Today the GEO held a Unity at the Union work-in. More than 100 members, undergrads, faculty and other campus community workers attended the event, and there are still GEO members at the Illini Union now!
At 1 pm we marched to Levis Faculty center for the bargaining session. The GEO bargaining team gave the administration a comprehensive proposal on the issues left on the bargaining table–healthcare, wages and tuition waiver security.
The rest of the meeting was spent in caucus as the administration considered our proposal. At the end of the session the administration indicated they were working on a response to our proposal that they would deliver at the bargaining session scheduled at 8:30 am tomorrow, Tuesday November 27, at Levis Faculty Center.
Several of our members who attended the Unity at the Union event and witnessed bargaining have decided to stay overnight at the Illini Union, even after it closes at midnight. We have made the decision to stay at the Illini Union, the center of campus community life at this University, with the request that administration meet us tomorrow with a proposal that can settle the issue of tuition waivers.
The GEO took a strike authorization vote that overwhelmingly passed by nearly 87%. Before we move on the option of calling a strike at the end of the semester, that has the potential to very be disruptive to the submission of grades and holding of final exams, we believe the GEO should try ALL options to settle this contract.
Many members of the GEO will be at the Illini Union throughout this evening. The Stewards Council will meet here at 7 pm.
A small group who plans to stay, in a symbolic act of Civil Disobedience, do so in the hopes that the administration will use tomorrow’s bargaining session to conclude this negotiation in a way that protects tuition waivers, secures the future labor of graduate assistants and teaching assistants on this campus, and ensures the quality public education that should be expected at this land grant institution.
We invite ANY GEO member who wants to join us to come to the Illini Union. We invite any GEO member with questions to stop by any time this evening.
It is clear the University is ready to make movement at the bargaining table. That movement is because of the GEO members who showed up, took the strike authorization vote, stayed at the Illini Union all day today, and attended the bargaining session. The time for GEO members to act is NOW. Come to the bargaining session tomorrow at 8:30 am. Show your support of the bargaining team. It is our most important bargaining session of the year.
In Solidarity and Great Hope for Tomorrow.
The members at the Illini Union