-7:00pm, at the GEO office.

 

Communications Committee (Comm Comm):
We’re looking for new members to join our committee! Our meetings are open to all GEO members and no prior experience with communications is necessary. Please contact Communications Committee at commcomm@uigeo.org if you are interested in attending. The next meeting is on Thursday, May 11, 2:00-4:00pm, at the GEO Office.

 

Solidarity Committee (Sol Comm):
Sol Comm is committed to working on issues of social justice and supporting them through various means such as financial endorsements, statements of support, and collaborations. To that end, the Solidarity Committee allows the creation of research groups to efficiently strategize around issues of social justice. Groups such as the Environmental Justice Research Group, the Gender Justice Research Group, and the Anti‐Police Brutality Research Group work on these issues and report to the Solidarity Committee. Please contact the Solidarity Committee at solcomm@uigeo.orgThe next meeting is on May 5, 6:00-8:00pm, at the GEO Office.

Coordinating Committee (CC):

The Coordinating Committee (CC) is made up of elected officers from all committees, though any member may attend meetings. The CC makes decisions about large‐scale projects, some financial decisions, and the GEO’s long‐term vision. Our meetings are open to all GEO members. Please contact the Coordinating Committee at cc@uigeo.org with any questions. Meeting times for the CC can be found on the GEO Calendar.

 

Healthcare Working Group:
The Healthcare Working Group works to educate graduate employees on their healthcare rights and benefits, as well as facilitating conversations about healthcare on campus between different stakeholder groups. For more information contact geo@uigeo.org. The next meeting is on Wednesday, May 10, 3:30-4:30 pm, at the GEO Office.

 

EVENTS:

See a full schedule of GEO meetings and events here, and contact geo@uigeo.org with any questions.

Wear your GEO shirt or pin on Wednesday for “Wear it Wednesday”! Take a photo and post it with the tag #WearitWednesday to share with us on Instagram or Twitter.

Physics Grads: GEO Bargaining Updates & Work Actions
Monday, May 1st, 6:00-7:30pm in Loomis 222. We will start this session with an overview of our contract proposal and updates on bargaining by the Bargaining Team. After this, the Work Action Group will talk about how you can support the GEO during to contract negotiations: one way is taking collective action to get a fair contract.

Food and drinks will be provided. You don’t have to be in the physics department to attend. Facebook event can be found here.

Coffee Cart
The GEO coffee cart is coming to you! Grab a free cup of coffee, some GEO swag, and chat with GEO members as the cart makes its way around the quad and into nearby buildings on Wednesdays from 11am to 1pm.

 

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc


Text Updates: text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

 

May Day Rally!

May Day Rally flyer

Monday, May 1st, is International Workers’ Day. Join us at the May Day rally to celebrate campus labor and social justice, and GEO’s birthday! Workers from several campus and community labor unions, including GEO, will speak at the rally on Monday, May 1, 12:00pm, at Anniversary Plaza (near the Main Quad).

 

Here is the Facebook event link for the May Day Rally.

General Membership Meeting, BARGAINING, and Events

 

Table of Contents:

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • General Membership Meeting
  • Third Bargaining Session
  • Call for Testimonials

EVENTS

  • How GEO Bargaining Will Change Your Life As a Graduate Student!
  • Teach-Out for Illinois Higher Education
  • Student Sit-In at African American Studies Department Rages On!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

General Membership Meeting Flyer

General Membership Meeting (GMM):

Our next GMM will occur on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm, at the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL). The main items on the agenda for this meeting will be bargaining updates and officer elections.

Your attendance is needed–mark your calendar!

Agenda:

  1. Welcome and Agenda Overview  
  2. Committee/Working Groups Updates/Introductions
  3. Event Announcements
  4. Constitutional Amendment Clarification
  5. Bargaining Updates and Questions
  6. Elections
  7. Wrap up

 

Free food, childcare, and a democratic process will be provided to members.

 

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Article VII: Officers

Additions

  1. Any two members in good standing may run as a team to the positions of Communications Officer, Grievance Officer, or Solidarity Officer. Teams elected for these positions will share a single vote, decided through consensus, in the CC.

If one of the members that ran as a team is unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the remaining member can continue to fulfill their elected position. The remaining officer, if they choose, may select choose to another member to fill the role as defined in Section 5b. The replacing officer will help with fulfilling the duties of the officer for the committee. The original officer can choose to either hold the voting power themselves or place their vote, through consensus.

  1. Processes for re-appointing Officers:
  1. If a currently elected Treasurer, Officer-at-Large, or Co-president is unable to fulfil their responsibilities, they may suggest that someone else fill the role. The CC will then hold a meeting to appoint, via a vote, a member in good standing to fill the position, taking the recommendation of the current officer into account. Officers appointed in this manner will serve primarily to fill the duties of the position; they will not have voting rights on the CC.
  2. If a currently elected Grievance Officer, Solidarity Officer, or Communication Officer is  unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the officer may convene a meeting of their respective committee to determine who could suitably fill the role. The committee will then nominate a member in good standing subject to approval by the SC. The new officer will serve primarily as the chair for the committee and will not have voting rights on the CC.
  3. If any officer wishes for reappointment under (a) or (b), the CC should inform the general membership, at least one week in advance before the committee for whom the member will serve as leader will vote on unelected officers. The communication should contain detailed information about the positions to be filled, about candidates,  and about member’s right to attend the committee meeting in which voting takes place.

Amendment to Article VI: Ballots, Elections, and Referenda

Numeral to amend:

  1. An election to fill a vacant officership must be held within 25 days of the vacancy arising.

Amendment:

  1. If no re-appointment process is initiated to temporarily fill a vacant officership, as specified under Article VII.5, an election to fill such vacancy must be held within 30 days of the vacancy arising, except when vacancies occur during after the end of winter semester or before fall semester of the academic year. In these cases, the 30 day window begins the first day of classes. If such process is initiated, an election must be held within 90 days of  the vacancy arising.

Amending Article VI: Ballots, Elections, and Referenda, replacing Section 1 with the following language: “Any vote requiring the general membership may be performed in-person or through a secure online voting platform, and shall be called and decided on by the Coordinating Committee.  Membership may also vote to have any issue put to such a ballot by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a membership meeting.

 

Third Bargaining Session

GEO’s third bargaining session with the UIUC administration will be on Tuesday, May 2, 9:00am-12:00pm, at the McKinley Foundation (809 S 5th St, Champaign, IL).

The GEO recognized the Fire Services Institute as unsuitable for member attendance and prioritized securing a more accessible space for bargaining. As a result, the GEO successfully moved the third bargaining session to the member-friendly McKinley Foundation. Securing a negotiated, member-friendly campus space for bargaining not only serves to increase member attendance and participation in bargaining, but also significantly shifts the power dynamics (control of our bargaining) in our favor. With this early victory, members can be assured that the Bargaining Team will stand firm on all contract proposals to advance the material and social condition for all workers! All members are encouraged to attend this third bargaining session. Refreshments will be provided for members in attendance.

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.

Here’s a link to the Facebook event for the third bargaining session.

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 geo@uigeo.org. Bargaining Team meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members. Please contact the Bargaining Team (barg@uigeo.org) 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 barg@uigeo.org or attending a Bargaining Team meeting to share it with the Bargaining Team.

Our pillars of bargaining are 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.

The Bargaining Team is especially looking for members who have stories related to the following aspects of our comprehensive contract proposal: Nondiscrimination Statement; Appointment Terms; Employee Rights; Leaves and Holidays; and Health and Safety.

If you have an experience to share about these (or other!) issues, please consider letting the Bargaining Team know. You can indicate to the Bargaining Team how you want your story shared.

 

 

EVENTS

The Graduate Employees’ Organization and the History Department UIUC present:

How GEO Bargaining Will Change Your Life As a Graduate Student!
April 25, 3:00pm
Gregory Hall 317

We invite you to an interactive discussion with the GEO about our contract bargaining with the University.  We are seeking to raise your graduate work pay, improve your access to all forms of healthcare–including twelve month coverage and greater access for dependents and partners–advocate for childcare services, and further expand fair access for all to campus resources.

Whether you are familiar with GEO or not, this event will both inform you about what’s happening, give you an opportunity to provide your questions, feedback, and ideas to the GEO, and get you involved in the bargaining process. Come for just a brief visit or stay for the full discussion! Here is the link to the Facebook event.

MAIZE AND DRINKS WILL BE SERVED.

Co-Sponsors:
HGSA
History Department

 

Teach-Out for Illinois Higher Education

Attend the Thursday, April 27 Teach Out and join Illinois Federation of Teachers, UIC United Faculty Local 6456, UPI, and UIC Graduate Employees Organization to demonstrate that you’ve had enough!

IFT, AFT, UPI Local 4100, IFT Local 1600, Community colleges, Jobs with Justice, Immigration Rights groups, working family groups, all are involved. If you’re interested in attending and would like a seat on our bus to Springfield, please email geo@uigeo.org.

 

Student Sit-In at African American Studies Department Rages On!

The Black United Front UIUC and Me.Ch.A. are continuing their sit-in in the Department of African American Studies until Professor Ronald Bailey (the DAAS head) and the relevant UIUC administrators commit to fully preserve the DAAS academic adviser position and Mr. Lou Turner is reinstated as DAAS academic adviser. Lou Turner was wrongfully terminated by Professor Bailey without student or faculty consent for reasons that are still unknown.  Bailey’s original “budgetary” reasoning has been proven false and little, if any faculty, have voiced support for this firing.  

Please support the student sit-in by coming to the department and voicing displeasure, sitting in, or publicizing the gross injustices happening in the African American Studies Department.  If Lou Turner is not brought back, it will devastate the students and department in many ways.  #TurnupforTurner!

 

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc


Text Updates: text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

 

 

General Membership Meeting Spring 2017

General Membership Meeting flyer

General Membership Meeting (GMM)

Our next GMM will occur on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm, at the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL). The main items on the agenda for this meeting will be bargaining updates and officer elections.

Your attendance is needed–mark your calendar!

Agenda:

  1. Welcome and Agenda Overview  
  2. Committee/Working Groups Updates/Introductions
  3. Event Announcements
  4. Constitutional Amendment Clarification
  5. Bargaining Updates and Questions
  6. Elections
  7. Wrap up

Free food, childcare, and a democratic process will be provided to members.

 

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Article VII: Officers

Additions

4. Any two members in good standing may run as a team to the positions of Communications Officer, Grievance Officer, or Solidarity Officer. Teams elected for these positions will share a single vote, decided through consensus, in the CC.

If one of the members that ran as a team is unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the remaining member can continue to fulfill their elected position. The remaining officer, if they choose, may select choose to another member to fill the role as defined in Section 5b. The replacing officer will help with fulfilling the duties of the officer for the committee. The original officer can choose to either hold the voting power themselves or place their vote, through consensus.

5. Processes for re-appointing Officers:

  1. If a currently elected Treasurer, Officer-at-Large, or Co-president is unable to fulfil their responsibilities, they may suggest that someone else fill the role. The CC will then hold a meeting to appoint, via a vote, a member in good standing to fill the position, taking the recommendation of the current officer into account. Officers appointed in this manner will serve primarily to fill the duties of the position; they will not have voting rights on the CC.
  2. If a currently elected Grievance Officer, Solidarity Officer, or Communication Officer is  unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the officer may convene a meeting of their respective committee to determine who could suitably fill the role. The committee will then nominate a member in good standing subject to approval by the SC. The new officer will serve primarily as the chair for the committee and will not have voting rights on the CC.
  3. If any officer wishes for reappointment under (a) or (b), the CC should inform the general membership, at least one week in advance before the committee for whom the member will serve as leader will vote on unelected officers. The communication should contain detailed information about the positions to be filled, about candidates,  and about member’s right to attend the committee meeting in which voting takes place.

Amendment to Article VI: Ballots, Elections, and Referenda

Numeral to amend:

3. An election to fill a vacant officership must be held within 25 days of the vacancy arising.

Amendment:

3. If no re-appointment process is initiated to temporarily fill a vacant officership, as specified under Article VII.5, an election to fill such vacancy must be held within 30 days of the vacancy arising, except when vacancies occur during after the end of winter semester or before fall semester of the academic year. In these cases, the 30 day window begins the first day of classes. If such process is initiated, an election must be held within 90 days of  the vacancy arising.

Amending Article VI: Ballots, Elections, and Referenda, replacing Section 1 with the following language: “Any vote requiring the general membership may be performed in-person or through a secure online voting platform, and shall be called and decided on by the Coordinating Committee.  Membership may also vote to have any issue put to such a ballot by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a membership meeting.

BARGAINING: Second Session Summary April 17, 2017

 

Today, the GEO Bargaining Team (BT) and the UIUC Administration held their second bargaining session. Thank you to all members who attended! Please read below for more information on what happened today and what comes next.

Goals for the meeting

The purpose of today’s bargaining session was to hear the Administration’s response to our comprehensive proposal (presented to them at the first meeting) and, hopefully, to see a full counter-proposal from the Administration. We also sought to have the location changed for future bargaining sessions to a building on campus, as the Fire Service Institute is difficult for many members to get to.

What GEO did

We heard the Administration’s response to our proposal, including some new information requests.

For the location of future bargaining sessions, we proposed the McKinley Foundation, located near central campus. They had concerns about meeting anywhere else other than the Fire Service Institute, and we addressed all of their concerns in our proposal of the McKinley Foundation, which we have already booked and have offered to pay for. Despite this, they still would not commit to giving their final answer during the session, instead offering to get back to us about the location “soon.”

What the Administration did

The Administration did not present a full proposal, but instead presented three short counter-proposals where the only change they made was to pronouns. They were not willing to commit to showing us a full comprehensive counter-proposal. This appears to be a stalling tactic because they want to “chip away” at our contract priorities without giving us a comprehensive counter-proposal. Additionally, the Administration has not agreed to providing us with a wage proposal at this time, despite this being one of our key Bargaining Pillars.

At the first session, both parties exchanged information requests. While we responded with their requested information in a timely manner, they have still not answered ours.

This is unacceptable.

To bargain in good faith, we need to see their full counter-proposal.

How GEO responded

Consistent with GEO’s past negotiations, we stated that we cannot address individual counter-proposals until we have seen their comprehensive counter-proposal. We provided answers to questions they had about our proposal.

What comes next

Please attend the next bargaining session: we need you!

The Bargaining Team represents you at the table. We look to you for input when we go to break out sessions. The more people in the room, the better informed our decisions at the table.

Attending bargaining sessions is the best way to actively engage in the negotiation of your wages, healthcare, and other protections. It is perfectly acceptable to come late or leave early from a bargaining session if you can’t stay the entire time. Just being present demonstrates our unity and strength to the Administration. You can even bring your work if you want. Coffee and food will be provided.  

The BT and the Administration agreed to meet for our next bargaining session on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. We are waiting on the Administration to get back to us regarding a meeting location; be on the look-out for a follow-up email about this.

The next GEO Bargaining Team meeting is on Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the GEO office in the McKinley Foundation Sun Room (809 S. Fifth St., Champaign–enter through the Presby Hall doors on Fifth St.). All members are welcome to the meeting. If you have questions about bargaining or the BT’s proposal, attending this meeting is the best way to address them. You can also reach us at geo@uigeo.org.

 

More ways to be involved with bargaining:

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

 

Here’s a link to the recap of the first bargaining session.

 

Follow GEO online:

Website: www.uigeo.org

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc

 

Text Updates: text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

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

 

BARGAINING, General Membership Meeting, Updates, and Events

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Second Bargaining Session

GEO’s second bargaining session with the UIUC administration will be on Monday, April 17, 12:00-3:00pm, at the Fire Service Institute (FSI) (11 Gerty Dr, Champaign, IL 61820). All members are welcome to attend this bargaining session. Refreshments will be provided for members in attendance.

Directions and Travel Information to Fire Service Institute (FSI):

  • Carpool: the Bargaining Team has organized a carpool for members. If want to attend and need a ride, please email barg@uigeo.org. Carpools will travel between the GEO Office and FSI.
  • Parking: it is free to park in the designated visitor section of the FSI lot.
  • Bike: there are at least two bike racks available in front of the FSI main building.
  • Bus: the bus line is 1 Yellow and drops off in front of the water survey building.

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.

Here’s a link to the Facebook event for the second bargaining session.

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 geo@uigeo.org. Bargaining Team meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members. Please contact the Bargaining Team (barg@uigeo.org) 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 barg@uigeo.org to share it with the Bargaining Team.

Our pillars of bargaining are 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. 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 OK 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.

General Membership Meeting (GMM):

Our next GMM will occur on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm, in the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL). The main items on the agenda for this meeting will be bargaining updates and officer elections.

As mentioned in the GEO-L sent out 4/3/17, yearly officer elections occur at the late-April GMM, and all members are invited to run for a position. Please see the GEO Committees/Working Groups page or the 4/3/17 GEO-L for more detailed information. If you would like your name to appear on the pre-printed ballot, please email GEO staff with your name and a short statement at geo@uigeo.org before the end of the day on Monday, April 24, 2017. Write-in candidates are also accepted for those who wish to declare their candidacy at the meeting.

Free food will be provided to members in attendance.

 

COMMITTEE UPDATES:


Grievance Committee:

A contract is only as good as our ability to enforce it. The Grievance Committee is responsible for advocating for fair labor practices at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and protecting graduate employees from abuse… and we need your help! Join the Grievance Committee for an opportunity to have a lasting impact on the lives of your peers all across campus. We meet every Tuesday at 7pm at the GEO Office.

DID YOU KNOW???

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement protects members of the Bargaining Unit from being overworked? You can refer to your appointment letter for information on the maximum number of hours you can be asked to work per week. If you are consistently being asked to work more than your appointment letter specifies, remain calm! Complete the work you were asked to perform, but take detailed notes and contact the Grievance Committee for advice about how to raise the issue to your employment supervisor. See Article VII in the GEO’s Collective Bargaining Agreement for more information.

Don’t forget to check out our new online “Submit a Grievance” web form, which is available at http://www.uigeo.org/grievances/grievance-report/. Please pass this link along to your colleagues if you hear of someone that might need to speak with the Grievance Committee.

 

Stewards’ Council (SC):

The Stewards Council is always looking for new members who want to help organize their departments! We are especially looking for grad workers who would like to be Stewards in the departments of Chemistry, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering. Please contact sc@uigeo.org with any questions.

Stewards are a visible representative of the GEO in their departments, and representatives of their department to the GEO. They are the go-to people for fielding questions about the contract, or other issues that GEO members might be facing, and are essential for communicating problems in their department to the GEO. They also help keep membership in their departments informed and up-to-date about GEO activities. The SC plans a variety of events every year, such as happy hours, general membership meetings, and informational sessions for departments. By being a steward for your department, you can work with GEO to make events tailored to your department’s students’ needs and interests.

Our meetings are open to all GEO members. While each department has its own method for appointing stewards, any GEO member may serve as a steward. Some department have co-Stewards. The next meeting is on Tuesday, April 25, 5:00-7:00pm, at the GEO Office.


Communications Committee (Comm Comm):

We’re looking for new members to join our committee! Our meetings are open to all GEO members and no prior experience with communications is necessary. Please contact Maria Garth at commcomm@uigeo.org if you are interested in attending.

The next meeting is on Monday, April 24, 7:15pm, at the GEO Office.

Solidarity Committee (Sol Comm):

Sol Comm is committed to working on issues of social justice and supporting them through various means such as financial endorsements, statements of support, and collaborations. To that end, the Solidarity Committee allows the creation of research groups to efficiently strategize around issues of social justice. Groups such as the Environmental Justice Research Group, the Gender Justice Research Group, and the Anti‐Police Brutality Research Group work on these issues and report to the Solidarity Committee. Please contact the Solidarity Co-Chairs Isis Rose, Daniel Gonzalez, and Efad Huq at solcomm@uigeo.org.

The next meeting is on Friday, April 21, at 6:00pm, at the GEO Office.

Coordinating Committee (CC):

The Coordinating Committee (CC) is made up of elected officers from all committees, though any member may attend meetings. The CC makes decisions about large‐scale projects, some financial decisions, and the GEO’s long‐term vision. Our meetings are open to all GEO members. Please contact the Co‐President, Shawn Fields, at cc@uigeo.org with any questions.

The next meeting is on Thursday, April 20, 7:00pm, at the GEO Office.

 

EVENTS:

See a full schedule of GEO meetings and events here, and contact geo@uigeo.org with any questions.

Wear your GEO shirt or pin on Wednesday for “Wear it Wednesday”!

DRUMS Zine Launch Party
Historically, DRUMS was the official newsletter for the Black Students Association of the late 1960s and early 1970s. BSA was an organization whose political activism helped to carve a space for Black Students on the UIUC campus. In many ways BSFR hopes to reinvigorate their Black political spirit. This zine was created by members of Black Students for Revolution to showcase and highlight radical Black student views, art, and culture in the Champaign-Urbana community. The launch party will include free copies of the zine, light refreshments, performances, and speakers. Come join us April 14th from 5:30-7pm at Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center to experience this first issue with us!
Facebook event : https://www.facebook.com/events/257055334704527/

The Water Project
The Water Project is a new performance piece examining our relationship with water: water that is at once a necessary resource for all living things, a convenient dumping ground for waste and a commodity to be bought and sold. Through research, devising and development, six local folk immersed themselves in water issues and created this performance from their findings and rumination, infusing sound, poetry, movement and song. This project is funded in part by The Puffin Foundation and The City of Urbana Arts Grant. Tickets are $12: https://www.artful.ly/store/events/11766.

Where: Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, Illinois

When:
April 21 at 7:00pm
April 21 at 8:30pm
April 22 at 7:00pm
April 22 at 8:30pm
April 23 at 7:00pm, Free Performance

Facebook event : https://www.facebook.com/events/698373443668772/

The Graduate Employees’ Organization and the History Department UIUC present:
How GEO Bargaining Will Change Your Life As a Graduate Student!
April 25, 3:00pm
Gregory Hall 317

We invite you to an interactive discussion with the GEO about our contract bargaining with the University.  We are seeking to raise your graduate work pay, improve your access to all forms of healthcare–including twelve month coverage and greater access for dependents and partners–advocate for childcare services, and further expand fair access for all to campus resources.

Whether you are familiar with GEO or not, this event will both inform you about what’s happening, give you an opportunity to provide your questions, feedback, and ideas to the GEO, and get you involved in the bargaining process. Come for just a brief visit or stay for the full discussion! Here is the Facebook event.

FOOD AND DRINKS WILL BE SERVED.
Co-Sponsors:
HGSA
History Department

BUF UIUC’s History of Black Studies Teach-In for Mr. Lou Turner

On Friday, April 21st at 2:30 PM, Black United Front UIUC will be conducting a Teach-In Action in the African American Studies Department.  The purpose is to analyze the history and contemporary moment of Black Studies, particularly major recent issues in our department.

The Teach-In will press for support for Mr. Lou Turner, the Academic Advisor for the African American Studies Department who was wrongfully terminated by the department chair, Professor Ronald Bailey.  For those who do not know Lou Turner, he is one of the cornerstones for radical thought in Black Studies and has ignited genuine scholar-activism in the department for over a decade. This decision was made without consulting or informing any of the students who Mr. Turner advises. Multiple organizations strongly objects to this.  So we will be discussing the work of Lou Turner and how to build on his legacy while also fighting for his job. Please stand with Black students as we organize to keep Mr. Turner as our Academic Adviser!  Please publicize and attend if you can.  If Lou Turner does not return to the Afro department, it will weaken Black Studies. If Black Studies falls, it will be the catalyst for the assault on all Ethnic

Studies and cultural programs across the campus.  Let’s fight for our autonomy.

Here is the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/398233433886125/

1992 Protests at UIUC

On April 29th and May 5th of 1992, UIUC students demanded the university take action for Latinx and Indigenous students on campus. It was a difficult time and those who participated in the rallies and sit-ins, at OMSA and the Henry Administration Building respectively, did so at a cost. Not all the demands released were met, however, these students succeeded in relocating La Casa Cultural Latina into a better location and creating the Latina/Latino Studies Department. MEChA would like to commemorate the sacrifices and effort made by this group and bring the UIUC community together 25 years later. For more information check out the 1992 Protests Website. For more information on the events’ time and location check out the Facebook page.

 

Teach-Out for Illinois Higher Education

Attend the Thursday, April 27 Teach Out and join Illinois Federation of Teachers, UIC United Faculty Local 6456, UPI, and UIC Graduate Employees Organization to demonstrate that you’ve had enough!

IFT, AFT, UPI Local 4100, IFT Local 1600, Community colleges, Jobs with Justice, Immigration Rights groups, working family groups, all are involved. If you’re interested in attending, please email geo@uigeo.org.

 

The AFT Higher Ed Conference on April 28th – 30th in Detroit, MI

The Higher Ed Conference is a great way to learn more about the how higher ed. labor movement across the country, from grad employees, to NTTs, professional staff, and tenure track professors. This year, there will be 4 workshop tracks to follow surrounding the following topics: sanctuary campus, adjunct equity, free college, and free inquiry. It is also when AGEL elections occur. If you’re interested in attending, please email geo@uigeo.org.

Post-US Election Impact on UIUC Academic Life + Activity

The Prairie Futures IPRH Cluster invites responses to this survey that aims to document the impact of the post-2016 US Presidential Election political climate and subsequent executive orders on the academic life and research-related activities of the UIUC campus community. These routines include recruitment activities, hiring, travel related to research into or out of the US, travel within the US, collaboration activities, and daily research and study practices.

You can take the survey here: https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/2584615.

Responses may be submitted anonymously. No NetIDs are collected, and information gathered cannot be linked to a particular individual. Responses are intended only to be used to help assess impact and guide campus responses in light of the post-election climate, and in ongoing efforts to Support All Members of Our University Community.

This survey is a project of the Prairie Futures IPRH Cluster in collaboration with the UIUC Sanctuary of the People’s Resource Sharing Working Group and International Student and Scholar Services.

 

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uigeo.org
Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc


Text Updates: text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES