Statement of Solidarity with UIC GEO

GEO Statement of Solidarity with UIC GEO

March 20, 2019

The Graduate Employees’ Organization at UIUC (IFT/AFT Local 6300) strongly expresses our support for the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC). Graduate workers at UIC went on strike on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. They are fighting for living wages, an end to excessive academic fees, and a transparent appointment process. After over a year of negotiations, they still have not reached an agreement for a fair contract with the university.

We stand in solidarity with UIC GEO while they face similar struggles to those we experienced one year ago. We went on strike for twelve days to protect tuition waivers, improve wages, require timely notification of reappointments, better healthcare, and transparency with student fees. The struggles of graduate workers at UIC are the same struggles graduate workers are facing all across the country. Graduate workers should not have to live with the constant anxiety of not knowing whether we will be able to continue our graduate work due to economic hardships and uncertainties in our appointments. A graduate education should be accessible to low income and underrepresented groups, not just the wealthy. The fight for better working conditions makes this possible.

We demand that the administrators at the University of Illinois-Chicago bargain in good faith to reach an agreement with UIC GEO. The University of Illinois System continues to profit from the work of its graduate employees, which is why graduate student labor needs to be recognized, valued, and fairly compensated.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), IFT/AFT local 6300, AFL-CIO, is a member-run labor union and represents Teaching and Graduate Assistants (TAs and GAs) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In November 2009, and more recently, in February 2018, GEO members and allies participated in a strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.

For more information, please contact us geo@uigeo.org.

More information can also be found on our website at www.uigeo.org

Twitter: @geo_uiuc    Facebook: @uigeo @geosolcomm        Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Statement Against the Proposed ICE Detention Center in Dwight, Illinois

GEO Statement Against the Proposed ICE Detention Center in Dwight, Illinois

February 28, 2019

We, the Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IFT/AFT Local 6300 AFL-CIO, strongly condemn the proposed construction of a private prison in Dwight, Illinois. The Dwight Planning Commission met on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 to discuss the annexing of private land for a privately-run, federal immigration detention center. The detention center would serve to detain up to 1,200 undocumented immigrants. The Dwight Planning Commission voted in favor of annexing the private land for an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center. The Dwight village board will be meeting on Monday, March 11, 2019 to have a final vote on whether to approve the contract with the Immigration Centers of America. More than 100 protestors, including Dwight residents and activists from across the state of Illinois, attended the February 19 meeting to voice their opposition to the proposed plans.

The GEO is a sanctuary union that stands with all workers, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. We oppose ICE and their policies of deportation and family separation, which tear our families, communities, and workplaces apart. ICE detention centers are inhumane and cruel and they should be abolished. We call upon the Dwight Village Board to vote no on establishing this detention center, which will benefit no one but the corporate interests that profit off of the prison-industrial complex.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, represents approximately 2,700 Teaching and Graduate Assistants on the UIUC Campus. In November 2009 and in February 2018, over 1,000 GEO members and allies participated in a strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC campus. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.

For more information, please contact geo@uigeo.org. More information can also be found on GEO’s website at www.uiucgeo.org.

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Statement of Solidarity with UNC-Chapel Hill TA Strike

GEO Statement of Solidarity with UNC-Chapel Hill TA Strike

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, IFT/AFT Local 6300, stands in solidarity with teaching assistants and anti-racist activists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who have called for teaching assistants and faculty members to go on strike and withhold final grades in response to the UNC Board of Trustees’ plan to reinstate the campus’ racist Silent Sam statue. Silent Sam was initially erected in 1913–a full 50 years after enslaved people forced the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation–by a white supremacist group called the United Daughters of the Confederacy. From its inception, Silent Sam was meant to be a monument to white supremacy, as evidenced by Julian Carr’s dedication speech, in which he declared that confederate soldiers had “saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon race” and referred to whipping a “negro wench” in front of federal soldiers for insulting a “Southern lady.”

Not only have UNC’s Board and Chancellor decided to reinstate this monument, they have planned to do so at an immense cost: $5.3 million dollars, at a time when the university is raising student fees to make up a facilities maintenance budget.

No person should be expected to work or study in a racially hostile environment. We call on the UNC administration to do the right thing and accede to the protesters’ demands. We know first hand that the call to strike is not one to be made lightly, and we applaud TAs and faculty at UNC who are taking this step in the name of justice.

GEO DEMANDS WORKER SAFETY IN EXTREME COLD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GEO DEMANDS WORKER SAFETY IN EXTREME COLD

Urbana-Champaign (January 29, 2019): The Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO, IFT/AFT Local 6300) calls for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to protect the health and well-being of its employees and students by providing adequate accommodations to those working in ‘essential’ positions and refusing to penalize workers’ vacation and personal time off for being unable to commute or attend work. Although classes have already been canceled, many graduate employees are still expected to come to campus–in potentially life-threatening temperatures–to work in labs, libraries, and other workplaces. These hazards represent a significant challenge to our members, who must choose between coming to work in dangerous cold or face potential discipline for not showing up. The GEO will support grievances against supervisors that do not accommodate their employees for being unable to work in such extreme, life-threatening work conditions. GEO Co-President Bruce Kovanen said, “We will fight for every graduate employee who chooses to stay home in this unprecedented cold. We have heard from our members, and we will stand up for their right to stay home in hazardous conditions. It is unconscionable that the University administration would cancel classes but still require other workers–not only graduate employees but also our comrades in unions across campus–to show up in conditions deemed too dangerous for students.”

Extreme weather conditions disproportionately affect low-income students, people with disabilities, and university employees who have to commute to campus. Consequently, the GEO will not stand by as the University fails to make appropriate accommodations for its workers in good faith.

—————————

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, represents approximately 2,700 Teaching and Graduate Assistants on the UIUC Campus. In November 2009, and more recently, in February 2018, GEO members and allies participated in a strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.
For more information, please contact geo@uigeo.org. More information can also be found on GEO’s website at www.uigeo.org.

###

GEO-L: GMM on Thursday + Late Appointment Letters

***January 28th, 2019***

Table of Contents:

 

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
    • Next GMM(s) on January 31st
    • ECE Organizing on Tuesday January 29th
    • Late Appointment Letter? File for Compensation!
    • Volunteer Hours + Coffee with Co-Presidents
  • JOIN A GEO COMMITTEE!
  • CONNECT WITH GEO!

 

 

—————–

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS

Next General Membership Meeting on January 31st at 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm

Join us for our 1st General Membership Meeting of the Spring 2019 semester on January 31st! This GMM, we will be looking to the future and presenting an organizing plan GEO committees have put together for this contract cycle (ending in 2022). An upcoming milestone in this contract cycle plan is bargaining for our wages in 2020. Please come to this meeting to provide us feedback so we can decide our next steps together! Here is the Facebook event.

We will be having two GMMs during the day:

  1. 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
    • Serving: Bagels and Coffee
    • Childcare: provided
    • Doors open: 11:45 AM
  2. 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
    • Serving: Little Caesars Pizza
    • Childcare: provided
    • Doors open: 6:15 PM.

Both GMMs will be at the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana).

 

ECE Organizing on Tuesday January 29th

Our stewards will be organizing at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) building (306 N Wright St.) this week, and you’re welcome to join. We will be carrying welcome booklets, contracts, and GEO swag! If you know someone in ECE that is interested in being a member, please invite them to meet our stewards in the ECE building lobby at 1:30pm on Tuesday!

 

Late Appointment Letter? File for Compensation!

If you received your appointment letter less than 30 days before the start date of the appointment, then you are entitled to $50 in compensation thanks to our new contract. Fill out this form here to start the process.

 

Volunteer Hours + Coffee with Co-Presidents

Want to help your union but not sure how? We have plenty of things around the office that we could use your help with! Come in any Monday between 11am and 1pm. This is a great low-stakes way to lend a hand. See our Facebook event for Volunteer Hours here.

As a member-run, member-centric union, GEO leadership want to be as available to you as possible. Co-presidents Bruce and Hilary will be in the office every Monday at 1pm; come by and grab a cup of coffee or tea, ask questions, or just have a chat! See the Facebook event for Coffee with Co-Presidents here.

—————–

JOIN A GEO COMMITTEE!

We are a member-run union; we depend on the commitment of our members to stay as strong as possible. You can find details about what each committee does and how to contact them on our website. No special knowledge is required. You can also follow the calendar of events on our website for the date and time of upcoming meetings: http://uiucgeo.org/events/. Meetings are open to membership, and coming to a meeting does not commit you to joining a committee.

Upcoming meetings:

 

—————–

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Have comments about the GMM? Other kinds of feedback for us? We want to hear it! Reply to this email or use our anonymous google form. You can also get in touch through our website and social media:

 

In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820

Email: geo@uigeo.org

 

GEO Stands in Solidarity with Grinnell Student Workers

The Graduate Employees’ Organization at UIUC (IFT/AFT Local 6300) strongly expresses our solidarity with the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) and their vote to expand the union to all student employees at Grinnell College. We strongly encourage the Grinnell College administration to accept the student vote in favor of expansion, and withdraw their appeal with the National Labor Relations Board.

Formed in May of 2016, UGSDW is the only independent undergraduate student union in the United States. Since their formation, the UGSDW has won major victories for student dining hall workers including wage increases, tiered bonuses for students who work at least 110 hours a semester, grievance procedure, paid breaks, and equal pay for local high school student workers. With membership dues at $2 a month, no paid staff, and no representation from an international union, the UGSDW has remained dedicated to the needs of student workers. On Tuesday, November 27, hundreds of Grinnell student workers voted yes to an expansion of the UGSDW beyond the dining hall. With a current annual tuition of $50,000 (excluding fees), labor protections for Grinnell students are critical. Despite the vote in favor, the Grinnell College administration has filed an appeal to challenge the student vote with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

As graduate employees we are extremely concerned with Grinnell College’s appeal to reject the result of the student vote. Controlled by anti-union appointees, an NLRB appeal in favor of the college administration could threaten the possibility for students to continue to organize at private institutions of higher education. The Grinnell College administration argues that a union would create “tension, divisiveness and a fracturing of relations among students and faculty.” As unionized graduate workers, we know this claim to be far from the truth: unionization promotes a sense of ownership, pride, and respect for our labor.    

Grinnell College advertises itself as an institution that is committed to principles of social justice. Boasting an annual Social Justice Prize of $100,000 given to one person to “serve the common good,” supporting a student founded and led labor union should be common sense. With a 1.8 billion dollar endowment, there is no excuse for Grinnell College to ignore the demands of labor unionization for students.

We, the GEO local 6300 stand in solidarity with the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) and all students who wish to be represented. We strongly encourage the Grinnell College administration to reflect upon their commitment to social justice and withhold an appeal to the NLRB.

GEO Statement on Leaked Health and Human Services Anti-Trans Memo

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, IFT/AFT Local 6300, condemns in the strongest terms the leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo that seeks to redefine sex in federal law as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” This definition would deny transgender people protection under federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The proposal would limit equal access to health care, housing, education, and fair treatment under the law.  It would functionally deny many trans people documentation of their identity, citizenship and immigration status, and the ability to travel freely. For others, it would force them to choose between the life-threatening dangers of the closet and living in a state of constant exposure and vulnerability. It sends a chilling message that the existence and identity of transgender people is not recognized by the government, and deepens ongoing attacks on civil rights. It compounds the threats already facing unions and union members in the form expansion of Right to Work laws and the recent Janus vs AFSCME Supreme Court ruling.

The GEO is a democratic union made up of a diverse population of rank and file members, including graduate workers of diverse gender identities. In our last contract, we fought for and won an expansion of our non-discrimination policy, including protection from discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. We also reached a memorandum of understanding with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Administration that microaggressions constitute discrimination and harassment, and are thus violations of our contract subject to our grievance procedure. We will continue to fight for the safety, well-being, and dignity of all of our members.

The Department of Health and Human Services proposal represents a challenge to the central principle of the labor movement, that unions stand for dignity, rights and equality for all workers. It is a threat to worker solidarity across job categories, between unions and for all genders, ethnicities, races and abilities. We oppose the DHHS memo on the grounds that it promotes a broader context of transphobia and a climate of fear that makes it even more difficult for members to empower each other through organizing. As union members who fight to protect our coworkers, our families and our communities, we oppose the threats to transgender people expressed in the leaked memo. We stand in solidarity with all LGBTQ people who may be experiencing heightened stress, fear or harassment and discrimination at this time.

Tutor-In on Reading Day, Dec 13! — GEO-L

***December 4th, 2018***

Table of Contents:

 

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS

 

      • Reading Day Tutor In on December 13th!
      • AFT Visas Lawsuit Call to Action

 

  • GEO COMMITTEES NEED YOUR HELP!

 

      • Constitutional Committee
      • Healthcare Working Group
      • Stewards’ Council
      • Solidarity Committee
      • Finance Committee
      • Grievance Committee
      • Communications Committee

 

  • CONNECT WITH GEO!

 

—————–

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS

Reading Day Tutor In on December 13th!

As you may remember, we ended the Fall 2017 semester with an exciting event aimed at our undergraduate students, and we’re excited to be doing it again this year. On Reading Day (12/13), we’ll be offering twelve hours of free tutoring for students preparing for their exams and final papers. This is an excellent opportunity for us to make our graduate labor visible and show our students how committed we are to their education. We’ll be in the lobby of the Illini Union from noon until midnight, providing tutoring for a number of large lecture courses and open office hours for others. Coffee and snacks will be provided for the duration of the event, with lunch at 1 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Come work in solidarity with your graduate peers and strengthen the UIUC community! Please keep checking our facebook event for up to date information.

Please sign up early and make sure to tell your students! Here is a template email to advertise this event to your students. Even if you’re not teaching this term, or hold a research appointment this semester, we would love to have you there. Here’s the sign up form!

AFT Visas Lawsuit Call to Action

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT, also our parent union) is participating in an important lawsuit challenging new rules from the Trump administration that threaten to create major problems for international/immigrant students, including our grad members. AFT is looking for members that are on F or J visas that can give them a short statement on how these changes will affect them. The statements can be anonymous! You can read more about the lawsuit here. Please contact us at geo@uigeo.org immediately if you are interested in writing a statement and have an F or J visa.

—————–

GEO COMMITTEES NEED YOUR HELP!

We are a member-run union; we depend on the commitment of our members to stay as strong as possible. Below you’ll find details about what each committee does and how to contact them. No special knowledge is required. You can follow the calendar of events on our website for the date and time of upcoming meetings: http://uiucgeo.org/events/. Meetings are open to membership, and coming to a meeting does not commit you to joining a committee.

NEW! Constitutional Committee
Interested in structure and community values? Like clarifying procedures and logistics? Just want to know more about GEO? Join the newly formed Constitutional Committee to work on updating our Constitution and By-Laws! The Constitutional Committee needs members who are interested in developing a proposal to present to our general membership in the fall for review and ratification. Contact cc@uigeo.org if you’re interested in getting involved.

Questions About Healthcare? Email the Healthcare Working Group!

We know you have questions about what healthcare options are offered by our current contract, and we remain committed to guaranteed accessible and affordable healthcare for all graduate students. Our Healthcare Working Group is a member-led caucus that works towards informing members and organizing around our healthcare. If you have any questions about your healthcare or are interested in working towards improving it, you can contact the Healthcare Working Group at health@uigeo.org!

Stewards’ Council

The Stewards’ Council (SC) is the primary organizing and planning body of GEO. This is where representatives from across campus come together to discuss the needs of our membership. Right now, stewards are doing office visits to sign up new members and organizing events such as department meetings and the upcoming Reading Day Tutor-in. If you are interested in becoming a Steward, email sc@uigeo.org or just come to the next meeting at 5:30 pm on November 27th in the GEO Office!

Solidarity Committee

The Solidarity Committee (SolComm) builds connections between the GEO and other movements and local social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more. SolComm supports several local organizations and movements that work towards economic, racial, gender, disability, prison, and environmental justice. In addition to graduate employees, we welcome undergraduate students and C-U community members to participate. If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email solcomm@uigeo.org or attend our next meeting on December 10th in the GEO Office.

Finance Committee

The newly formed Finance Committee is tasked with accounting, reporting to members on how dues are spent, fundraising, and connecting members to emergency financial support. Email treasurer@uigeo.org if you would like to pitch in!

Grievance Committee

Whether it’s late wages, a missing tuition waiver, or retaliation in the workplace, the Grievance Committee helps GEO members take on the UIUC administration. The months after a new contract is signed are the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email grievance@uigeo.org or attend our next meeting on Thursday, November 22nd at 4:00 PM in the GEO Office.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee produces GEO-Ls and flyers, manages GEO’s social media, responds to interview requests, designs and orders swag, and more. They need people with a variety of skills, and they’d love to have you. The next Communications Committee meeting is on Monday the 26th of November at 4pm in the GEO Office, but make sure to check the calendar for up to date information. If you are interested in joining the Communications Committee, email commcomm@uigeo.org or just come to a meeting!

—————–

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Have feedback for us? Comments about the GMM? Reply to this email or use our anonymous google form.

Website: www.uiucgeo.org

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic 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.

In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820

Email: geo@uigeo.org

GMM on Nov 29, Reading Day Tutor-in and More! — GEO-L

***November 15th, 2018***

Table of Contents:

 

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS

 

      • Next GMM(s) on November 29th
      • Reading Day Tutor In on December 13th!
      • Public Charge Comment Workshop
      • Finance Survey Update

 

  • GEO COMMITTEES NEED YOUR HELP!

 

      • Constitutional Committee
      • Healthcare Working Group
      • Stewards’ Council
      • Solidarity Committee
      • Finance Committee
      • Grievance Committee
      • Communications Committee

 

  • CONNECT WITH GEO!

 

—————–

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS

Next General Membership Meetings on November 29th, 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm

The next General Membership Meetings will be held at 12 PM and 6:30 PM on November 29th @ the Channing-Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St). At the GMM you will have a chance to provide feedback to the Solidarity Committee — the committee that connects the GEO to other movements and social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more — during the SolComm Open House. The Issue Campaigns Working Group will also be introduced at this meeting, along with important announcements about the annual Tutor In.

If you have any feedback about previous GMMs or any suggestions for upcoming GMMs, please take a moment to complete our GMM Survey. Your feedback and suggestions will help us make the General Membership Meetings as effective and beneficial as possible for all of our members.

Reading Day Tutor In on December 13th!

As you may remember, we ended the Fall 2017 semester with an exciting event aimed at our undergraduate students, and we’re excited to be doing it again this year. On Reading Day (12/13), we’ll be offering twelve hours of free tutoring for students preparing for their exams and final papers. This is an excellent opportunity for us to make our graduate labor visible and show our students how committed we are to their education. We’ll be in the lobby of the Illini Union from noon until midnight, providing tutoring for a number of large lecture courses and open office hours for others. Come work in solidarity with your graduate peers and strengthen the UIUC community!

Please sign up early and make sure to tell your students! Even if you’re not teaching this term, or hold a research appointment this semester, we would love to have you there. Here’s the sign up form!

Public Charge Comment Workshop

Stop by the University YMCA (1001 S Wright St, Champaign) on Tuesday, November 27 any time between 5pm-7pm to get step-by-step guidance on how submit a comment through the Federal Register to fight against a harsh new immigration policy proposal from the Department of Homeland Security on the determination of who is a “public charge.” A public charge is someone who is likely to depend or currently depends on the US government for subsistence. If someone is found to be a public charge, their green card/visa application will be denied. This proposal seeks to broaden the categories of aid that determine if someone is a public charge, which will significantly expand their ability to deny applications and refuse entry.

A short presentation on the proposed rule change, along with instructions for submitting comments, will be provided by New American Welcome Center staff every half hour. We will have laptops ready for you to submit your comment online, as well as writing materials if you prefer to mail your comment to the Department of Homeland Security.

Please RSVP to make sure there is enough food for everyone. For more information on the event, please click here. For more information on the public charge rule, click here.

Finance Survey Update

Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback on the Finance Survey! In accordance with your responses, we’ve restricted the scope of the survey to gathering member data for upcoming issues campaigns and contract bargaining. We’ll also be focusing more sharply on time-sensitive information but retaining the original privacy policy and terms of use. Finally, we’ve pushed the survey to Thursday, December 13th, and we’ll be encouraging members to take the survey at our Reading Day Tutor-In.

—————–

GEO COMMITTEES NEED YOUR HELP!

We are a member-run union; we depend on the commitment of our members to stay as strong as possible. Below you’ll find details about what each committee does and how to contact them. No special knowledge is required. You can follow the calendar of events on our website for the date and time of upcoming meetings: http://uiucgeo.org/events/. Meetings are open to membership, and coming to a meeting does not commit you to joining a committee.

NEW! Constitutional Committee
Interested in structure and community values? Like clarifying procedures and logistics? Just want to know more about GEO? Join the newly formed Constitutional Committee to work on updating our Constitution and By-Laws! The Constitutional Committee needs members who are interested in developing a proposal to present to our general membership in the fall for review and ratification. Contact cc@uigeo.org if you’re interested in getting involved.

Questions About Healthcare? Email the Healthcare Working Group!

We know you have questions about what healthcare options are offered by our current contract, and we remain committed to guaranteed accessible and affordable healthcare for all graduate students. Our Healthcare Working Group is a member-led caucus that works towards informing members and organizing around our healthcare. If you have any questions about your healthcare or are interested in working towards improving it, you can contact the Healthcare Working Group at health@uigeo.org!

Stewards’ Council

The Stewards’ Council (SC) is the primary organizing and planning body of GEO. This is where representatives from across campus come together to discuss the needs of our membership. Right now, stewards are doing office visits to sign up new members and organizing events such as department meetings and the upcoming Reading Day Tutor-in. If you are interested in becoming a Steward, email sc@uigeo.org or just come to the next meeting at 5:30 pm on November 27th in the GEO Office!

Solidarity Committee

The Solidarity Committee (SolComm) builds connections between the GEO and other movements and local social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more. SolComm supports several local organizations and movements that work towards economic, racial, gender, disability, prison, and environmental justice. In addition to graduate employees, we welcome undergraduate students and C-U community members to participate. If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email solcomm@uigeo.org or attend our next meeting on December 10th in the GEO Office.

Finance Committee

The newly formed Finance Committee is tasked with accounting, reporting to members on how dues are spent, fundraising, and connecting members to emergency financial support. Email treasurer@uigeo.org if you would like to pitch in!

Grievance Committee

Whether it’s late wages, a missing tuition waiver, or retaliation in the workplace, the Grievance Committee helps GEO members take on the UIUC administration. The months after a new contract is signed are the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email grievance@uigeo.org or attend our next meeting on Thursday, November 22nd at 4:00 PM in the GEO Office.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee produces GEO-Ls and flyers, manages GEO’s social media, responds to interview requests, designs and orders swag, and more. They need people with a variety of skills, and they’d love to have you. The next Communications Committee meeting is on Monday the 26th of November at 4pm in the GEO Office, but make sure to check the calendar for up to date information. If you are interested in joining the Communications Committee, email commcomm@uigeo.org or just come to a meeting!

—————–

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Have feedback for us? Comments about the GMM? Reply to this email or use our anonymous google form.

Website: www.uiucgeo.org

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic 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.

In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820

Email: geo@uigeo.org

Next GMM, Issue Campaign Sign Up, CFT Rally Today and More — GEO-L

***November 1st, 2018***

Table of Contents:

 

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

    • Help us plan a campaign around our issues!
    • Finance Survey
    • Early Voting on Campus

 

  • EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

    • Next GMM: November 29th @ 12-1 PM and 6:30-7:30 PM
    • Coffee with Co-Presidents
      • Come to the Champaign Federation of Teachers’ Rally at Windsor TODAY
      • Rally to Celebrate Almost 100 Years of Women Voting, Friday, 11/2 @ noon
      • Breaking the Silence: A Collective Art Project, Monday, 11/12 @ 3 – 5:30 PM
      • STEM workers, please support the Marriott Strikers’ Demands on Technology
    • GEO COMMITTEES NEED YOUR HELP!

 

  • GET IN TOUCH WITH GEO!

 

—————–

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Help us plan a campaign around our issues!

At the last GMM, we heard testimonials about ongoing workplace issues, such as the taxation of Graduate Assistant tuition waivers, lack of guaranteed summer health care, lack of access to affordable childcare, and excessive fees. We discussed how we could organize outside of contract negotiations and effect changes in university policy to address these issues, but we need your help to take the next step! Sign up here to join the Issue Campaigns Working Group, and help us plan a successful campaign.

First, we need to understand and investigate the issues and potential solutions so we can come together to decide how best to fight for change. Then, we’ll plan forums and actions that show our collective power. Experienced members from the current and past GEO leadership will be available for support throughout this process. Any time you can commit is valuable.  


Early Voting Available on Campus
Early voting is now happening in Room 404 of the Illini Union. It is available to any voter registered in Champaign County through November 5th. If you are eligible to vote but not yet registered, you can register and vote at the same time at any early voting location through November 5th or at your precinct voting location on Election Day, November 6th. To register and vote you need a photo ID (an I-Card will work) and something recent (a lease, a bill, a piece of mail) with your current address. If you are already registered to vote you do not need a photo ID nor any proof of address.

Voting hours at the Illini Union are 10a-6p Monday through Friday (including Monday, 11/5), Saturday, November 3rd from 10a-1p, and Sunday, November 4th from 10a-4p. Other early voting locations and hours are posted here. You can view your ballot here (you can print this and take it with you to vote) and you can find your election day polling place here.

Finance Survey
At the last GMM, our Treasurer Allan Axelrod proposed a finance survey to gather member data to aid in the upcoming issues campaigns and contract bargaining, as well as to shape future GEO finance committee events. The GMM attendees voted that the proposed survey would better serve us all with the following modifications:

  1. Terms of use for the survey data must be explicitly given.
    1. Terms of use: The identifying information in the survey responses will only be accessible to members of the GEO finance committee. The only details that members of the GEO finance committee may communicate are aggregate survey data such as count and statistical data. Communications regarding survey data will only be used for informing issue campaigns, contract bargaining and GEO finance committee events for members.
  2. A privacy disclaimer must be added to clarify that survey data would not be anonymous, but that identifying information would not be disclosed outside to anyone outside of the members and committees defined in the survey’s terms of use.
    1. Privacy disclaimer: Survey responses are not anonymous. The GEO finance committee will have access to identifying information of respondents. However, the GEO finance committee will not disclose identifying information, and GEO finance committee communication will be governed by the terms of use for the survey data.
  3. A feedback form must be presented in a GEO-L in addition to the survey to facilitate a comment period.

The survey draft is here, and the anonymous feedback form is here.  The feedback period is from today until Thursday, November 8th, 2018. Thank you to all who helped to inform this process, thus far! If you have any additional comments or concerns, please email treasurer@uigeo.org.
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EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Next General Membership Meetings on November 29th, 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm

The next General Membership Meetings will be held at 12 PM and 6:30 PM on November 29th @ the Channing-Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St). At the GMM you will have a chance to provide feedback to the Solidarity Committee — the committee that connects the GEO to other movements and social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more — during the SolComm Open House. The Issue Campaigns Working Group will also be introduced at this meeting along with important announcements about the annual “Tutor-In.”

If you have any feedback about previous GMMs or any suggestions for upcoming GMMs, please take a moment to complete our GMM Survey. Your feedback and suggestions will help us make the General Membership Meetings as effective and beneficial as possible for all of our members.

Coffee with the Co-Presidents on November 8th

Our Co-Presidents, Bruce Kovanen and Hilary Gross, hold an open coffee and tea hour every Thursday at 2pm at the GEO office located in the McKinley Foundation (809 S 5th St). Ask questions, share ideas, voice concerns, or just have a chat! Your GEO officers and staff work for you, so don’t be afraid to stop by. This afternoon we will be making signs for the Champaign Federation of Teachers Rally at Windsor later today. For more information, check out the Facebook event.

Rally to Celebrate Almost 100 Years of Women Voting, Friday, 11/2 @ noon

Breaking the Silence: A Collective Art Project, Monday, 11/12 @ 3 – 5:30 PM

Please join Students Against Sexual Assault, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies for a rally to celebrate women’s political power THIS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND. We’ll be meeting at noon in front of Alma Mater to hear from a diverse array of speakers on how issues like immigration, healthcare, mass incarceration affect women, and techniques for lifting up other women in our political discourse, including women of color, transwomen, incarcerated women, and sex workers. Together we will make our voices heard!

The rally will be followed by Breaking the Silence: A Collective Art Project hosted by the University YMCA on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH from 3 – 5:30 pm.  This will be a breaking and making mosaic project led by Susan Parenti of the School for Designing a Society. Please bring something to break (i.e. a cup, saucer, glass, etc.), a plastic bag to break it in, an idea for what to create from the shards, and some sturdy vinyl gloves. You can also show up empty handed—we’ll have extras. Mosaics will be on display after the event!

For more information, please check out our Facebook events here and here!

Champaign Federation of Teachers’ Rally at Windsor TODAY (11/1) @ 3:30 pm

Champaign Federation of Teachers are holding a Rally at Windsor today at 3:30 pm, at the Unit 4 Administrative Center (502 W Windsor Rd, Champaign, IL 61820). Their contract expired on June 30th and bargaining with a mediator has not led to a fair contract yet. CFT is preparing to strike right now. As we know very well, teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions, so come out to support CFT!

STEM workers: please support the Marriott Strikers’ Demands on Technology

STEM workers: please sign this petition from Science for the People to support the striking Marriott workers’ demands for a say over the deployment of new workplace technologies, especially when those technologies could endanger their livelihoods. As you may know, unionized Marriott workers across the country have been on strike for more than three weeks asking Marriott, one of the largest corporations in the world, to compensate them fairly, because One Job Should be Enough. You can read more about the Marriott strike here and follow the picket lines through the locals’ Facebook pages.

NEW GEO Swag!

Back by popular demand: GEO beanies! With the weather turning cold, now is the perfect time to pick one up at the GEO Office (809 S. 5th St., in the McKinley Foundation’s Geneva Room) and support our union in style. And while you’re there, why not help out with…

Tuesday Volunteer Hours!

Want to help your union but don’t know how? Want to get first dibs on GEO Swag? Come by the GEO office at 809 S. 5th St., in the McKinley Foundation’s Geneva Room any Tuesday between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The Union has a number of small tasks that could use your help. Come by, lend a hand, have a snack, and meet your fellow union members on Tuesday afternoons. For more information, take a look at the Facebook event here!

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GEO COMMITTEES NEED YOUR HELP!

We are a member-run union; we depend on the commitment of our members to stay as strong as possible. Below you’ll find details about what each committee does and how to contact them. No special knowledge is required. You can follow the calendar of events on our website for the date and time of upcoming meetings: http://uiucgeo.org/events/. Meetings are open to membership, and coming to a meeting does not commit you to joining a committee.

Communications Committee
The Communications Committee produces GEO-Ls and flyers, manages GEO’s social media, responds to interview requests, designs and orders swag, and more. They need people with a variety of skills, and they’d love to have you. The next Communications Committee meeting is on Thursday, November 8th at 5pm in the GEO Office, but make sure to check the calendar for up to date information. If you are interested in joining the Communications Committee, email commcomm@uigeo.org or just come to a meeting!

Grievance Committee
Whether it’s late wages, a missing tuition waiver, or retaliation in the workplace, the Grievance Committee helps GEO members take on the UIUC administration. The months after a new contract is signed are the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email grievance@uigeo.org or attend our next meeting on Thursday, November 8th at 4:00 PM in the GEO Office.


Stewards’ Council
The Stewards’ Council (SC) is the primary organizing and planning body of GEO. This is where representatives from across campus come together to discuss the needs of our membership. Right now, stewards are doing office visits and organizing beginning-of-year events such as department meetings.If you are interested in becoming a Steward, email sc@uigeo.org or just come to the next meeting at 5:30 pm on November 6th in the GEO Office!

Solidarity Committee
The Solidarity Committee (SolComm) builds connections between the GEO and other people’s movements and local social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more. SolComm supports several local organizations and movements that work towards economic, racial, gender, disability, prison, and environmental justice. In addition to graduate employees, we welcome undergraduate students and C-U community members to participate. If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email solcomm@uigeo.org or attend our next meeting on November 12th in the GEO Office.

NEW! Constitutional Committee
Interested in structure and community values? Like clarifying procedures and logistics? Just want to know more about GEO? Join the newly formed Constitutional Committee to work on updating our Constitution and By-Laws! The Constitutional Committee needs members who are interested in developing a proposal to present to our general membership in the fall for review and ratification. Contact cc@uigeo.org if you’re interested in getting involved.

NEW! Finance Committee

The newly formed Finance Committee is tasked with accounting, reporting to members on how dues are spent, fundraising, and connecting members to emergency financial support. Email treasurer@uigeo.org if you would like to pitch in!

Questions About Healthcare? Email the Healthcare Working Group!

We know you have questions about what healthcare options are offered by our current contract, and we remain committed to guaranteed accessible and affordable healthcare for all graduate students. Our Healthcare Working Group is a member-led caucus that works towards informing members and organizing around our healthcare. If you have any questions about your healthcare or are interested in working towards improving it, you can contact the Healthcare Working Group at health@uigeo.org!  

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CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uiucgeo.org

Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic 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.

In Solidarity,
Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820

Email: geo@uigeo.org