BARGAINING, General Membership Meeting, Updates, and Events


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 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 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.

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 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.



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 Chemistry, 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. 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 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

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 with any questions.

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



See a full schedule of GEO meetings and events here, and contact 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 :

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:

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

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 :

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.

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:

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


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

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:

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.



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