GEO Archives

GEO Archives

The GEO has a long history of activism on the UIUC campus. This page documents key moments in GEO history with links to press releases, news coverage, and documents.

Arbitration Decisions

Arbitrations are legally binding decisions. The GEO uses arbitration to protect graduate student rights under the contract, such as tuition waivers. This page outlines the results of key decisions.


The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) protects the rights of members of the GEO. A new CBA is bargained when the old one ends. Bargaining a new CBA is a challenging time for the GEO. The GEO requires the support of graduate employees throughout the process. The CBA prevents an opportunity to extend rights and privileges under the CBA. Each bargaining cycle presents unique challenges. Below, you can see the challenges the GEO faced at different points in its history and how it faced those challenges.

Bargaining 2012

Following the contentious 2009 strike, the GEO successfully negotiated another CBA that included the tuition waiver side letter; for more information on the side letter, read about the Fogelberg arbitration decision.

Protecting Graduate Employee Rights

Even outside of bargaining, the GEO engages in many activities on campus to raise awareness about issues that affect graduate students and protect graduate employees’ rights under the CBA.

MCS Students and Grievance Committee Members after submitting the Level 3 Grievance
MCS Students and Grievance Committee Members after submitting the Level 3 Grievance

Masters in Computer Science and Tuition Waiver Protection (2015-2016).

The Masters in Computer Science (MCS) program asked departments that employed its students to pay their tuition. This was a threat to graduate student employment and access to tuition waivers. The GEO successfully countered the reimbursement policy through grievance, arbitration, and on-campus activism.

On-Campus Activism

NTFC Bargaining their First Contract (2014-2016)

Protesting UIUC’s decision regarding Steven Salaita’s Contract

GEO support of A.C.C.E.S.S. Bill

Clifford-Jacobs Contract Bargaining and Lock Out