About Bargaining 2017

About the Bargaining Sessions

What has happened so far?

GEO filed an Intent to Bargain in February 2017. Our first bargaining session was held on March 30th. You can find summaries on the GEO website of bargaining sessions, written by the Communications Committee and Bargaining Team. After twelve bargaining sessions, GEO requested a mediator in September 2017 and the Administration accepted. Mediation began in October 2017 and is in progress. Stay tuned to see how bargaining progresses from here!

Here’s what’s at stake:


  • Tuition Waivers: Keep our language protecting tuition waivers
  • Health Care: Admin contributes a higher percentage of our premium, more counseling center visits, summer health care coverage, dependent coverage, guaranteed minimum health care standards as defined by the ACA
  • Child Care: Monthly subsidy for parents, better access to campus resources
  • Fee Waiver: Full fee waiver
  • Wages: 8% raise to the minimum salary, 4% yearly raises


  • Tuition Waiver: We pay tuition (partial to full) and Admin can change tuition waivers at will
  • Health Care: Admin has a cap on premium contribution, none of the other things we’ve proposed
  • Child Care: No childcare subsidy
  • Fee Waiver: No fee waiver
  • Wages: No raises, ability to cut our pay

How does GEO approach bargaining?

GEO began the process of preparing for bargaining by forming a Bargaining Research Team (BRT) months before bargaining with the UIUC Administration began. The BRT conducted research on issues important to members and administered a survey of contract priorities in October and November 2016. As a result of the survey and conversations with members, the BRT drafted a bargaining platform composed of four pillars (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). In February 2017, at a General Membership Meeting, GEO members voted to approve the bargaining pillars and elected a group of members to serve on the Bargaining Team (BT) to conduct negotiations with the UIUC Administration.

GEO bargaining pillars flyer 1

GEO bargaining pillars flyer 2

Click here to see GEO’s comprehensive contract proposal for this bargaining cycle.

Who can attend a bargaining session?

Bargaining sessions are open to all members, but for legal reasons, GEO cannot invite non-members to bargaining sessions. If you have questions about whether you can attend a bargaining session, please email barg@uigeo.org.

During breaks in the bargaining session, BT members actively engage members in the room in discussions about the issues being negotiated at the table. When important decisions need to be made about contract priorities, the BT sends those issues to the Stewards’ Council and/or to a General Membership Meeting for a vote.

How can I attend a bargaining session?

Members can attend bargaining sessions and are not required to stay the whole time. Those who are eligible for membership but have not yet signed a membership card can do so at the bargaining session. Bargaining sessions are open to all members, but for legal reasons, GEO cannot invite non-members to bargaining sessions. If you have questions about whether you can attend a bargaining session, please email barg@uigeo.org.

Directions and Travel Information to Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) at 11 Gerty Drive in Champaign:

Take Neal Street to Gerty Drive, turn by the Credit Union, and go to the end of Gerty Drive (past the stop sign). The Illinois Fire Service Institute will be on your left.

  • Carpool: the Bargaining Team has organized a carpool for members. If you want to attend and need a ride, please contact us for the carpool signup. Carpools will travel between the GEO Office and IFSI. Please let us know a few days in advance if you’d like a ride.
  • Parking: it is free to park in the designated visitor section of the IFSI lot.
  • Bike: there are at least two bike racks available in front of the IFSI main building.
  • Bus: the bus line is 1 South Yellow to Water Survey and the stop is the Water Survey building. Be sure your bus is labeled Water Survey, not Lot E-14 or Savoy Wal-Mart.

Who can I contact with questions about bargaining?

You can email the Bargaining Team regarding bargaining questions at barg@uigeo.org.

Timeline of Bargaining

The first bargaining session was on March 30, 2017, and they have continued approximately every two weeks since then.

GEO’s current contract expired on August 15, 2017.

Here is a link to every bargaining session summary.

Upcoming bargaining session dates:

See the GEO event calendar for future bargaining sessions and other events. Add it to your Google calendar by searching for geo@uigeo.org.

How to Get Involved

Members, we need all of your participation for this struggle! Please attend the next bargaining session: we need you! The Bargaining Team represents members at the table. We look to you, the members, for input when we go to break out sessions. The more members in the room, the better informed our decisions at the table.

Attending bargaining sessions is the best way to actively engage in the negotiation of your wages, healthcare, and other protections. It is perfectly acceptable to come late or leave early from a bargaining session if you can’t stay the entire time. Just being present demonstrates our unity and strength to the Administration. You can even bring your work if you want. Coffee and food will be provided.

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.

More ways to be involved with bargaining:

  • Talk to your GEO department Steward
  • Attend a Bargaining Team meeting
  • Attend bargaining sessions
  • Attend GEO work actions
  • Get involved in planning and doing work actions

See the GEO event calendar for future Bargaining Team meetings, bargaining sessions, and other events. Add it to your Google calendar by searching for geo@uigeo.org. Bargaining Team meetings and bargaining sessions are open to all members. Please contact the Bargaining Team (barg@uigeo.org) with any questions. If you have questions about bargaining or the BT’s proposal, attending a meeting is the best way to address them.


The Bargaining Team

GEO’s Bargaining Team (BT) is composed of members from a diverse array of departments who were elected to serve on the BT. Per the GEO constitution, several GEO officers serve on the BT.

BT members do not have a designated leader, but rather operate on a model of shared distribution of labor.

You can contact the Bargaining Team at barg@uigeo.org.