Bargaining: 13th Session Summary, March on Swanlund on Wednesday

***October 3, 2017 — 49 days since our contract expired on August 15!***

Today, the GEO Bargaining Team (BT) and the UIUC Administration held their thirteenth bargaining session (first mediation session).

Please read below for more information on what happened today and what comes next.

  • We met with the mediator, updated him on the status of bargaining, and explained the rationale for our proposals.
  • We presented the Admin with a new package proposal. The proposal, which addressed, among other things, appointment letters and grievance procedure, was a good-faith effort on our part to work with the Admin to compromise and move some non-economic items off the table so we can focus on the tougher conversations like wages and healthcare. Still, the Admin refused to even negotiate it.
  • The Admin refused our proposal, and did not offer a counter. They then stalled for the remainder of the session. It’s clear that the Admin has no intention of bargaining in good faith with us, and think that if they can continue to stall we’ll eventually give up and be forced to accept a regressive contract with reduced tuition waivers, more expensive healthcare, and worse wages. Only our collective actions outside the bargaining room can force them to agree to a fair contract. Therefore, we’ve got two important events lined up this week–our March on Swanlund on Wednesday at noon, and our GMM on Thursday at 6:30pm. More info on both below–your attendance and participation is crucial for us all getting a fair contract!

If you have questions about bargaining or the BT’s proposal, attending a meeting is the best way to address them. You can reach us at You can also find more info about bargaining on our website.

What Comes Next:

March on Swanlund, October 4th at Noon

To protest the Administration’s continued stalling in the bargaining room, we will be marching on the Swanlund Administration building on October 4th at noon, come rain or shine. October 4th marks 50 days GEO members have worked without a contract. Our march will begin at Anniversary Plaza. We’ll then march around the quad before holding a brief rally outside of the Swanlund Administration Building. The Administration will only take us seriously at the bargaining table if we can show them our collective power. We need every GEO member and ally to join the march and fight for a fair contract. Here is a link to the Facebook event for the march.

General Membership Meeting: Strike Education

We have weekly General Membership Meetings (GMMs) every Thursday. We have been bargaining for a new contract since March and succeeded in expanding our Non-Discrimination statement, making Parental Leave more flexible, and adding a new Visa and Immigration Leave article. However, we still have most of the contract left to negotiate — including all economic issues. To keep all our members updated regularly, we have scheduled weekly GMMs. These will help our Bargaining Team know what members want and allow us to coordinate actions to get the contract that we deserve! GMMs are every Thursday, 6:30-7:30pm, at the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon Street, Urbana). Food and childcare will be provided. Come and help GEO get the contract you want! Here is a link to the Facebook event for the GMMs.

Members, we need all of your participation for this struggle! We encourage you to make it a priority to attend these weekly events in order for us all to get the contract we want.

NEXT BARGAINING SESSION: Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, 9:00am-1:00pm, Illinois Fire Service Institute (11 Gerty Drive, Champaign). All members are welcome to attend. You can also find more information about bargaining on our website.

Are you a member?

Our members are why we succeed at the bargaining table! If you haven’t signed a membership card yet, don’t delay! Contact us at to sign a membership card. If you’re not sure of your membership status, please ask!

See the GEO event calendar for future BT meetings, bargaining sessions, and other events. Add it to your Google calendar by searching for


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