What to Expect in Bargaining!
All GEO members are welcome and encouraged to attend bargaining sessions with the university. Not only is it great to learn about how exactly bargaining functions, but it’s also helpful to know what we as a union are asking for and how the university will respond. So come and join us!
For the negotiations, we meet with representatives from the university, typically the Labor Relations department of Human Resources, as well as a lawyer from the university. The GEO will be represented by members of the bargaining team, voted on by the GEO membership, who have been meeting for months to put together a contract proposal based on member concerns from the survey. Each side will have a designated negotiator for each session who will be the primary person speaking. When a member of the bargaining team has a point of clarification, they will pass a note to the lead negotiator. If a group discussion is needed, the negotiator can call for a caucus, at which time one of the sides will leave the room and a group discussion can occur. If you’re there attending the meeting, you can caucus as part of the GEO and take part in votes (if there’s a major decision that must be made, we will take it to a general membership meeting to vote on).
When you come to the bargaining session, try to arrive a little early so that we can have everyone there by the start of the meeting. If you have to leave before the meeting is over, that’s okay. The more members attending, the better because the university will see that everyone is engaged and interested in having the contract settled quickly and efficiently.