It’s happening! The University stated that they would provide the GEO Bargaining Team with a comprehensive counterproposal on the non-economic contract articles for the next bargaining session happening Wednesday, July 1st from 1-5 p.m. in University Hall room 650. We’ll be going over their proposals and any members in the room will have a chance to vote on the proposals from the university. Additionally, members can help create GEO counterproposals and vote on them in the room so if you can make it, it will be a great way to engage with your contract!

In this coming session, we will aim to tackle the Non-Discrimination clause, seeking to expand basic protections against harassment and discrimination. In addition, some of our members will discuss the difficulties facing gender non-conforming workers on campus. Wednesday,we need our members to come and support the bargaining team to ensure we win a strong contract. Even if you are able to attend for a short time, please come, so that the we may keep a consistent presence of members in the room. join us on Wednesday, June 3rd from 12:15 pm to 4 pm in University Hall Room 650! Bring a friend and wear red!

As a union member, you know that collective bargaining gives you a voice on the job and the ability to negotiate over your salary, working conditions, and other issues that benefit both union and non-union workers and your community. But this Wednesday, May 27 at 2:00pm, the Senate Executive Committee will hold a hearing on legislation that would restrict these fundamental rights. Let’s stop it in its tracks.

Please call members of the Senate Executive Committee today to urge a NO vote on SB 1046, Senate Amendment 1 (SA1) – Rauner’s anti-worker agenda.

NOTE: The Senate Executive Committee is a critical hurdle for this harmful amendment. Even if you don’t see your Senator listed below, please call as many as possible, especially if he or she represents a town near you.

Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) 217-782-8176
Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) 217-782-5500
Senator James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis) 217-782-5399
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) 217-782-2728
Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) 217-782-5966
Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester) 217-782-8505
Senator Terry Link (D-Gurnee) 217-782-8181
Senator Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) 217-782-9415
Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) 217-782-5338
Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) 217-782-8492
Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) 217-782-3201
Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) 217-782-4471
Senator William Brady (R-Bloomington) 217-782-6216
Senator David Luechtefeld (D-Okawville) 217-782-8137
Senator Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) 217-782-7730
Senator Sue Rezin (R-Peru) 217-782-3840
Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) 217-782-5413

SB1046, SA 1 includes some of the most harmful aspects of Governor Rauner’s “turnaround” agenda. It would take away employees’ rights to bargain over: wages and pay equity health insurance maternity leave, child care benefits evaluations privatization of services and more. The legislation would also freeze property taxes, dramatically reducing the money available for education and public services in our communities. When teachers and other workers are able to collectively bargain, we help level the unbalanced playing field that always favors the employer. Through collective bargaining, we have negotiated gains that provide an opportunity for all families, not just labor households, to earn a living and raise a family.

Simply put, collective bargaining has given average people a voice and helped create the middle class.
That’s what’s at stake. Look at Wisconsin to see what happens when collective bargaining is eliminated. Teachers and public employees there have seen (10 percent) wage cuts, increased class sizes, reduced health insurance coverage, loss of sick days, a longer work day/year, and more. Kids and communities have suffered the most. We can’t let that happen in Illinois.

The hearing is this Wednesday so call these Senators immediately and urge a NO vote on SB1046, SA1. Tell them why collective bargaining is important to you. Remind legislators that collective bargaining provides: workplace equity for women and people of color fair wages, for union and non-union workers job safety protections collaboration and innovation in education and public services Across the state, counties and municipalities have overwhelmingly rejected the dangerous proposals in the Governor’s “turnaround” agenda, including the elimination of collective bargaining. Tell Senators to listen to the voters and do the same by voting NO on SB1046, SA1.

At the first session yesterday, we presented the comprehensive proposal to the University. Now it’s their turn to respond. Since there are several articles with few or no changes, we’re hoping to start on those and get them out of the way. Let’s keep up the momentum with a great turnout again and join us on Wednesday, May 20th from 9 am-1 pm in University Hall Room 650! And as always, even if you’re only able to come for a short time, you’re more than welcome to attend.  Bring a friend and wear red!

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 GEO Steering Committee! The results of the Steering Committee election are as follows:

Co-Presidents: Sarah Moberg and Hale Thompson
Treasurer: Karen Cralli
Secretary: Chris Perez
Outreach Chair: Lydia Hou
Bargaining Chair: Cloie McClellan
Communications Chair: Mik Czerwinski
Grievance Co-Chairs: Marissa Baker and Jen Phillis
Chief Steward: Andrea Craft
Organizing Chair: Alyssa Greenberg

Members of the incoming Steering Committee want to remind you all about the First GEO Bargaining Session happening Wednesday, May 6th from 1-4 p.m. in UH 401. Even if you can only come for a little bit, please show up–the stronger the numbers, the greater the pressure we put on the University as we demand a fair contract!

The UIC Graduate Employees Organization calls for the University to reinstate the cancelled searches for the Diaspora, Social Justice and Human Rights, and Middle East and Muslim Societies cluster positions to demonstrate its commitment to increase diversity and interdisciplinary hiring. We reject a budget crisis that only affects the educational mission of the University yet allows for out-sized administrative salaries.

Join us for Steering Committee elections and End of the Semester social on Wednesday, April 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m at Dugan’s on Halsted (128 S. Halsted St. Chicago IL 60661)! Help select the officers who chair specific committees and run caucuses. Hear candidates’ ideas concerning the direction of our organization as we prepare to bargain with the university. The officers for the GEO, as given by the Constitution, are listed below. You can find descriptions for each position on our website at If you are interested in running, please contact the Elections Committee at by Friday, April 24th to be included on the ballot; nominations will also be taken on the floor of the meeting. Food and drinks will be provided!

The officers for the GEO are as follows:
-Two Co-Presidents
-Grievance Chair
-Bargaining Chair
-Communications Chair
-Outreach Chair
-Organizing Chair
-Chief Steward (Officer-at-large)

If you believe in a $15 minimum wage for all workers, join the GEO in supporting the Fight for $15 on UIC Campus (601 S. Mogran st.) this Wednesday, April 15:

On April 15, we will be standing up, speaking out and fighting for fair pay at the MASSIVE rallies around the globe for the Fight for $15.

Stand with us.

If you believe that every mother who works hard for a living should make enough money to feed her kids – then stand with us.

If you believe that a man who works for a company for 5 years – every single day in a hot kitchen – and still makes $8.25 an hour, deserves a raise – then stand with us.

If you believe that it is TIME for companies that make record profits to give back to communities that support them by paying their employees enough to live – then stand with us.

Sign up now to join the Fight for $15 rally in your city on April 15. Stand with the fast food workers fighting for $15 an hour and union rights.

We’re inspired by the victories: a $15 wage in Seattle and San Francisco, a $12.25 wage in Oakland – and cities from New York to Chicago to LA clamoring to push theirs even higher.

And we believe it’s time for McDonald’s and poverty-pay corporations like them to pay their employees enough to support their families.

So, we’ll be standing up and speaking out on April 15. Will you be there with us?

Head here now to sign up and get the full details on the event closest to you.

Let’s win this thing.


Fight for 15

See why our Grievance chair, Becky Bivens, Bargaining Chair, became involved with the GEO. As we have filed an intent to bargain with the university we will be negotiating the terms of our new contract soon. What changes would you like to see in our lives as workers at the University of Illinois? Get involved in the process. Contact us at or


Or, attend one of the following committee meetings:

Steering Committee Meeting
Monday, April 14th, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27th, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
GEO Office (815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203)

Grievance Committee
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2:00 -3:00 p.m.
GEO Office (815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203)

Communications Committee
Thursday, April 16th, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
GEO Office (815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203)



See why our Grievance chair, Marissa Baker, and Co-President, Karen Cralli, became involved with the GEO. As we have filed an intent to bargain with the university we will be negotiating the terms of our new contract soon. What changes would you like to see in our lives as workers at the University of Illinois? Get involved in the process. Contact us at or