UIC Graduate Employees Organization Local 6297 demands a fair budget for Illinois

Picket against Governor Rauner: Thursday, March 30th at 5 pm at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S Michigan Ave.

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Local 6297, stands with unions, community groups, and social justice organizations from across Illinois to demand that Governor Bruce Rauner pass a fair budget. For over two years, Rauner has held our state budget hostage to his anti-worker agenda. He refuses to provide the necessary funding for our schools, health centers, immigration services, senior services, and other vital social programs. He refuses to negotiate fairly with the unions representing state workers, and has tried to impose harsh and devastating contract terms – cutting wages, attacking pensions, and making health care unaffordable. He refuses to respect the rights of workers to collectively make their voices heard, and tramples on the rights and well-being of all Illinois residents.

And we refuse to accept his attacks.

As graduate workers and students at the University of Illinois at Chicago, we understand the importance of a thriving community of public universities where we can teach and research. We know that our students deserve to have access to equitable and well-funded schools starting in kindergarten and on through college. We stand with our broad university family against continued assaults on higher education in Illinois. Last year, Chicago State University was almost forced to shut its doors. This month, Governors State has announced it will raise tuition and cut 22 programs in the fall due to the state budget crisis. Northeastern Illinois University was forced to shut down during their spring break, and nearly all employees took five unpaid furlough days. Hundreds of student employees have lost their jobs at NEIU because of Rauner’s austerity agenda.

We are opposed to Rauner’s attempts to destroy public services and undermine workers’ rights. We demand a fair budget for all Illinois residents and we urge UIC community members to join us for a picket against Rauner’s agenda on Thursday, March 30th at 5 pm at the Chicago Hilton (720 S Michigan Ave). Let’s make our voices heard.

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It’s election time!  If you would like to run for one of the following GEO officer positions, please send your name and two-sentence candidate statement to staff@uic-geo.net by Wednesday, April 5th:

–Bargaining Chair: Responsibilities include attending and facilitating contract negotiations, strategizing with the bargaining and organizing teams, and reporting back to membership.

–Communications Chair: Responsibilities include facilitating Communications Committee meetings, and helping to create and maintain GEO’s messaging and online presence.

–Treasurer: Responsibilities include keeping track of all union finances, maintaining budget, and serving as chair for the budget committee.

–Co-President (2 positions): Responsibilities include chairing Steering Committee meetings, working as a liaison to the committees, and being a spokesperson of GEO.

–Grievance Chair: Includes evaluating potential grievances, interviewing grievants and investigating grievances, and working with Stewards Council members to help resolves grievances.

–Secretary: Includes keeping records of meetings, creating and maintaining files of agendas and minutes, and attending Steering Committee meetings.

–Outreach Chair: Includes doing outreach to campus unions and groups and the larger community.

–Organizing Chair: Includes working with Stewards to build membership, organize around member issues, and run contract and issue campaigns.

–Chief Steward: Includes working with Stewards to help facilitate communication about contractual rights, build membership, and organize around issues.

Voting will take place on campus April 11th and 12th on campus. Voting will also take place at the GEO 1o Year Anniversary Event on April 13th at Jak’s Tap from 5-7pm.