For all the new TAs and GAs who are starting work this week, or for returning TAs and GAs that want to get more involved, the GEO Bargaining session is a great way to become more engaged with your union! The member-run bargaining team has been steadily meeting with the university through out summer, actively proposing improvements to the contract the governs such things as wages, tuition waivers, fee waivers, and protections against discrimination. All members are welcome and all card-signers can help create and vote on any proposals. This is YOUR contract; come have your say in its creation this Wednesday, September 2nd from 1-5 pm in University Hall Room 650. Even if you can only make it for part of the time, stop on by.

Then join your colleagues for the Welcome Back Social from 5-7 p.m. at PhD Bar (1257 S Halsted). Have some free drinks and snacks, meet some new friends from across campus, and unwind from the start of the semester.

The University of Illinois Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC-GEO), American

Federation of Teachers Local 6297, is a fair share labor union representing approximately

1400 Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants across 59 departments at the University

of Illinois at Chicago. We have been recognized by the University of Illinois system since

2004, winning our first contract in 2006. Currently, we are seeking a full-time Staff

Organizer/Representative. This is a unionized position and represented by a Collective

Bargaining Agreement.

 Duties will include:

·      building GEO membership through activities such as office visits and one-on-one

conversations

·      identifying and recruiting activists and leaders

·      providing support and advice to committees and Stewards Council

·      planning and execution of events and meetings

·      mobilizing members for job actions and group grievances

·      developing and running ongoing campaigns

·      designing and developing literature

·      enforcing the contract through activities such as grievance processing

·      representing GEO to the UIC administration and other organizations

·      contract negotiations

·      developing and conducting trainings

·      It is expected that 40% of the work week will be devoted to organizing in the field,

with the remaining 60% devoted to other responsibilities as outlined by UIC-GEO

leadership

Preferred qualifications include:

·      At least one year union organizing experience

·      Strong interpersonal skills

·      Strong written and oral communication skills

·      Bachelors degree preferred, Associates acceptable with significant experience

·      Flexibility in work schedule absolutely necessary (some nights/weekends will be

necessary, especially during contract campaigns)

·      Enjoys/would enjoy working with students seeking advanced degrees

Salary and benefits:

·      Salary is $64,687.50

·      Competitive healthcare insurance provided, including dental and vision coverage,

as well as short term and long term disability coverage and 401k contributions.

Application process:

·      E-mail submission of application preferred.  Direct applications and inquiries to

hiring@uic-geo.net

·      When applying, please include a cover letter and resume, including references who

can comment on organizing work

·      Please respond by August 31st, 2015.  We will be contacting applicants for

interviews after that date.

·      If you prefer to mail your application, please send materials to:

UIC Graduate Employees Organization

815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203

Chicago, IL 60607

·      We strongly encourage women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals to apply!

Dear colleagues at UIC,

Our names are Daniel Vergara and Alicia Luque and we are PhD students at UIC. We are writing this post with the hope that we can raise awareness about the significant increase in the International Student Fee that will be applied to us by the Office of International Students (OIS) for the 2015-2016 academic year. So far, international students at UIC have had to pay an amount of $80 per semester for the services that the OIS provides to international students. About two months ago, the OIS sent out an e-mail stating that due to incoming budget cuts, the office is going to raise the international student fee to $130 per semester for a total of $260 per year. Coincidentally, this e-mail was sent before the Dean notified all university staff, faculty and students that budget negotiations were still ongoing and it was not yet clear which official entities at UIC were going to be affected by these budget cuts.

The OIS claims that the increase in the fee is to improve the services provided at their office but they will not provide us with any details as to how this money will be used. $260 a year might not seem much, but as international graduate workers who earn limited wages and are not allowed to work off-campus, we could better use this money to travel to conferences, conduct research, or simply pay rent. As international workers we visit the OIS for visa-related issues, but we don’t believe that those services are sufficient to justify the fee increase. UIC is an institution that takes pride in being diverse and multicultural, and that’s why this fee increase is an embarrassment to the OIS and to what UIC stands for. We came to UIC because it was a diverse institution that cherished and valued international students, but sadly we don’t feel that way anymore. During these past two months, we have been organizing to fight this fee increase but we need YOU. We need your support. Whether or not you are an international worker, this is a clear case of DISCRIMINATION and it should not be ignored. Please show us your support by reposting this, raising awareness, coming to our meetings, or even talking to your international colleagues about the fee increase. This fee needs to STOP!

Our next meeting will be Monday, August 10th at 5 p.m. at the UIC GEO office (815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203). Join us!

Sincerely,

Daniel Vergara and Alicia Luque

Are you bilingual? Your union needs your help! The GEO seeks members to help translate information into a variety of languages for our international student worker members. We are especially looking for members fluent in the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. If you would like to help please contact staff@uic-geo.net or communications@uic-geo.net.

The bargaining team has been unable to reach a tentative agreement with the University on any of the articles so far. We will attempt to reach an agreement again this Wednesday, August 5th from 2-5 p.m. in University Hall Room 650. If we cannot reach an agreement, we will explore the possibility of mediation. All members are welcome and while you’re at the session, you have a chance to shape and vote on all responses to university proposals. So come on over even if you can only make it for a brief time.

Plus, if you want a new and improved GEO t-shirt, let us know and we’ll bring you one! Either comment below with your size and color (black or red) or emails us at geo@uic-geo.net

If you’re an international student and worker at UIC, then the announcement about the newly implemented International Student Fee increasing from $80 to $130 must have felt like a huge, unwelcome surprise. But what is this fee used for and does the Office of International Students really need all of this money? In an effort to find out, we want to know more about how often people use the Office of International Students and for what. Your answers are totally confidential and you can fill out the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDTCJ3M
If you’ve already filled out the survey, that’s great! Please help by forwarding this to your colleagues and encourage them to fill it out too. The more information we have, the better!

The Bargaining Committee has put together a counterproposal based on member input regarding the University’s counterproposal at the last bargaining session. They’re ready to present it at the Sixth Bargaining Session happening this Wednesday, July 8th from 12-5 p.m. in University Hall Room 650. All members are welcome and while you’re at the session, you have a chance to shape and vote on all responses to university proposals. So come on over even if you can only make it for a brief time.

Plus, if you want a new and improved GEO t-shirt, let us know and we’ll bring you one! Either comment below with your size and color or emails us at geo@uic-geo.net.

Are you an international worker at UIC? Then maybe you heard that the newly implemented International Student Fee is going to increase from $80 to $130 this fall. But what is this fee used for and does the Office of International Students really need all of this money? In an effort to find out, we want to know more about how often people use the Office of International Students and for what. Your answers are totally confidential and you can fill out the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDTCJ3M

Also if you want to get more involved in fighting this fee, join the GEO International Student Worker Caucus this Monday, July 6th at 3 p.m. in the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren Suite 203). Please invite your colleagues! All are welcome.

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!