Past updates on bargaining are here. Bargaining sessions are on Mondays and Wednesdays in University Hall (UH) 650. Next session: Feb. 8, 12-5pm.

GEO held its 20th and 21st bargaining session with the University this week. On Monday, GEO presented a counter proposal to University which was met with a counter from the University. Both sides made movement towards the other. On Wednesday, GEO responded to the University’s most recent counter, the University responded, and the GEO countered (doesn’t it seem like I’m describing chess or a sporting event?). Once again, both sides made movement towards the other. At this point in time, the main outstanding differences between the two parties are wages and changes to Fair Share. As always, the University wants to pay us less than we deserve, but there have been significant advances in their position and we are close to an agreement here. However, the University has proposed changes to Fair Share that would force GEO to send signed member cards to the University. This would allow them to stop deducting fair share fees (which are used to keep the union running) from those who had not signed a card. This is something that we are still fighting against.

Our next bargaining session will be Monday February 8th, from 12-5 PM in UH 650. Note: the University will be caucusing until 1 PM and therefore will not be in the room until after 1 PM. GEO will be caucusing from 12-1 PM to discuss Fair Share and what is a proposal that we would be willing to accept. The University’s proposal on Monday will be brought to the GMM on Tuesday the 9th to get a sense of whether or not we might be ready to tentatively agree to a new contract. See you all next week!

Past updates on bargaining areĀ here. Bargaining sessions are on Wednesdays in University Hall (UH) 650. Next session: TBD.

The Bargaining Committee met with the University’s bargaining team to discuss our healthcare proposals. They had questions last week that we put off to receive their comprehensive contract proposal. We feel like we addressed the concerns that they had. The message from the University was: that CampusCare is great and incomparable to other insurance plans, that their main decision driver is cost to the program but not the users, and that when medically necessary care is not covered by our insurance its unfortunate but uncontrollable.

After discussing healthcare we asked for an update on the University’s economic proposals. They did not have one. In fact, they indicated that no update to their proposals would be forthcoming, likely until the new year. However, they did reiterate their desire for absolutely no changes to the old contract. When pushed, they indicated that they would only make changes on wages and the healthcare fee. They offered campus wage (a % increase to wages) which will most likely be 0% next semester, with the state budget stalemate given as an excuse. We are tired of their rhetoric and empty proposals.

The GEO has heard from many members who want to know what has been happening at the contract negotiation sessions with the university administration. While the best way to be in the know is to come to the bargaining sessions, we will provide weekly updates here on the sessions and the progress, or lack thereof, towards reaching a new contract. Past updates areĀ here.

Bargaining sessions are on Wednesdays in University Hall (UH) 650. Next session: November 18, 1:30pm.

The GEO met with the University for our 16th bargaining session on 11/11. We have now been in bargaining for more than 6 months and working without a contract for almost 3. The University passed us a comprehensive proposal (meaning it addressed every article in the contract), which was as terrible, if not more terrible, than we expected. Highlights include (in the order they appear in the contract):

  • The University wants the rights to take away appointments without replacing them even after the offer letter is signed (This is a right we already have under the contract!!!)
  • No change to the minimum and only campus wage program increases for continuing students
  • No change to fees including Campus Care
  • The University wants to collect signed member cards before they have given us a list of members for the semester
  • The University wants the right to immediately terminate members who fail to complete ethics training
  • The University wants to end guaranteed tuition waivers
The University admitted that the proposal for wages and the Campus Care fee were not necessarily accurate because their lead negotiator had not received some information that was needed. We closed the session by letting them know that we could not accept this offer and that we would like to see the real figures for wages.

The GEO has heard from many members who want to know what has been happening at the contract negotiation sessions with the university administration. While the best way to be in the know is to come to the bargaining sessions, we will provide weekly updates here on the sessions and the progress, or lack thereof, towards reaching a new contract. Past updates are here.

Bargaining sessions are on Wednesdays at 12 PM in University Hall (UH) 650). Next session: November 11, 2015.

Update: November 6, 2015

The GEO met with the University for the 15th bargaining session on 11/04. It was decided that GEO would not pass counter-proposals back to the University as we wanted to push on through the last 2 semi-economic articles. This did not please the University (as it did not play into the game they like to play: stall, stall, stall). However, we were able to get a verbal commitment from the University that they will propose a comprehensive economic package next week. They explicitly stated that the only movement in this package would be around wages, health care, and fees and that it would be paltry and unpalatable to our members. Next week’s bargaining session (11/11) is highly important as we will see if the University delivers on their commitment to bring a comprehensive economic package and how sparse it is.

Communications Chair
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 communications@uic-geo.net.

Bargaining Committee
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 bargaining@uic-geo.net
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).

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 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.

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!

Wednesday, June 17th from 12:00 to 5 pm 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.! Bring a friend and wear red!