Committee Updates and Events March 16



Hi all,

We hope this message meets you well. Below you will find updates from committees and awesome events that the GEO is hosting or cosponsoring. Of note is that we will have our first bargaining session March 30th.

As we go into bargaining, your participation is crucial in both big and small actions. Can’t make it to a meeting committee? Volunteer to do work that can be done remotely. Have too much on your plate already? Wear you GEO shirt or pin on Wednesday for “Wear it Wednesdays” or keep up to date on what’s going on and let others know. We will let you all know what’s going on at the bargaining table through GEO-L, which you are already subscribed to, and our social media accounts, which are linked at the bottom of this email.

Have a wonderful spring break!


Shawn Fields



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Bargaining Team:

GEO’s contract with the UIUC Administration is expiring on August 15, 2017. Last year, the Bargaining Research Team conducted research and surveys on important issues for graduate employees at UIUC. The Bargaining Research Team presented four bargaining pillars (Tuition Waivers and Fees, Wages, Healthcare, and Access and Equality) to the membership, which were unanimously approved by a vote at the General Membership Meeting on February 1st, 2017. At this meeting, the Bargaining Team was also selected and unanimously approved by a vote.

Our first bargaining session with the UIUC administration will be on Thursday, March 30, 9:00am-12:00pm, at the Fire Institute (11 Gerty Dr, Champaign, IL 61820). The Bargaining Team will present its initial contract proposal to the UIUC administration. All members are welcome to this meeting.

Bargaining Team meetings are open to all members. The next meeting is on Thursday, March 16, 7:00pm, at the GEO office.

Please contact Natalye Tate and Shawn Fields ( with any questions.

International Students’ Working Group:

Visa and Immigration Leave Survey

Are you an:

  • International Student
  • Domestic Student with immigrant/international dependents
  • DACA student?

Have you had any trouble with your visa, immigration, or DACA paperwork during your time at UIUC?

Then please fill out this survey! Please take by March 20, 2017.

Here is the survey link (If you received an individual link via email, please fill that one out):


This semester the GEO will bargain a new contract with the University. In the contract proposal, GEO is working to address the needs of International and DACA employees on our campus. To bargain effectively, the GEO needs feedback from International, DACA, and Domestic students with international or DACA dependents to gain a better sense of their experiences and priorities at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The Bargaining Team will be crafting contract language proposals to address visa and immigration issues and they need to hear from you concerning immigration issues such as visa paperwork, delays in DACA renewal, receiving a Social Security Number, and many others.

The GEO does not share the answers you give in this survey outside of card-signed membership. Please contact with any questions.


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.


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 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 College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering. Please contact 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. We welcome all members to join our meetings. The next meeting is on Tuesday, March 28, 5:00pm, 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 Co-Chairs Isis Rose, Daniel Gonzalez, and Efad Huq at


The next meeting will be on March 24th at 6:00pm. Please contact SolComm directly for more info.


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. The next meeting is on Thursday, March 23, 7:00pm. Please contact the Co‐President, Shawn Fields, at with any questions.


Communications Committee (Comm Comm):

Our meetings are open to all GEO members. The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 29, 6:00-8:00pm. The agenda includes a Strategic Communications Workshop with Stephanie Fortado, from the School of Labor and Employment Relations. Please contact Maria Garth at if you are interested in attending, or with any questions.



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


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


“No Mas Bebes/No More Babies” film screening and Q&A with Virginia Espino, film producer
Wed, March 29
Location: 1024 Chem Annex


“Fighting Through the Law: Immigration Lawyers on their Profession and the Current Crisis”
Discussion with alums Daissy Dominguez and Irakere Picon
Thurs, April 6
Location: 1207 W. Oregon, Room 103, Urbana


“Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Jr. Lecture Series: “Citizenship Trumped: Walls & Sovereignty on the U.S. Mexico Border”
Dr. Miguel Diaz-Barriga & Dr. Margaret Dorsey, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Wed, April12
Location: 319 Gregory Hall


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.




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