– March 9th, 2022 –

In a letter to the membership today, GEO’s steering committee called for a vote to authorize a strike. Read the letter below:

Dear graduate worker,

We’ve been hearing recently from faculty allies that the university is telling them to prepare for a GEO strike. This can only mean one thing: the university has no intention of ending these negotiations in any way other than a strike.

And it shows. We’ve been in bargaining for almost a year and there’s still a lot of daylight between us. We’re still demanding $5000 more per year than they’re offering. We’re still demanding full fee elimination while they haven’t brought a single proposal on fees yet. We’re still demanding universal nine-month appointments and sorely needed protections for survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination–they have simply thrown up their hands at these proposals, eager to maintain their dysfunctional status quo.

The university administrators hope they can just dig in their heels and wait for us to give up; they have no intention of giving grad workers a fair contract. But we can make them. If it’s a strike they want, it’s a strike they’ll get.

Today, GEO’s steering committee is formally calling for a strike authorization vote. The vote will be held both online and in-person between Wednesday, March 30th and Friday, April 1st. GEO members make up 10% of UIC’s entire workforce and over half of its teachers. UIC cannot function without graduate labor and we need to show them that a strike would grind UIC to a halt by getting out to vote in huge numbers.

Voting is limited to members only. If you aren’t yet a member, you can sign a membership card here: https://uic-geo.net/mainsite/?page_id=2325

If a strike is authorized it does not automatically mean GEO will be on strike, and we will continue to try to resolve our differences at the bargaining table. Indeed, the more people who come out to vote, the less likely it’ll be that we have to go on strike: the university will be able to see the writing on the wall.

In Solidarity,
GEO Steering Committee

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