As we near our strike, our undergraduate students ask us: How can we help?
The most direct way is to tell the university administration that the work of their TAs and GAs is really important to them, and that they support the efforts of GEO to reach agreement on livable working conditions. Below is a sample email, which we encourage all undergraduate students to send to the Chancellor of UIC, Michael Amridis, who holds the highest position in the UIC administration. Clicking this link here will initiate your default email client to compose an email with the same text.
Dear Chancellor Amridis,
I am writing to ask you to settle the contract with the UIC TA and GA union as soon as possible. Their work is invaluable to me as an undergraduate at UIC, and I am surprised and upset that they have been negotiating with you for more than a year, and you refuse to provide them proper living and working conditions. You still have not offered them a living wage or adequate healthcare, you are making them pay thousands in fees to work at the university, and you refuse to provide them clear policies about who gets jobs each semester so they can be free from fear of retaliation. They are the reason why your university works so well – you should treat them better.
If they go on strike, I will only have you to blame for restricting my access to an education.
Feel free to forward this post to undergrads in your classes! The more voices are heard, the higher the chance of a positive outcome.
GEO member and Communications Chair Mik Czerwinski is heading off to study in Poland. He will be missed so a new Communications Chair will need to be voted on by the membership. The Communications Chair works with fellow members of the Communications Committee to plan a communications timeline, including social media posts and the GEO newsletter, and design posters and fliers. It’s more important than ever to have someone in this position since keeping your fellow members updated on bargaining is a vital part of the contract year. It’s also perfect for someone who likes to do things remotely since much of this can be done from your own computer. Interested or have questions? Email Mik and staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The member-run Bargaining Committee is on the front lines of the contract campaign and represents the membership at the bargaining table with the University. As part of the committee, you’ll be helping draft contract language, doing research, serving as spokesperson (if you’re interested–certainly not a requirement!), and discussing proposals with fellow members during bargaining sessions. Interested in learning more? Email Cloie McClellan, Bargaining Chair, at email@example.com
See the Bargaining Team in action at the next bargaining session on Wednesday, September 9th from 12-5 p.m. in University Hall room 650! Even if you can only make it for a short time, stop by!
These positions will be voted on by the membership at the next General Membership Meeting which is Tuesday, September 15th from 6-7 pm at Gallery 400 (400 S. Peoria).
GEO Files Intent to Bargain With the University
Today, March 16th, the GEO will file its Intent to Bargain letter with the University! What does this mean? It means that, since the current contract expires in August of this year, we’re demanding the University meet with us to bargain a new contract. For several months, the member-run Bargaining Committee has been hard at work considering member input from the Bargaining Survey, doing research, and writing new contract language that addresses members’ concerns.
We’re ready and we’re asking the University to join us at the table. When the University provides us with a date for the first session, we will let the entire membership know. This is your contract so you come have your say in negotiations!
GEO Trivia: Get to Know Your Contract!
With bargaining just around the corner, do you know what’s in your contract and what’s not? Grab some colleagues to form a “pub quiz” team and test your knowledge of our contract this Wednesday, March 18th from 3-4:15 p.m. in room 603 of Student Center East (in the tower). There will be SNACKS for all and PRIZES for the winning teams, including gift certificates to Artopolis, Jaks Tap, and the Port Center Cafe!
Check out the event on Facebook here