Welcome to the Graduate Employees Organization!  We represent around 1500 Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants at UIC and are a member-run, volunteer-run, democratic labor union.  We’re holding a series of GEO 101 events in the next two weeks. These will be basic introductions to the union, describing what we do and how you can get involved in more depth than we were able to go into at orientations. We have three dates planned–if you can’t make any of these, let us know! We’ll be adding more.  These will be held at the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203).


Tuesday, August 26th from 10 am-11 am 
Wednesday, August 27th from 12 pm-1 pm 
Tuesday September 2nd from 2 pm-3 pm 

Summer isn’t over until we say it is! Join the GEO for a Welcome Back Block Party on 28 August, from 3-7 PM. It will take place on Green Street, south of Van Buren (behind the GEO office). We’ll have tacos from Big Star, beer, and games. Stop by to catch up with colleagues you haven’t seen in a while, eat some food, have some beers, and relax. Let’s enjoy the summer before the polar vortex returns!  Check out our Facebook event page here and please RSVP; this way, if we need to order more tacos, we can prepare! 

On Tuesday, April 22 from 4-5:30 pm in room 140 of Behavioral Sciences Building (BSB) the GEO is holding a general membership meeting to review the year’s activities and elect our new Steering Committee. The GMM is open to all members; the elections are open to card-signing members.

The Steering Committee is a member-run governing body of the GEO that helps to oversee other committees, plan and run events, and make decisions for the everyday functioning of the union. The list of Steering Committee officers is as follows:
Two Co-Presidents
Grievance Chair
Communications Chair
Outreach Chair
Organizing Chair
Chief Steward
Bargaining Chair (At Large Officer)

For a description of each position, check out our constitution: http://uic-geo.net/mainsite/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/100416_GEO_Constitution_Revised1.pdf

To nominate yourself, please send an e-mail with a short biography and the position you’re running for to the Elections Committee at elections@uic-geo.net by Friday, April 18th in order to appear on the paper ballot. Nominations will also be accepted on the floor of the meeting as write-in candidates.

Additional voting will be held on Wednesday from 1-4 pm and Thursday from 9-2 in the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren Suite 203—enter on Halsted). Due to the impending United Faculty strike and possible SEIU strike, the additional voting locations have been moved off campus in solidarity with them. Vote!

Once the elections are over, please join your fellow members for the GEO End of Semester Social at Dugan’s on Halsted (128 S. Halsted) on Thursday, April 24th from 6-8 pm. All members are welcome.

If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail elections@uic-geo.net.

The UIC Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy’s
Race, Sexuality and Violence Series
and the Gender and Sexuality Center present

A Community Forum to Celebrate, Educate, and Create Alliances

Wed April 9, 3-5pm
Student Center East, Room 613
750 S. Halsted Street

A forum to discuss gender identity, race and the right to medical
access, and why the new trans* inclusive health policy at UIC matters to
all of us. Ask questions, learn something new, build bridges and
celebrate the new policy. We will screen the new GSC video about
bringing trans* health coverage to UIC, roll out a Frequently Asked
Questions sheet about coverage and more, hear from our panel and answer
your questions. Don’t miss it!

-Aja Blalark, UIC student, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs;
community advisory board member of Chicago House and their Trans Life
Center Program.
-Abbas Hyderi, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Curriculum, Associate
Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, UIC College of Medicine.
-Jae Szeszycki-Truesdell, MA, MPH, Health Promotion Specialist,
Transgender Services, API Wellness Center, San Francisco, CA; UIC alum
and leader of the UIC trans* health initiative.

Refreshments will be served. RSVP to Ryan Viloria at rvilor1@uic.edu or
irrpp.uic.edu. Find us on Facebook too.

Join United Faculty and SEIU members at the Board of Trustees meeting this Wednesday, January 22nd at Student Center West at 9:30 am as we urge the university to negotiate and fairly settle their contracts.

9:30 AM-10:30AM
United Faculty action at Board of Trustees Meeting
Meet in Student Center West lobby
We will be holding signs urging the University to negotiate with the faculty union and not force them to strike.
11:00 AM-1:00PM
SEIU Rally
Student Center West Quad
SEIU will be holding a rally demanding that the University save their steps. SEIU has an annual raise for all employees built into their contract called “steps.” The University wants to replace these annual raises with the general campus raise system. Campus raises and infrequent and lower than SEIU’s steps and would mean that employees would see fewer and smaller raises over their years at UIC. SEIU and the University are entering federal mediation in their negotiations in hopes they will be able to come to an agreement that keeps their steps in place without a strike.

At 12pm on Tuesday, February 26th, there will be a rally for graduate employee rights in the UIC Quad. We will be showing our strength to encourage the administration to be more reasonable at the bargaining table.

Graduate employees are an essential part of UIC’s workforce. We spend countless hours teaching, grading, planning, and performing important administrative tasks. Despite this, many grad employees live below the poverty line, and many more earn much less than the $17,958 per year that UIC’s own financial aid office claims is the cost of living in Chicago. We deserve better.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, the union representing all TA’s and GA’s at UIC, has been negotiating a new contract for the past 9 months. The administration has thus far refused to offer a financial proposal that even comes close to a living wage.

At the last General Membership Meeting, GEO members voted to begin a strike drive, in preparation for and with the hope to avoid a strike.

Part of the organizing effort that any member can participate in is going office door to office door to talk with fellow members about their experiences as graduate employees and address any questions or thoughts they may have. If you’re interested in doing this but are unsure of how to make the approach, the Direct Action Working Group has the answer.

Join us Monday, November 19th at 4:00pm for a workshop on door to door organizing. The workshop will be in the GEO office, 815 W. Van Buren, Ste. 203 (above Giordano’s). You can RSVP for it on our Facebook event page; be sure to invite your colleagues, too: http://www.facebook.com/events/346430435452775/

Can’t make it but still want to help? E-mail us at organizing@uic-geo.net and we’ll be in touch.

-The Direct Action Working Group