History Department Faculty Pass Unanimous Resolution in Support of GEO

A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT
OF THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS OF GRADUATE EMPLOYEES

(passed unanimously by the Faculty of the Department of History, UIUC,
April 5, 2000)

Whereas, graduate employees at the University of Illinois are BOTH our
students and valued co-workers who shoulder a substantial portion of the
university’s teaching, research, and administrative work,

and

whereas, many graduate employees are over-worked and under-paid and all
are without independent representation of their own choosing,

and

whereas, graduate employees have demonstrated overwhelming support for
the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), most notably in the 1996 authorization
drive when 3226 of them signed cards supporting GEO’s call for a collective
bargaining election and in the 1997 collective bargaining election monitored
by a panel of local religious leaders when 64% of those voting chose GEO
to represent them,

and

whereas, undergraduate students have often shown their support for the
GEO, most recently in the Student Government sponsored poll where 77%
of those voting expressed support for graduate employees’ right to a collective
bargaining election,

and

whereas, GEO has made strenuous efforts to discuss the problems of graduate
employees and has exhausted every legal means available to engage the
university in such cooperative discussion,

and

whereas, the University of Illinois administration has consistently refused
to even speak to representatives of the GEO and has instead blocked every
legal effort by the organization to secure the basic right to collective
bargaining for the university’s graduate employees,

and

whereas, a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling recognizes the
rights of graduate employees at private universities to organize and bargain
collectively

and

whereas, the GEO has now been forced into a position where the only remaining
options in the form of civil disobedience and strike action threaten to
disrupt the normal work of the university, work we all cherish and support,

Be it therefore resolved:

that we, the faculty of the Department of History at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, do hereby support the rights of graduate
employees to organize and bargain collectively and do hereby call upon
the university administration to recognize the GEO and to sit down and
bargain with that organization in good faith and in the interests of graduate
employees and other interested parties. Furthermore, we urge our colleagues
in other departments and units across the campus to join us in our support
of these basic rights and in an effort to avoid the disruption that is
likely to result from the current administration policy with regard to
the just concerns of graduate employees.