News

Highlights of the 2022-2025 GEO Contract
April 26, 2022

Wages:

  • AY 2022-2023: $22,590 (9.58% raise)
  • AY 2023-2024: $23,440 (3.76% raise)
  • AY 2024-2025: $24,200 (3.24% raise)

Retro Pay:

  • $2000 lump sum for those who worked Fall & Spring
  • $1000 lump sum for those who worked Spring

Strike Pay:

  • Stream-lined process to ensure no one loses pay from going on strike

Tuition & Fees:

  • Tuition waiver guaranteed in the body of the contract for the first time ever
  • $65 (50%) waiver and freeze of the international fee in the body of the contract
  • $300 relief for the general fee (incorporated into wages)
  • The right to bargain increases to the general fee in excess of $25/semester
  • Guarantee that newly created fees will be waived in the body of the contract

Healthcare:

  • CampusCare Fee Y1: $260 (no increase)
  • CampusCare Fee Y2: $270 
  • CampusCare Fee Y3: $280
  • 25% reduction in the cost of dependent coverage for all dependents (up from 20% for 1st dependent, 10% for each additional dependent).

Leaves & Holidays:

  • 6 weeks paid parental leave (up from 2 weeks)
  • 5 sick days per semester across the board regardless of FTE (an increase of up to 3 sick days depending on FTE)
  • 5 days bereavement leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member (up from 3 days) and 1 day for an expanded list of other relations; greater flexibility to request additional bereavement leave if this policy is insufficient
  • Protections against supervisors informally discouraging grad workers from taking sick or personal days
  • Improved collection of data regarding leaves by departments

Non-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment:

  • Process for assistants who may have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination to request supportive measures with the option of union representation through this process
  • Appeal process if requests for supportive measures are denied with the option of union representation through this process
  • Protection of pay for those receiving supportive measures
  • Greater autonomy over whether reports are filed with OAE
  • Union may represent and advise an assistant who is filing a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination
  • Notice to those filing complaints that OAE does not represent them
  • Explanation of decision by OAE to not investigate a complaint within 10 business days
  • Denunciation of workplace bullying and commitment to upholding the University Code of Conduct
  • Definition of harassment
  • Prohibition of retaliation for lawfully protected acts
  • Commitment by university to maintain websites listing locations of all gender bathrooms and lactation rooms

Recording Language:

  • University recordings will only be accessible by participants in the course for which they were created during the semester in which they were created
  • Notice will be given if recording is required for an assignment, and assistants will be able to request an assignment which does not require recording

9 Month Appointment Task Force:

  • We will convene a joint task force with the university to draft recommendations to the provost for expanding the availability of 9 month appointments

No Strike/No Lockout:

  • Incorporated a protection against employer lockout of workers into the contract, putting us on par with every other campus union

Grievance Procedure; Discipline & Dismissal:

  • New arbitrator selection process which removes a structural disadvantage for the union
  • Restructured for greater clarity and succinctness

Recognition:

  • Changed to reflect a recent arbitration ruling: joint RA+TA/GAs will be in the unit regardless of what percentage of the appointment is a TA/GAship

Union Rights:

  • Defended union’s access to orientations; prevented the inclusion of “voluntary” language

Strike Suspended! Details to Come Soon!

At midnight last night we settled the outstanding issues on the table. More details to come soon, but for now, it’s time to get back to work!

An Open Letter to Governor Pritzker

April 24, 2022

The Honorable J.B. Pritzker
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601

Dear Governor Pritzker,

I am the organizing chair of the UIC Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), the union representing over 1500 Teaching and Graduate Assistants at the University of Illinois at Chicago. We have been on an indefinite strike for a fair contract since Monday April 18, following over a year of negotiations with the university administration. Shamefully, this is the second contract cycle in a row that the University has forced the graduate workers of GEO to go on strike to safeguard workplace rights.

We are on strike for basic financial stability in the form of fee relief and good wages. Most of us make as little as $20,600 a year while teaching as many classes as faculty, in addition to our full-time studies. Despite making so little, we are required to pay up to $2,000 in university fees each year. Combined with Chicago’s high cost of living, our low wages and high fees lock us into a state of constant financial distress. This negatively impacts our work and our studies, undermining the university’s mission and turning away prospective graduate students who would rather enroll at universities with more competitive economic packages in other states.

Presently, students are one week away from final exams. Since TA’s are responsible not only for the majority of exam preparation, but the vast majority of the grading of all exams, this places UIC at the precipice of a crisis. Should the strike continue into finals the university will be unable to fulfill its educational goals.

Undergraduates and faculty report that most classes last week were canceled as a result of our work stoppage. Exams and assignments are not being graded. Prospective students visiting campus have seen our pickets. The strike is hindering UIC’s normal operations and further tarnishing the reputation of public higher education in Illinois. Undergraduates and faculty have overwhelmingly expressed support for us and, like us, they blame the dispute entirely on the callousness of the university administration.

We have met with the administration four times since the strike began, but their position remains unchanged. Without explanation, they refuse to bargain over fee freezes or waivers. Because fee increases serve as an indirect pay cut to union-represented employees, they must be addressed in our contract. With only six days of instruction remaining in the semester, students are wondering whether Teaching and Graduate Assistants will still be on strike during finals.

We are growing increasingly concerned that the intransigence and recklessness of the university administration will do serious long-term damage to our students’ learning conditions and to the university’s reputation. As a champion for workers’ rights and higher education, and as the chief executive of the state, we implore you to take action to ensure that UIC becomes a more attractive institution to work and pursue an education.

Sincerely,

Matthew DeVilbiss
GEO Organizing Chair

UIC GEO Calls for a Strike Starting Monday, April 18th

April 13th, 2022

GEO has now been in contract negotiations with UIC administration for over a year. We have made progress on some topics and GEO is committed to finding compromises, but the university’s bargaining team still refuses to address some of the union’s most pressing concerns. UIC is proposing salaries of $3000/yr less than what GEO is asking (and less than what grad workers at other Chicago schools make), no fee relief whatsoever, and increased health care costs. UIC still reserves the right to lock grad workers out of their offices, labs, and classrooms and will not include the union in the accommodations process for survivors of discrimination, harassment, and bullying. It is for all these reasons and more that GEO has called for a graduate worker strike. Grad workers at UIC will be going on strike starting Monday, April 18th.

Please show your support by signing on to our letter-writing campaign here consider donating to our strike fund here.

UIC GEO Membership Authorizes a Strike by Huge Margins

April 1st, 2022

Voting closed earlier today and the results were decisive. A larger percentage of members came out to vote to authorize a strike than in 2019 and 97% of voters voted to authorize. The message was loud and clear–GEO is ready to strike, and we will win.

Read the letter from GEO’s president, Jared O’Connor, to the membership below:

Dear members of GEO,

After three days of in-person and virtual voting to authorize a strike, the results are finalized!
We had a large percentage of our membership turning out for the vote and overwhelmingly our members voted in FAVOR to authorize a strike if necessary.
This means that the membership has authorized the GEO steering committee to call a strike if it becomes necessary.
Thank you to everyone who voted in this important matter. We are proud of the membership turnout and believe these numbers show the commitment of our members to fight for a living wage, elimination of fees, and protections for survivors. Our union is only as strong as our membership, and our union is strong!
We will be meeting with the university for our next Bargaining Session on Thursday 4/7 from 12-6pm. We hope the university’s proposals will reflect the will of our membership. The link for this meeting will be available in our weekly newsletter.
But for now, we hope you enjoy your weekend!
In solidarity,
Jared O’Connor

UIC GEO Calls on Membership to Authorize a Strike

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


GEO Impact Bargaining Update: What We’ve Won

We wanted to update you on what we collectively have won as workplace protections and security in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we began impact bargaining last month, we have won: All expenses related to the testing and treating of COVID-19 for employees who utilize Campus Care or who go to an Emergency Room Read More →

An open letter from GEO International Caucus to the UIC Administration

Open letter to UIC administration on behalf of GEO International Caucus April 3, 2020 Dear Chancellor Amiridis, President Killeen, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Poser, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Barish, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Tolliver, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Coronado, Associate Vice Provost for Global Engagement and OIS Executive Director Read More →

GEO Receives a Response from the University

This week, we received a response from the University to our bargaining proposals that we passed over last Friday. You can find them attached to this email. The biggest win was a commitment to a 14-day paid sick leave for any member who contracts COVID-19 or for any member who needs to help a dependent who Read More →

Tell Administrators that We Demand Sick and Paid Leave for Graduate Workers Affected by COVID-19

GEO is dedicated to ensuring that COVID-19 is properly contained and that graduate workers are treated fairly, but strongly believes those obligations are impossible under the current contract language. While the GEO respects the current terms of our contract with the UIC, it is clear that the conditions in which that contract was agreed upon Read More →

UIC Graduate Employee Organization Statement on Increased Healthcare Premiums

Download a PDF of our statement. Last Thursday, three days after Governor Pritzker declared a state of emergency in Illinois due to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees made the unconscionable decision to increase student health insurance premiums. At the Urbana-Champaign campus, premiums will increase by an outrageous 33% beginning in Read More →

Spring 2020 General Membership Meeting

Spring 2020 General Membership Meeting

Join GEO for our Spring General Membership Meeting where we’ll have an open dialogue about concerns members are facing in workplace, ideas for blitzes to increase membership and awareness, updates on activities of the international caucus, and info on a variety of upcoming ways you can get involved. As always, there is FREE pizza and Read More →

A Letter of Solidarity for Harvard Graduate Students Union – UAW

GEO stands in solidarity with Harvard Graduate Students Union – UAW, whose members have been on strike since December 3rd. Read our statement of support, then spread the word about their efforts: https://www.facebook.com/hgsuuaw/

Get involved with GEO! Seeking committee members for gender transition guidelines and lactation facilities

Get involved with GEO! Seeking committee members for gender transition guidelines and lactation facilities

Friends! Summer is almost over (boo), and GEO is gearing up for a busy fall on behalf of members and the larger UIC community (yay). Know this: we have an important meeting with the Office of Access and Equity (OAE) on Monday, September 9 from 10:30am to 11:30am, at which time we’ll be providing input Read More →

Strike suspended. We won.

GEO and the administration met today for the 31st time since March 1, 2018. After reaching a tentative contract agreement last night, today we reached a settlement to end the strike. The settlement forbids retaliation for participation in the strike, and it allows TAs and GAs the opportunity to make up any work hours they Read More →

Working Ourselves Sick: Preliminary Results from the 2019 Graduate Worker Rapid Community Health Assessment

Working Ourselves Sick: Preliminary Results from the 2019 Graduate Worker Rapid Community Health Assessment

According to UIC Administration, graduate workers earn more than enough money to lead healthy lives, but the reality couldn’t be more different. Not one graduate worker reported earning more than $40,000 on their 2018 W2 from UIC, and 90% of respondents reported earning less than $25,000–just 200% above the federal poverty line, and far below the $66,000 recommended to Read More →

GEO is on Strike!

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) is the union representing over 1500 Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants at UIC. We have been negotiating a new labor contract with University administration since March 1, 2018. As of Tuesday, March 19th we have gone on strike and will continue to do so until we settle a fair contract. We will Read More →

How can undergrads support their TA and GA efforts?

As we near our strike, our undergraduate students ask us: How can we help? The most direct way is to tell the university administration that the work of their TAs and GAs is really important to them, and that they support the efforts of GEO to reach agreement on livable working conditions. Below is a Read More →

Today’s “Janus” Supreme Court Ruling Hurts UIC Grad Workers

Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Hurts UIC Grad Workers The Supreme Court decision today to roll back workers’ rights in Janus vs. AFSCME negatively affects all us who work and study here at UIC. The decision means only the people who sign union membership cards will be paying dues to GEO, even though our union will Read More →

Statement on Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy

June 25, 2018 The Steering Committee of the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, IFT/AFT Local 6297, strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policy. We stand in solidarity with the unions, civil liberties organizations, public officials, community leaders, and activists who are fighting for a just and Read More →

The House GOP’s Tax Bill Would Make Graduate School Too Expensive For All But the Rich

by Jeff Schuhrke The tax reform bill passed by House Republicans on November 16 wouldn’t just slash taxes for corporations and billionaires, it would also dramatically increase the tax burden for graduate student workers by counting their tuition waivers—which they receive in exchange for their labor as teaching and research assistants—as taxable income. Furthermore, by eliminating Read More →

General Membership Meeting Wednesday October 11th

General Membership Meeting Wednesday October 11th

GEO (Graduate Employees Organization) invites you to our first membership meeting of the academic year. Not sure what a union is or how GEO makes your time at UIC better? This is the perfect place for you to find out! The union leadership will be presenting on the following topics: This year’s budget The process Read More →

GEO’s Annual Fall Social

The Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) is throwing our annual Fall Social and you’re invited! It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the important work GEO does, like the upcoming contract campaign. It’s also a fun way to meet the people already active in your union and see how you can be involved. Please join Read More →

Statement of Solidarity with the Teachers and Staff at the Noble Network of Charter Schools

Statement of Solidarity with the Teachers and Staff at the Noble Network of Charter Schools

Monday, May 8, 2017   The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) of the University of Illinois at Chicago (IFT/AFT Local 6297) stands in solidarity with the teachers and staff at the Noble Network of Charter Schools who are organizing a union.   We support their efforts to form a union, because we understand just how necessary it Read More →

GEO Election Locations

GEO Leadership Election Voting will be held at the following locations: Tuesday 4/11 from 11-1: ERF and the College of Nursing Wednesday 4/12 from 11-1: ERF, the College of Nursing, and SEO *Nominations are open until the end of the day tomorrow! For more information visit: http://uic-geo.net/mainsite/?p=1970

GEO Demands a Fair Budget for Illinois

GEO Demands a Fair Budget for Illinois

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 Read More →

GEO Nominations

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 Read More →

Graduate Employee Working Conditions Survey

  In just a year’s time, GEO will begin the process of negotiating our labor contract with the UIC administration.  Before the bargaining committee sits down to negotiate with the administration, GEO will work together to articulate a common set of concerns regarding wages, working conditions, and the climate of UIC.  Please join in the Read More →

GEO Statement Opposed to Executive Order

GRADUATE EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION LOCAL 6297 Stands in Opposition to Executive Order Approved unanimously by the General Membership Meeting, February 2, 2017 The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Local 6297, is firmly opposed to President Trump’s recent Executive Order banning refugees as well as visitors and immigrants from seven predominantly Read More →

UIC GEO Statement on the 2016 Election

University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC-GEO), IFT/AFT AFL-CIO Local 6297 Statement on the 2016 Election Dear GEO Members, Tuesday’s election brought many changes to our government, some we can already fathom and others that will only be revealed in the coming weeks and months. Based on the election results, it is almost Read More →

Fall 2016 Kick Off Meeting

Please join us for the first general meeting of Fall 2016 at Gallery 400 (400 S. Peoria) Wed. Oct. 26th Food and refreshments at 11:45 Meeting at 12:00 Agenda highlights: Budget/Dues Increase Vote Know Your Rights and Contract Review GEO Goals Discussion This past spring, we won a hard fought contract campaign to get the Read More →

Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE GEO at UIC statement in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC-GEO), IFT/AFT AFL-CIO Local 6297 stands in firm solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, and the over 200 other Indigenous Nations, that oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). It is Read More →

GEO Supports the Bluest Lie Campaign

The GEO Steering Committee recently signed in support of the Bluest Lie Campaign, a campaign against the potential introduction of the so-called Blue Lives Matter ordinance to the Chicago City Council. This proposed ordinance would categorize offenses committed against police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians as hate crimes. It distorts the purpose of hate Read More →

GEO Welcome Back Social

GEO Welcome Back Social

It’s that time of year again, so drop your syllabus for a second and come meet your fellow union members for free drinks and snacks at Dugan’s Pub (128 S. Halsted) Thursday September 1st from 5-7pm. The GEO Welcome Back Social is a great way to learn about your union, ask questions, and get involved Read More →

VICTORY FOR STUDENT-ACTIVIST DENIED REGISTRATION BY UIC

Thank you to all those who signed the petition below.  As a result of your help, GEO’s campaign to uphold the rights of José Herrera was a victory! On August 10, José had a formal meeting with UIC administrators, and all of our demands were met. The University agreed to immediately lift the hold on José’s Read More →

A Response to the Orlando Tragedy

Hello Family, It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. Early yesterday morning the LGBTQ community suffered a great tragedy when a terrorist invaded one of the few safe spaces for LGBTQ individuals and enacted a mass murder of 50 people. People like me. As a queer individual I have used Read More →

Solidarity Statement for UIUC Non-Tenure Faculty

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) of the University of Illinois at Chicago stands with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Non-Tenure Faculty who are striking for a fair contract. The Non-Tenure Faculty at UIUC have been bargaining for almost two school years—since October 2014—for their first contract. These full-time instructors, lecturers, teaching associates, clinical assistant Read More →

Summer Appointments

Have you been asked to teach a summer course but haven’t received an appointment letter yet? Please get in touch with us at staff@uic-geo.net.

Social to Celebrate Contract Ratification and GEO Chair Elections

Our contract was ratified and to celebrate we will be throwing a social at Dugan’s (128 S. Halsted) on April 20th from 5-8pm. Food and drink will be provided.   While you are there celebrating you can also vote on the GEO Chair elections. Current chairs up for vote are: -Two Co-Presidents -Treasurer -Secretary -Grievance Chair Read More →

Ratification Vote Update

Just a reminder that the ratification vote begins Monday Feb. 29th and will last until Wed. March 2nd. Locations of polling stations: Lobbies of University Hall (at Harrison St and Morgan St), School of Public Health and Psychiatric Institute (Taylor St and Ashland Ave) and Engineering Research Facility (Halsted St and Taylor St) We will Read More →

GEO Contract Proposal and Ratification Vote

Good news, fellow GEO members, the University and the Union came to a tentative agreement on a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement (CBA) last Wednesday, February 10th! We made some important gains and we want to let you know what they are: Wages: The minimum wage will be raised $700 in 2015-16 (raising the minimum to Read More →

GEO Update

GEO Update

Things at GEO are heating up! We held a successful “Work In” at University Hall to give visibility to our labor. We packed the room and held a silent protest at the Board of Trustees meeting where we let the board know we are serious about a fair contract! GEO members have been attending bargaining Read More →

Bargaining Update – January 20 and 27, 2016

Past updates on bargaining are here. Bargaining sessions are on Wednesdays in University Hall (UH) 650. Next session: Feb. 1, 1-4pm. On Wednesday January 20th, 2016 the University and GEO restarted negotiations which had been on hold since before Thanksgiving due to the holidays and the University Team’s vacation schedule. However, the tone of negotiations was Read More →

Upcoming Meetings

Contract negotiations are heating up! Now is a crucial time to get active with your union and plan our possible upcoming strike. Wednesday Jan. 27th UIC-GEO Bargaining Session  12-5pm (You don’t have to stay the entire session) UH 650 Wednesday Jan. 27th Grievance Committee Meeting 6pm at GEO Offices 815 W. VanBuren Suite 203 Thursday Read More →

Contract Negotiations Resume Wed. Jan. 20th

Contract negotiations resume on Wednesday January 20th at UH 650. 12-1 will be updates from our GEO negotiation team 1-5 will be contract negotiations The administration’s last offer included: -Union busting language -A proposal to leave tuition waivers at the discretion of each department -A minimal raise that is no where near what we have requested Read More →

Tomorrow: GEO Work In at University Hall!

Tomorrow: GEO Work In at University Hall!

To kick off our contract campaign, UIC GEO is hosting a work-in at University Hall on December 2 to remind the University about all the work that GAs and TAs do. Bring your work, wear a GEO shirt (or wear red) and help show that our work powers the university! Come any time between 10 Read More →

Week of Nov. 16th

At last week’s membership meeting we voted to begin planning for a strike on campus if negotiations continue on the current course. We had a planning session last Saturday and have created a calendar full of events and activities for you to get active in! Tonight Monday Nov. 16th is our Strike Planning Meeting. 5pm Read More →

UIC GEO Newsletter

Graduate Employees Organization Newsletter Tuesday, October 20, 2015 1. General Membership Meeting (November 11 at 6 pm) 2. Elections for GEO Leadership Positions 3. Staff Transition 4. Grievance Tip 5. Meetings and Announcements 1. General Membership Meeting: Wed. Nov. 11th 6 – 7:30 pm at the Gallery 400 Lecture Room (400 S. Peoria St) GEO Read More →

Organizing Meeting Today

Organizing meeting today (4-5:30) at our office- 815 W. VanBuren St. Suite 203 Come hear about negotiations and help plan our next steps!

UIC GEO Supports East St. Louis Teacher Strike

The Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297, IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC GEO) stands in solidarity with the East St. Louis Federation of Teachers, Local 1220 in their strike for a fair contract. Members voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest contract proposal from the school board, which would decrease the pay Read More →

GEO In Solidarity With Dyett Hunger Strike

The Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297, IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC GEO) stands in solidarity with the parents and community members who are now on a hunger strike to protest the closing of Walter H. Dyett High School. We demand that Chicago Public Schools accept the coalition’s proposal to establish Read More →

Ninth GEO Bargaining Session: Wednesday, September 2nd from 1- 5 pm

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 Read More →

GEO is hiring a Staff Representative!

The University of Illinois Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC-GEO), American Federation of Teachers Local 6297, is a fair share labor union representing approximately 1400 Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants across 59 departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago. We have been recognized by the University of Illinois system since 2004, winning our first contract Read More →

The International Student Fee, Its Impact, and How You Can Fight Back

Dear colleagues at UIC, Our names are Daniel Vergara and Alicia Luque and we are PhD students at UIC. We are writing this post with the hope that we can raise awareness about the significant increase in the International Student Fee that will be applied to us by the Office of International Students (OIS) for Read More →

GEO Seeks Members to Help Translate Information for International Student Workers

Are you bilingual? Your union needs your help! The GEO seeks members to help translate information into a variety of languages for our international student worker members. We are especially looking for members fluent in the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. If you would like to help please contact Read More →

Survey for International Student Workers at UIC

If you’re an international student and worker at UIC, then the announcement about the newly implemented International Student Fee increasing from $80 to $130 must have felt like a huge, unwelcome surprise. But what is this fee used for and does the Office of International Students really need all of this money? In an effort Read More →

Call today to protect collective bargaining in Illinois

As a union member, you know that collective bargaining gives you a voice on the job and the ability to negotiate over your salary, working conditions, and other issues that benefit both union and non-union workers and your community. But this Wednesday, May 27 at 2:00pm, the Senate Executive Committee will hold a hearing on Read More →

2015 GEO Steering Committee Elections Results

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 GEO Steering Committee! The results of the Steering Committee election are as follows: Co-Presidents: Sarah Moberg and Hale Thompson Treasurer: Karen Cralli Secretary: Chris Perez Outreach Chair: Lydia Hou Bargaining Chair: Cloie McClellan Communications Chair: Mik Czerwinski Grievance Co-Chairs: Marissa Baker and Jen Phillis Chief Steward: Andrea Craft Organizing Chair: Alyssa Read More →

UIC GEO Statement in Support of Cluster Hires

The UIC Graduate Employees Organization calls for the University to reinstate the cancelled searches for the Diaspora, Social Justice and Human Rights, and Middle East and Muslim Societies cluster positions to demonstrate its commitment to increase diversity and interdisciplinary hiring. We reject a budget crisis that only affects the educational mission of the University yet Read More →

GEO Steering Committee Elections Plus End of Semester Social

Join us for Steering Committee elections and End of the Semester social on Wednesday, April 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m at Dugan’s on Halsted (128 S. Halsted St. Chicago IL 60661)! Help select the officers who chair specific committees and run caucuses. Hear candidates’ ideas concerning the direction of our organization as we prepare Read More →

Join GEO in supporting Fight for 15

If you believe in a $15 minimum wage for all workers, join the GEO in supporting the Fight for $15 on UIC Campus (601 S. Mogran st.) this Wednesday, April 15: On April 15, we will be standing up, speaking out and fighting for fair pay at the MASSIVE rallies around the globe for the Read More →

GEO Files Intent To Bargain Plus GEO Trivia: Get to Know Your Contract!

GEO Files Intent to Bargain With the University  Today, March 16th, the GEO will file its Intent to Bargain letter with the University!  What does this mean?  It means that, since the current contract expires in August of this year, we’re demanding the University meet with us to bargain a new contract.  For several months, Read More →

Update on Governor Rauner, Higher Ed Budgets, and Illinois Unionism

Just over a week ago, we posted about Executive Order 15-13, which attempted to move all fair-share dues for public sector employees directly under the Governor’s control into an escrow account until the courts decide whether or not fair share violates the First Amendment rights of non-card-signing workers. On Friday, Comptroller Leslie Munger, backed by Read More →

Statement on Governor Rauner’s Executive Order

Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-13, which makes it illegal for public sector unions to collect dues from fair share members. Executive Order 15-13 covers workers employed by state agencies directly under Rauner’s control, such as correctional officers, child protective service workers, and those who care for veterans and the disabled. Executive Order Read More →

Harris v. Quinn: the Beginning of the End of Public Sector Unions?

Harris v. Quinn: the Beginning of the End of Public Sector Unions? Last summer, the Supreme Court issued a decision in favor of the plaintiff in Harris v. Quinn, a case that originated in Illinois but could have massive implications for unions across the nation. This article in the Sun-Times (written before the decision) gives Read More →

GEO General Membership Meeting and Secretary Election

Join your fellow GEO colleagues for the first General Membership Meeting of the Spring 2015 semester on Wednesday, February 4th from 5-7 pm (Cardinal Room, Room 329 of Student Center East).  Discuss what you’d like to work on in your union for this upcoming semester and help elect a new Secretary (the former GEO Secretary, Read More →

Reclaim MLK Day March & Rally

Tomorrow at 6PM a coalition led by youth of color will hold a rally and march to reclaim the radical legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The rally will be held at 1001 W. Roosevelt (Roosevelt and Morgan–a short five minute walk from most of East Campus); we will then march to the Cook County Juvenile Read More →

UIC GEO Stands in Solidarity with UO’s GTFF and NYU’s GSOC

The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297) stands in solidarity with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation at the University of Oregon as they strike for a fair contract.  The items that GTFF is requesting, such as two weeks of paid sick leave, are not unreasonable demands; rather, they are an important Read More →

Solidarity with Fast Food Workers

The UIC Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297, IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO) stands in solidarity with fast food workers across the nation who have called for a strike on December 4, 2014 to demand higher wages and the right to unionize. Along with home health care workers, airport workers, and Walmart workers, fast food workers are organizing to Read More →

Black Friday and Fight for 15 Actions

As legislators debate raising our minimum wage, workers all over Chicagoland are trying to figure out how to cover their expenses on poor wages. Jobs with Justice and Fight for 15 are having too big events over the next two weeks. Phone Banks: There will be phone banks at the JwJ offices all next week Read More →

Board of Trustees Meeting, Thursday, 13 November

James Kilgore was recently dismissed from the faculty position he held for five years at the Center for African Studies at UIUC. Why? Because an alumnus resurrected James’ old criminal conviction apropos of nothing and the News-Gazette, Urbana’s newspaper, was all too eager to report (for the second time!) on another “radical elite” working for UIUC. (James Read More →

UPDATE: Upcoming & Ongoing Labor Actions: UIC Nurses, Waukegan Teachers, Elections, oh my

There are a number of labor actions either happening or ongoing this week. We are also nearing the election, which will have serious consequences on Illinois unions. Here’s a brief list of what’s happening and where you can learn more UIC Nurses on Strike The INA reached a tentative agreement with the University last night, Read More →

Solidarity with the Waukegan Teachers’ Council

Solidarity with the Waukegan Teachers’ Council

The UIC Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297, IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO) calls on the Waukegan Board of Education to negotiate in good faith with the Waukegan Teachers’ Council to come to a quick resolution of their on-going contract negotiations. Waukegan teachers have been without a contract since June and this is the fourth year in a row Read More →

Ferguson Actions This Weekend

GEO members who want to join in actions, gatherings, and workshops in Ferguson, MO this weekend and contribute to the fight for justice for Mike Brown and larger fight for racial justice, go to http://fergusonoctober.com/ for information and for carpooling/housing information. The AFL-CIO is sponsoring two buses of labor activists to go down the Ferguson Read More →

RA Position in fMRI and Cognitive Neuroscience Research

Hourly RA position in fMRI and Neuroscience Research at the University of Illinois, Chicago. An hourly Research Assistant position (approximately 10-15 hours a week) is available at the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Dept. of Psychiatry, UIC. Bachelor’s Degree preferred in computer science or a related discipline, neuroscience or psychology. Graduate students, advanced or Honors level undergraduates Read More →

Steven Salaita at UIC: CANCELLED; Other Chicago Events Available

We have just received word that, on advice from his counsel, Professor Salaita will not be speaking at UIC. Although we regret we won’t be able to support him in person, the GEO stands in solidarity with Professor Salaita. His case has revealed our University’s failure to abide by the standards of academic freedom and shared Read More →

Joint GEO and United Faculty Meeting This Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 pm

Joint GEO and United Faculty Meeting This Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 pm

Join fellow GEO and United Faculty members for a joint meeting this Wednesday, September 10th at 4:30 pm at the IFT Office (850 W. Jackson, Suite 220–bring your ID to enter the building).  We’ll be joined by Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery as he discusses the upcoming elections season.  If you’re interested in knowing Read More →

GEO Bargaining Survey: Tell Us About Your Work Experiences

GEO Bargaining Survey: Tell Us About Your Work Experiences

Fill out the GEO’s new survey and tell us about your experiences at work! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=SMKagQ4WtAWqOrdjL0W7ng%3d%3d   The GEO will begin bargaining for a new contract in early 2015. Tell us about your working conditions, health care, and financial hardship—you can fight for a stronger contract that addresses your concerns!    Your answers will be kept anonymous and confidential. If you Read More →

General Membership Meeting: Wednesday, September 17th from 5-7 pm

General Membership Meeting: Wednesday, September 17th from 5-7 pm

Join your fellow GEO members for a discussion of and vote on the annual GEO budget during this General Membership meeting. We will look at the proposed discretionary budget for the 2014-2015 year and then vote on the planned budget.  It’s an important vote since this will direct what your union should focus monetary resources Read More →

UIC GEO Statement Against Discrimination and In Support of Academic Freedom

UIC GEO Statement Against Discrimination and In Support of Academic Freedom

The Graduate Employees Organization, Local 6297, AFT-IFT, is deeply dismayed to learn of the horrifying racial discrimination that Chuck Conner, a fellow University of Illinois-Chicago employee, has faced on the job. All workers on campus deserve safe, fair working conditions, and a just and swift grievance process. It is utterly unacceptable that Mr. Conner has Read More →

GEO 101: Introduction to Getting Involved in Your Union

GEO 101: Introduction to Getting Involved in Your Union

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 Read More →

Welcome Back GEO Block Party: Thursday, August 27th from 3-7 pm

Welcome Back GEO Block Party: Thursday, August 27th from 3-7 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 Read More →

Unity Rally and Staff Layoff Protest at UIC Wednesday, July 30

Unity Rally and Staff Layoff Protest at UIC Wednesday, July 30

UIC announced this past week that they will eliminate 250 full-time employees at the Medical Center starting August 15th but have been vague about where those cuts will come and whether or not they will affect patient care areas.  In order to protest these cuts, SEIU will be joining with the Illinois Nurses Association at a rally outside Read More →

Join the Bargaining Research Committee! First Meeting Wednesday, June 4th

Join the Bargaining Research Committee! First Meeting Wednesday, June 4th

Dear GEO members,   The GEO is launching a campaign for a stronger contract, and we invite you to join us as we fight for better wages, working conditions, and fewer fees for graduate workers. We plan to officially begin contract negotiations with the University in the Spring of 2015.   You can get involved Read More →

Workers Memorial Day Today, 6:30-8:00 pm at Uri-Eichen Gallery

Workers Memorial Day Today, 6:30-8:00 pm at Uri-Eichen Gallery

The GEO is a proud co-sponsor of the Workers Memorial Day, happening today from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Uri-Eichen Gallery (2101 S. Halsted).  Come discuss plans for how we as consumers and a community can address issues such as unsafe working conditions and unfair labor practices  around the world.  Hope to see you there!   Read More →

The 2014 Steering Committee Election Results Plus Campus Care Survey

The 2014 Steering Committee Election Results Plus Campus Care Survey

2014 GEO Officer Election Results Co-President: Jen Phillis (English) and Karen Cralli (Hispanic and Italian Studies) Secretary: Ben Linder (Anthropology) Treasurer: Dan Ingebretson (Math) Organizing Chair: Andrea Herrera (Latin American and Latino Studies) Communications Chair: Neri Sandoval (English) Bargaining Chair: Becky Bivens (Art History) Grievance Chair: Marissa Baker (Art History) Chief Steward: Outreach Chair: Jes Read More →

Campus Care Questions and Answers from David Wurster

Campus Care Questions and Answers from David Wurster

The following questions were submitted from the GEO membership to David Wurster, Director of Campus Care, for the February 25th General Membership Meeting in which he answered the questions in person.  Some questions were not covered due to Wurster needing to leave the meeting. We hope to address the remaining questions in the upcoming Labor Read More →

GEO Elections and General Membership Meeting

GEO Elections and General Membership Meeting

GEO Elections and General Membership Meeting 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 Read More →

Update on United Faculty: Strike Averted, Tentative Contract Settlement Reached

Update on United Faculty: Strike Averted, Tentative Contract Settlement Reached

Yesterday, United Faculty reached a tentative agreement for both the tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty contracts. Details will be discussed at membership meetings (times TBD) and will be released to the public after the members vote. As a result, the strike has been averted. Congratulations to all of the United Faculty members! http://uicunitedfaculty.org/2014/04/strike-averted-uic-united-faculty-uic-administration-reach-tentative-agreement-first-contracts/

Thoughts on Organizing from Ben Linder, Anthropology Steward

Thoughts on Organizing from Ben Linder, Anthropology Steward

Being a Department Steward for the GEO presents a unique set of tensions and challenges. On the one hand, stewards are tasked with collecting and reporting on the various concerns of colleagues in the department. Simultaneously, however, stewards also impart critical information in the other direction—namely, from the GEO leadership to the general membership in Read More →

Important: UIC SEIU files notice of Intent to Strike

Important: UIC SEIU files notice of Intent to Strike

Yesterday, April 11th, our union brothers and sisters in Service Employees International United (SEIU) Local 73 at UIC officially filed a notice of their Intent to Strike. They have been working without a contract for almost two years yet the University has constantly stalled negotiations and have bargained unprofessionally. We are calling on all GEO Read More →

Solidarity Letter In Support of UC Graduate Employees

Solidarity Letter In Support of UC Graduate Employees

President Janet Napolitano University of California Office of the President 1111 Franklin Street Oakland, CA 94607 April 7, 2014 Dear President Napolitano, The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC GEO) is writing on behalf of its 1500 members to demand that you end the continuous Unfair Labor Practices against the workers of Read More →

GEO Steering Committee Elections April 22-24th; Nominate Yourself Today

GEO Steering Committee Elections April 22-24th; Nominate Yourself Today

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 Read More →

Trans*Health @ UIC: A Community Forum to Celebrate, Educate, and Create Alliances

Trans*Health @ UIC: A Community Forum to Celebrate, Educate, and Create Alliances

The UIC Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy’s Race, Sexuality and Violence Series and the Gender and Sexuality Center present TRANS*HEALTH @ UIC 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 Read More →

Members of SEIU Local 73 Will Take a Strike Vote

Members of SEIU Local 73 Will Take a Strike Vote

GEO stands in support of the 3000 members of SEIU Local 73 who have gone without a contract or raise for over a year and are currently bargaining with the University. According to Fight Back News, the members will take a strike vote next week. You can read more here: http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/3/27/campus-workers-chicago-will-take-strike-vote

Graduate Assistantship in the Commuter Student Resource Center

Graduate Assistantship in the Commuter Student Resource Center

Graduate Assistant Positions are available in Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services and the Commuter Student Resource Center for 2014-2015 All positions are 50% and include a tuition waiver and stipend. Attached are descriptions for the open positions and contact information. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. The final deadline for materials is Read More →

Graduate Assistantships in Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services

Graduate Assistantships in Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services

Graduate Assistant Positions are available in Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services for 2014-2015 All positions are 50% and include a tuition waiver and stipend. Attached are descriptions for the open positions and contact information. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. The final deadline for materials is Wednesday, March 19, 2014. See below Read More →

Frequently Asked Questions about Tuition Differentials

Frequently Asked Questions about Tuition Differentials

Tuition Differentials: Frequently Asked Questions What is a Tuition Differential (TD)? Tuition differentials are not tuition at all; they are a fee charged to undergraduate and graduate students in addition to the base tuition rate. TDs are implemented according to degree program. TDs are not covered by tuition waivers. Why do only some departments have Read More →

How to Support United Faculty

Fellow Graduate Employees, The United Faculty strike is here. After months of negotiations the administration continues its stand against better wages and working conditions for its faculty. While GEO employees cannot legally sympathy strike, we do encourage everyone to join the faculty and show support in whatever way they can. Here is some useful information Read More →

Support United Faculty Strike on Social Media

On February 18, the tenure track and non-tenure track faculty who make up the University of Illinois-Chicago faculty union UICUF Local 6456 will walk out of the classroom and onto the picket line for a two-day strike. Barring a dramatic change-of-heart by university administrators at the bargaining table the weekend, it will be the first Read More →

United Faculty Labor Actions and You

United Faculty Labor Actions and You

Dear GEO Members: United Faculty, which represents all full-time UIC faculty (tenure and non-tenure), is planning a two-day walkout for Tuesday, February 18th and Wednesday, February 19th. This is an exciting opportunity for graduate employees and other campus workers to show our solidarity with the faculty in their contract negotiations. Faculty members cannot prohibit you Read More →

General Membership Meeting and Q&A with Campus Care Director

General Membership Meeting and Q&A with Campus Care Director

Join your fellow GEO members for a General Membership Meeting and Q&A with the director of Campus Care, David Wurster on Tuesday, February 25th from 5-7 pm in the library of the African-American Cultural Center (Addams Hall, room 200). Members will be able to ask questions and submit comments regarding their experiences with Campus Care Read More →

GEO Office Hours For Questions Regarding United Faculty Walkout

GEO Office Hours For Questions Regarding United Faculty Walkout

Due to the impending United Faculty walkout planned for February 18th and 19th, we have posted a general FAQ for all GEO members here. Additionally, we will be holding “office hours” next week to answer questions, address concerns, and be generally supportive of all GEO members, in addition to supporting faculty in their fight for a fair Read More →

Supporting United Faculty

Supporting United Faculty

At the Board of Trustees retreat on Wednesday, January 22, both President Easter and Trustee Pam Strobel explained that the purpose of their retreats was to ensure that the U of I system fulfilled the promises of the land grant college mission. (For those of you not versed in the history of land grant colleges, Read More →

The Importance of Solidarity

The Importance of Solidarity

The struggle to secure the rights of workers and a fair wage are affecting nearly everyone on the UIC campus. Which is why in a local, concrete, sense there is very good reason for union solidarity. The faculty’s fight to win a fair contract hinges on two key factors. The first is wages. UIC has Read More →

Proud Union Office and Lab Posters Are Here!

Proud Union Office and Lab Posters Are Here!

The GEO has printed Proud Union posters designed to show solidarity with other campus unions. You can view them below. If you would like to display one of these or help distribute them please give us a shout: stewards@uic-geo.net. We will rush them over.  ProudUnionOffice_MK1 ProudUnionLAB_MK1

Graduate Assistant Position in Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability to looking to hire a GA for the spring 2014 term. Please see the below solicitation for more information; the position is also posted online at: http://blog.sustainability.uic.edu/2014/01/position-available-graduate-assistant.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Office of Sustainability is piloting a structured internship that will place students in various campus units to assist in advancing the campus’ Read More →

Supporting SEIU in Their Fight For a Fair Contract

Supporting SEIU in Their Fight For a Fair Contract

The University is currently in negotiations with two other campus unions: SEIU, which represents Service and Maintenance, Clerical and Administration, and Technical workers, and UF, which represents tenure and non-tenure faculty. This post will give you a sense of the stakes of SEIU’s contract negotiation; a post to follow soon will cover UF. SEIU members Read More →

Graduate Assistant Position at the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center

Graduate Assistant Position at the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center

The Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) invites applications for a 25% time Graduate Assistantship (G.A.) for the Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters 2014-2015. The stipend will be for 10 hours per week.  Students must meet the criteria outlined in the Policy on the Appointment of Graduate Assistants. To review criteria or for additional Read More →

What Is a Tuition Differential?

What Is a Tuition Differential?

What is a tuition differential? It’s not tuition. It’s not a fee. It’s an insidious erosion of public education, which is the basis of an informed citizenry and a thriving democracy, not to mention the cornerstone for a viable workforce necessary for a healthy economy. First the basics: tuition differentials (TDs) at UIC are charged Read More →

Monday, 1/6: UIC Closing; Only Critical Employees Should Report To Work

Monday, 1/6: UIC Closing; Only Critical Employees Should Report To Work

The Chancellor released this statement today regarding the weather situation on Monday, January 6th: unless you’re a critical employee (e.g. you remove snow or help care for patients) you shouldn’t report to work. For graduate assistants, it will be an excused, unpaid absence according to the University. You may want to contact your supervisor just Read More →

Graduate Assistant Position in the UIC Latino Cultural Center

Graphic Designer WANTED The UIC Latino Cultural Center is looking for a Graduate Assistant (GA) or an Undergraduate Student Worker for the Spring 2014. Project: Designing the LCC’s visuals, including posters and any advertising/promotional material for our public programs/event for the semester. GA or Student Worker will be responsible for following our design templates and Read More →

GEO Reminder about Graduate Assistant Holiday Hours over the Break

GEO Reminder about Graduate Assistant Holiday Hours over the Break

Special Reminder for Graduate Assistants If you’re a Graduate Assistant with an appointment that runs through the UIC winter break, you do not have to make up your hours if they fall on the UIC-recognized holidays when the campus is closed.  According to the UIC Human Resources Calendar, the University will be officially closed on Wednesday, Read More →

FAQ: How will a faculty walkout affect GEO members?

FAQ: How will a faculty walkout affect GEO members?

UIC Graduate Employees Organization The possibility of a walkout by UIC United Faculty may create a difficult situation for graduate workers who have professional relationships with faculty who are their advisors, supervisors, and/or committee members, as well as fellow union members. The following FAQ is meant to inform GEO members how they can support United Read More →

End of Semester Social!

End of Semester Social!

Have Some Fun Before Finals! It’s the final week of the semester, so you deserve some time to relax. Free drinks and snacks will be provided so invite your friends and come on over. Click for more information. 

URGENT: Solidarity Now! Call to Action!

URGENT: Solidarity Now! Call to Action!

Dear Members and Supporters, Our IFT representative Andrew has reached out to us with a call to action. On December 3rd–no coincidence that the state legislature picked a date that is after their election petitions are due and in the midst of the busy holiday season–they will vote on a bill that will gut pensions Read More →

UIC GEO Support AFSCME Local 1028 Workers on Strike

UIC GEO Support AFSCME Local 1028 Workers on Strike

November 22, 2013 Will County Board, The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC GEO) is writing on behalf of its 1,500 members to demand that you respect the collective bargaining process and immediately reach an agreement with AFSCME Local 1028. It is our understanding that Will County Board has engaged in bargaining Read More →

UIC GEO Supports The Broadway Youth Center

UIC GEO Supports The Broadway Youth Center

November 20, 2013 Alderman Tom Tunney 44th Ward, City of Chicago 3223 N. Sheffield Ave Chicago, IL, 60657 Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals 121 N LaSalle St #905 Chicago, IL 60602 Dear Alderman Tunney and the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals: We are writing this letter to express our support for the youth and homeless Read More →

Graduate Employees Organization Stands in Support of UIC United Faculty’s Contract Campaign!

Graduate Employees Organization Stands in Support of UIC United Faculty’s Contract Campaign!

October 16, 2013 Dear Chancellor Allen-Meares and the Board of Trustees, The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC GEO) is writing on behalf of its 1,500 members to demand that you respect the collective bargaining process and immediately reach an agreement with the United Faculty Local 6456. It is our understanding that Read More →

Information Regarding the Recent Health Insurance Letter Mailed to All University Employees

Information Regarding the Recent Health Insurance Letter Mailed to All University Employees

The University recently mailed a letter entitled “Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and State of Illinois Employee Health Coverage” to all University employees, which includes Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants. The purpose of the letter is mainly to address the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and provide information for finding affordable health care coverage Read More →

GSC Survey on the Quality of Life and Education for UIC Students

GSC Survey on the Quality of Life and Education for UIC Students

In advance of Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares’ five-year review, the UIC Graduate Student Council is looking for input from UIC graduate students regarding their quality of life and education at UIC. The answers are confidential and will be used to address any questions or issues UIC students have and how UIC can be improved. You can Read More →

Tuition Waiver Taxation Workshop for Graduate Assistants

Tuition Waiver Taxation Workshop for Graduate Assistants

The Student Money Management Center and the Graduate College will be hosting two informational workshops on UIC taxation withholding for Graduate Assistants (not Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants). These sessions will be only pertinent to UIC Graduate Assistants (GA’s). Both sessions will cover the same material. Option I When: Thursday, September 26, 2013 Where: 650 Read More →

Research Assistant Position- Health Research- September 3, 2013

RESEARCH ASSISTANT TO WRITE ABOUT HEALTH RESEARCH “The UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy seeks a graduate research assistant with strong writing skills to support communications about federally funded public health research. The successful candidate will implement an established communications strategy, curating content and writing messages for Twitter and Facebook; maintain and update a WordPress website; track audience benchmarks (Web traffic and social Read More →

Teaching Assistant Positions in Psychology Department- September 4, 2013

Opening for a Teaching Assistant for Abnormal Psychology “We are in need of a Visiting Teaching Assistant (TA) for Abnormal Psychology. TA duties include grading (exams, assignments, and  papers), assisting students with the development of their papers, holding office hours, and attending TA meetings. The TA must also attend class. The class meets from 2-3:15 on Tuesdays Read More →

Upcoming Event: Back to School Social

Upcoming Event: Back to School Social

For more information click on our Upcoming Events Page or check out the event on Facebook .

Pride at Work has launched in Chicago

Pride at Work has launched in Chicago

Pride At Work has launched a Chicago branch! On Tuesday July 30th, representatives from UIC’s GEO attended a Pride At Work meeting. The Pride At Work national website states, “Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization and an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations.) We organize mutual support between Read More →

A Call To Action. #BringThemHome #DREAM9

A Call To Action. #BringThemHome #DREAM9

As graduate employees for the University of Illinois at Chicago we are in a unique position. We are not only responsible for our own knowledge acquisition, but also the erudition of others. Many of us interact with undergraduate students; we hold office hours, answer student emails, teach courses, grade assignments, recruit and advise students on Read More →

GEO supports UIC Student Lulu Martinez and DREAM9.

GEO supports UIC Student Lulu Martinez and DREAM9.

To: President Barack Obama To: John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement CC: Corrections Corporation of America We represent more than 1400 graduate employees at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and write to ask you to intervene immediately to secure the release on humanitarian parole for the Dream 9, the undocumented youth Read More →

GEO Steering Committee: Collaborating On A Vision

GEO Steering Committee: Collaborating On A Vision

  The GEO Steering Committee spent the day reflecting on last year’s contact campaign- recognizing major victories and areas for improvement. The GEO leaders are collaborating on a vision for next year, what is important to you?

Steering Committee Elections Results!

Steering Committee Elections Results!

The Elections Committee thanks all GEO members who voted in this week’s Steering Committee Election and congratulations to the newest members of the GEO Steering Committee! All members were voted in unanimously by the membership and the results are as follows: Co-Presidents Marissa Baker and Gina Gemmel Secretary Lydia Hou Treasurer Daniel Ingebretson Communications Co-Chairs Read More →

Next Bargaining Session Monday, April 22 and Strike Voting Continues Monday!

NEXT BARGAINING SESSION MONDAY, APRIL 22, SSB CONFERENCE ROOM C We need the biggest turnout ever if we are going to settle the contract on Monday! Join us in Student Services Building (Racine & Harrison), Conference Room C from 9:00am to 5:00pm (possibly later: check Facebook and Twitter on Monday for updates). This is our last Read More →

For Immediate Release: UIC GEO Calls for a Strike Authorization Vote

For Immediate Release: UIC GEO Calls for a Strike Authorization Vote April 18, 2013 Last night at the General Membership Meeting, the GEO voted to begin a Strike Authorization Vote. If passed, the vote would authorize an elected Strike Committee to call for a strike of Teaching and Graduate Assistants at UIC. The vote was Read More →

Solidarity Message from the Coalition of Graduate Employees, Local 6069!

Solidarity Message from the Coalition of Graduate Employees, Local 6069!

Solidarity with the Indiana University Strike

Solidarity with the Indiana University Strike

To: Indiana University Students, Staff, and Faculty The UIC GEO stands in solidarity with the IU students, staff and faculty in their pursuit of fair and equal treatment under University guidelines. It has come to the attention of the UIC GEO that individuals at IU have come together to fight for educational justice, a struggle Read More →

GEO Solidarity Letter from UIC United Facultyhttp://uic-geo.net/mainsite/?p=521

GEO Solidarity Letter from UIC United Facultyhttp://uic-geo.net/mainsite/?p=521

The members of UIC United Faculty Local 6456 stand in solidarity with the members of the UIC Graduate Employees Organization Local 6297 as they fight for a fair contract. We demand that the University recognizes the vital work that graduate assistants perform on campus and provide a reasonable proposal with a living wage. The University’s Read More →

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IMPENDING STRIKE PLANNED BY UIC GRADUATE UNION

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IMPENDING STRIKE PLANNED BY UIC GRADUATE UNION

Chicago, IL- On Friday, April 5th, the 1,500 member Graduate Employee’s Organization at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a labor union representing graduate student employees at UIC, filed a notice of intent to strike with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board after ten months of acrimonious, sometimes explosive, bargaining. The nearly unanimous vote authorizing this move came Read More →

Intent to Strike Vote Passes; Emergency Organizing Meeting/Stewards Meeting Tomorrow

Intent to Strike Vote Passes; Emergency Organizing Meeting/Stewards Meeting Tomorrow

The Intent to Strike vote passed almost unanimously at tonight’s general membership meeting. This means that GEO will file a notice of intent to strike with the state labor board tomorrow. The membership also elected a strike committee, who will present one or more strike plans at the next GMM. Meanwhile, organizing for a possible Read More →

GEO Message of Solidarity From Dr. Cornel West

GEO Message of Solidarity From Dr. Cornel West

The members of GEO received a major message of support yesterday from none other than Dr. Cornel West, well-known social justice activist, author, and professor. He says: “I wholeheartedly support my brothers and sisters of the UIC GEO! Stay strong and stand tall! Love, Cornel West” Thanks, Dr. West, for the message of solidarity!

GEO Bargaining Session 4/3: Deal or No Deal?

During the last mediation session, the University implied they are getting close to their last, best, and final offer. Unfortunately, the University has been making very little movement in their proposals: they’ve proposed a minimum wage of $15,190 (the current minimum is $14,565), a four-year contract, and no additional fees waived other than what is Read More →

In Solidarity with SEIU Local 73!

In Solidarity with SEIU Local 73!

March 12, 2013   Dear Chancellor Wise and the Board of Trustees,   The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC GEO) is writing on behalf of its 1500 members to demand that you respect the collective bargaining process and immediately reach an agreement with Service Employees International United Local 73 (SEIU). It Read More →

GEO Endorses Ponnu Padiyara for Student Trustee; Vote Today!

GEO Endorses Ponnu Padiyara for Student Trustee; Vote Today!

The Steering Committee voted unanimously to endorse Ponnu Padiyara for Student Trustee.  With her experience on the Undergraduate Student Council as well as the Student Fee Advisory Committee, she has dealt with a wide variety of issues that are important to GEO members, including Campus Care and increased health care coverage for members.  As Student Read More →

For Immediate Release: UIC Grad Employees Ramp Up the Pressure: “Work With Us! Don’t Make Us Strike!”

For Immediate Release: UIC Grad Employees Ramp Up the Pressure: “Work With Us! Don’t Make Us Strike!”

For Immediate Release Contact: Jessi Holzman Telephone: 224-645-9700 Email: jessi.holzman@gmail.com UIC GRAD EMPLOYEES RAMP UP THE PRESSURE “WORK WITH US! DON’T MAKE US STRIKE!” Chicago— At 1:30pm on Wednesday, March 13th, the Graduate Employees’ Organization, a labor union representing graduate student employees at UIC, will hold their second rally in the UIC Quad as a response to Read More →

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UIC Graduate Employees Make Their Voices Heard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UIC Graduate Employees Make Their Voices Heard

UIC Graduate Employees Make Their Voices Heard Chicago— At noon on Tuesday, February 26th, the Graduate Employees’ Organization, a labor union representing graduate student employees at UIC, called their members to action. Graduate employees, faculty, students and community supporters showed their solidarity- amidst blistering winds and snow blown faces- and demanded that the University present their graduate employees Read More →

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: March 7th Bargaining Session, 9 am-5 pm, UH 650

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: March 7th Bargaining Session, 9 am-5 pm, UH 650

  Momentum has been building with the “Quit Playing Games With Our Hearts, UIC” Valentine’s Day Action, the Rally for Grad Employee Rights, and the Solidarity Letters to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees President. But now isn’t the time to lay down at the bargaining table. We’ve still got fees, wages, and health care Read More →

Coverage of the Rally For Grad Employee Rights!

Coverage of the Rally For Grad Employee Rights!

Yesterday’s rally was covered by graduate student journalists from Northwestern University! The weather unfortunately prevented them from making it in time to get good footage of the 70+ of us at the snowy rally, but they were able to interview several of our amazing members, including Piere Washington, Michael Muñiz, and Greg Sutliff. Check out Read More →

Video from Show Us Some Love, UIC!

Video from Show Us Some Love, UIC!

Check out our video from the wildly successful “Show Us Some Love, UIC” Valentine’s Day event!  Available on our Facebook page (facebook.com/uicgeo) or YouTube http://youtu.be/311y3KrVExI )!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UIC Graduate Employees Show Their Strength

UIC Graduate Employees Show Their Strength Chicago— At noon on Tuesday, February 26th, the Graduate Employees’ Organization, a labor union representing graduate student employees at UIC, will be rallying in the UIC Quad urging the administration to be more reasonable at the bargaining table. Graduate employees have been without a contract for the past six Read More →

Join the Rally for Grad Employee Rights! Tuesday Feb. 26th, 12-12:30 in UIC Quad

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 Read More →

Send a Solidarity Letter to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees!

Are you a friend of the UIC GEO?  Want to see them receive a fair contract settled quickly?  Then send a letter of solidarity to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees!  You can use the letter below by signing it and mailing it on either via email or snail mail. In Solidarity with the University Read More →

For Immediate Release: Frustrated UIC Graduate Employees Bombard Chancellor with Valentines

For Immediate Release: Frustrated UIC Graduate Employees Bombard Chancellor with Valentines

Chicago—The Graduate Employees’ Organization, a labor union representing graduate student employees at UIC, has been without a contract for the past six months. This has resulted in a wage freeze for their approximately 1,500 members. The primary points of contention include high healthcare premiums, low wages, and increasing fees. Graduate employees have demanded that their Read More →

General Membership Meeting to Discuss Strike Survey Tomorrow (Wednesday Feb 6th)

With a bargaining session coming up that deals directly with the remaining issues, including economics like wages, fees, and health care, it’s more important than ever that GEO members fill out the Strike Survey, located here:http://bit.ly/Ylf4Kj Your input is invaluable because it will help the bargaining team prioritize these very important remaining issues. Ultimately it’s Read More →

GEO Bargaining Session on Economics (for real this time): Monday, February 4th

Here we are: it’s the first bargaining session of the spring semester (due to the university cancelling the past two sessions) and after 7 months of bargaining with the university, we finally received an economic proposal from them only to find out they want to decrease the wages of graduate employees. Find out more from Read More →

GEO Social Tomorrow (Thursday, January 24th)!

It’s the start of the spring semester and the GEO is in the midst of bargaining! So what better way to celebrate than having a GEO social from 5-7 p.m. on this Thursday, January 24th in the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren suite 203, on the corner of Halsted and Van Buren). Food and Read More →

Making Ends Meet

I am 6th year PhD student in the department of English at UIC. I work the equivalent of two full-time jobs. But I can’t make ends meet. When I began my PhD work here, I had already obtained a master’s degree – so I was no stranger to the rigors of academic work. It came as Read More →

CANCELLED: GEO’s Wednesday Bargaining Session on Economic Issues: January 23rd

UPDATE:  Bargaining session has been cancelled by the university due to a member of their team having an ongoing family emergency. It’s the first bargaining session of the spring semester (due to the university cancelling Friday’s session) and after 7 months of bargaining with the university, we finally received an economic proposal from them only Read More →

After Months of Negotiations University Proposes to Decrease Wages of Graduate Employees

On December 17, 2012, the University’s representatives finally gave the GEO a comprehensive proposal on economic issues for the next graduate employee contract. As you may know, negotiations with the University began on May 16 when over 50 of us showed up to present a comprehensive proposal to the University. Almost 7 months to the Read More →

Infants and Children Last: World-Class Failure on Child Care

Should the university provide affordable infant and child care for students and faculty? This is precisely the question the Office of the Provost asked in 2007 when it commissioned a study to determine the child care needs of UIC students and faculty. At first glance, it may not seem so obvious that a lack of Read More →

Keeping Grad School Open to All

By Colin Smalley One of the first things I had to do when I got my admission letter to a graduate program at UIC was to figure out if my wife and I could afford for me to go to grad school.  I’m sure almost all of my colleagues have been in this situation. For Read More →

2nd Mediation Session with the University This Wednesday, December 5th!

With the mediator in place, we’re on to our second session with the university from 10 am-4 pm in University Hall room 650! This means going over some of the items we’ve previously tabled (such as Additional Employment, Leaves and Holidays, and No Strike clauses) in addition to working our way towards financial issues (slowly Read More →

Important Stewards’ Council Meeting: This Tuesday, November 27th

The Stewards’ Council and the Direct Action Working Group (DAWG) will be holding an important joint meeting in University Hall 2028 on Tuesday, November 27 at 4:00pm. All GEO stewards and any other interested members are strongly encouraged to attend. We will be further developing our plans for the strike drive, departmental organizing, and a Read More →

Campus Care Gave Me A Choice: Death or Medical Debt.

By: Karen Cralli, Teaching Assistant (Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies) For my 26th birthday, Campus Care gave me a choice: death or medical debt. I suffer from a rare, life-threatening blood disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Left untreated, TTP claims a 95% mortality rate. With treatment, the survival rate is roughly 80%, though a Read More →

UIC Financial Presentation by Dr. Howard Bunsis

Office Visit Training: Monday, November 19th at 4:00 pm

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 Read More →

First Mediation Session with the University: Thursday, Nov. 15th

The GEO was originally scheduled to meet with the university for mediation on Halloween, but the university cancelled that morning due to illness. The GEO then quickly gave multiple alternative dates only to have the university agree to one. Don’t let them drag this out; come to the mediation session on Thursday, November 15th from Read More →

Are you ready to strike for your contract? IMPORTANT General Membership Meeting to discuss a possible strike drive on Monday, October 29.

Are you ready to strike for your contract? IMPORTANT General Membership Meeting to discuss a possible strike drive on Monday, October 29. We have been in bargaining for almost six months and we still haven’t received a single economic proposal (wages, health care, fee waivers, tuition waivers, etc.) from the university! It’s time to start Read More →

Let the Board of Trustees Know that You Want a Fair Contract in a Timely Manner!

Have you written a letter to the Board of Trustees yet, letting them know you’re dissatisfied with the current state of negotiations? As the GEO goes into mediation, let the Board of Trustees know what you’re most concerned about and why y ou feel the you and the rest of the graduate assistants and teaching Read More →

GEO Grade-In this Thursday, October 18th from 12-2 pm

Show the administration that you want a contract now: bring your grading (or other work) to the lobby of University Hall this Thursday, October 18, from 12pm to 2pm. We’ll have brand new GEO t-shirts, free for all members! RSVP on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/events/368039749946940/

GEO bargaining session on Wednesday: your right to be free of sexual harassment, height & weight discrimination, access to necessary supplies in your workplace still on the table

We will meet again with the administration on Wednesday, October 18 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm in 650 University Hall. Articles under discussion include Nondiscrimination and Employee Rights. We have proposed language that protects workers from sexual harassment, as well as discrimination on the basis of weight, height, gender identity or expression, and HIV antibody status. Read More →

UPDATE: Progress Slows, GEO Files for Mediation

October 8, 2012 As of today, you have been working without a contract for 51 days. On Wednesday, October 3, after another long bargaining session during which little progress was made, the bargaining committee informed the University that GEO intends to file for mediation. The GEO bargaining committee has been meeting with the University since Read More →

GEO Support Resolution for Walmart Warehouse Workers in Elwood, IL

At the most recent General Membership Meeting for the GEO, members voted in favor of sending a resolution of support (attached below) to the striking Walmart Warehouse Workers in Elwood, IL who recently walked out of the warehouse due to intimidation and retaliation after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the workers by the Read More →

Letter of Support for the Chicago Teachers Union

Fellow grad students and GEO members, As of this morning, Monday 9/10, the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) is on strike. That means that workers at 600+ public schools across the city will not be reporting to work. After decades of attacks on public schools in Chicago CTU is standing up and saying, “Enough is enough!” Read More →

UIC GEO Resolution in Support of the Chicago Teachers Union

CTU Support Resolution Whereas all students deserve the right to a quality public education in their neighborhood school, and Whereas all students deserve smaller class sizes to receive adequate attention from teachers, and Whereas all students deserve access to a broad and diverse curriculum that includes art, world languages, computer literacy, and physical education, and Read More →

Next Bargaining Session: Wednesday, Sept. 5th in University Hall!

Join your fellow graduate employees at a bargaining session between GEO and representatives the university administration. As the fall semester begins, UIC’s Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants are starting work without a contract. GEO’s last contract with the university expired on Aug. 16, and bargaining is still in progress. While employees in our bargaining unit Read More →

Report from the 10th Bargaining Session

Dear members, On behalf of the GEO Bargaining Committee, I would like to welcome any first time readers to the blog, especially those who are new to UIC this fall.  In the coming months it will be vital to have members who are informed and involved as we negotiate our new contract.  As you may Read More →

First Bargaining Session of the New Academic Year!

All UIC graduate employees are urged to attend the first bargaining session of the academic year between GEO and the university administration. Our contract expired on Aug. 16. That means frozen wages and the possibility of higher fees and rising health care costs. We need to push for a settlement to negotiations and a fair Read More →

Contract Campaign Update

Dear Colleagues, As many of you may know, our most recent bargaining session was on Tuesday, August 14. Greg Sutliff from the Philosophy Dept. represented the GEO. I am pleased to say the session went well, and that we were able to continue to make incremental progress toward a new contract. Most significantly, we reached Read More →

Report from 8th Bargaining Session

Yesterday, the GEO met with the university administration for our eighth bargaining session. Much of our time was spent discussing matters pertaining to our grievance procedure (Article XXII) and the procedures for discipline and dismissal (Article XXI). Though we did not reach any formal agreements during the session, we will likely formally agree on the Read More →

Sixth Bargaining Session with the University, Wednesday, July 18th at 2 p.m.

When: 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 18th Where: the Monarch and Prairie Rooms, Third Floor of SCE (above the food court) Join your colleagues for the sixth bargaining session for your contract! In the previous session we addressed late appointment letters, notice of open positions, and notification of GA taxation and provided the university with two Read More →

Have you experienced late appointment letters? Fill out our anonymous survey!

This Wednesday, July 11th, is our fifth bargaining session with the university! To find out more from our members about how late appointments letters affect you, we set up a short survey which you can access here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dEktZTZVSzRxekRyMGV5SFgxQ2JpdUE6MQ Please take a moment to fill it out! The first two questions are totally anonymous and there Read More →

Fifth Bargaining Session with the University: Wednesday, July 11th, 2 p.m.

When: Wednesday, July 11th, 2 p.m. Where: Room 713, Student Center East This session, we’re continuing the discussion of letters of appointment, including the problem of late appointments (which is rampant in certain departments) as well as notification of GA taxation. Have you consistently received late letters of appointment from your department or know colleagues Read More →

Fourth Bargaining Session with the University, Thursday, July 5th at 2 p.m.!

When: Thursday, July 5th, 2 p.m. Where: Room 610 of Student Center East At this meeting, we will consider questions of special importance to Graduate Assistants: the notice of GA taxation and the taxation of GA tuition waivers according to IRS laws. While all UIC graduate students are welcome to attend, Graduate Assistants are especially Read More →

Welcome to the 2012 Contract Campaign

Dear colleagues, Thanks for tuning in to this, our first weblog entry for the 2012 GEO contract campaign. As you know, the GEO is currently negotiating a new labor agreement for GAs and TAs at UIC. To kick off the campaign blog, I want to take some time to detail the platform from which the Read More →

UIC GEO Stands in Solidarity with SEIU Local 73!

June 1, 2012 The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC GEO, IFT/AFT Local 6297, AFL-CIO), the union of 1400 Teaching and Graduate Assistants at UIC, supports SEIU Local 73 and its efforts to attain a fair contract in recognition of the important work its members do at the university. The UIC administration Read More →

2nd Bargaining Session with the University on Wednesday, June 6th!

With such a successful showing at our first bargaining session with the university, let’s keep the momentum going for our second session! Come see and be a part of the bargaining process, and all members have a right to vote in the caucus! Join us and invite your friends! When: Wednesday, June 6th at 1:00 Read More →

What to Expect in Bargaining

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 Read More →

Joint Stewards Council and Steering Committee Meeting: Monday, May 7th

The Stewards Council and the Steering Committee will have a joint meeting on Monday, May 7 at 10:00 am at the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren, Ste. 203). We’ll be developing an organizing plan for the first bargaining session. All members are welcome.

First Bargaining Session With the University: May 16th!

The University has finally responded to our demand to bargain by setting a date for the first bargaining session: Wednesday, May 16 at 1:00 pm in the Prairie and White Oak Rooms of Student Center East. All GEO members are encouraged to attend. Please join us, even if you can only make it for part Read More →

May Day Events: Tuesday, May 1st

From History Steward Tom Alter: Tuesday, May 1, 11:00 a.m. at the Haymarket Statue, Randolph and Des Plaines, the Illinois Labor History Society will be holding its annual commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs, their fight for the eight-hour day and workers’ rights. Benedicto Martinez Orozco, a leader of the Mexican union federation, Frente Autentico de Read More →

Appointment Letter Clinics, Tuesday May 1st and Wednesday May 2nd

Did you know that the minimum wage and hours of work specified in the GEO contract are valid all year? You should be paid at least as much as the contract minimum for Summer TA and GA appointments, and a 50% FTE appointment is still equivalent to 20 hours of work (on average) per week. Read More →

Governor Quinn’s Pension Plan and What to Do About It

While currently most GEO members do not pay into the state pension plan, it’s certainly possible that at some point in the near future members may find themselves part of the state system and will be adversely affected by Governor Quinn’s plan if it goes into effect.  With this plan, an increase in employee contribution, Read More →

Help Graduate Students United at the University of Chicago Fight for their Right to Unionize!

As you probably know, graduate students at private universities are not currently allowed to unionize, and Graduate Students United at the University of Chicago have been waging a campaign against the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) 2005 Brown ruling in solidarity with New York University’s GSOC, asking the NLRB to reverse the 2005 ruling. The Read More →

Organizing Training for the Contract Campaign!

All GEO members and allies are encouraged to attend this important event.  Meet in the GEO office on Wednesday, April 18th from 5-7 p.m. to talk about what it means to organize your colleagues, what do these conversations look like, and what do we ask of our fellow graduate employees when it’s their contract that’s Read More →

Grade-In on the First Floor of University Hall: Wednesday, May 2nd 1-3 p.m.

Come join your fellow GEO colleagues for an exciting afternoon of workplace visibility! It’s the start of the contract campaign and it’s also finals week, so bring your grading or other work to do and show the university that UIC works because we do. Wear your red GEO shirt for extra visibility and if you Read More →

GEO Steering Committee Elections; Nominate Yourself or a Colleague Today!

Come vote for the leadership positions in YOUR graduate employees’ union. All current members of the bargaining unit are entitled and encouraged to vote. We’ll be selecting members to serve in the following positions: President (or two Co-Presidents) Treasurer Secretary Grievance Chair Communications Chair Outreach Chair Organizing Chair Chief Steward For a description of each Read More →

General Membership Meeting Wednesday, March 28th, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Join us on Wednesday, March 28th, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for a General Membership Meeting in Lecture Center B1!  It’s designed for members to learn about the results of the bargaining survey, meet the Bargaining Committee, and discuss and vote on the bargaining platform.  Plus, we’ll discuss with other graduate employees about how we can best Read More →

Rally for Your New Contract Wednesday, March 14th from 1:30-2:00 pm!

Join your fellow GEO members as we rally for a new contract and file our demand to bargain with the university!  Meet on the west side of University Hall at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, March 14th as we announce that it’s GEO contract time!  With member involvement and support, we can show the university that Read More →

GEO Endorses Ken Thomas for Student Trustee

The UIC-GEO steering committee has voted to endorse Ken Thomas in the upcoming student trustee election.  Ken has demonstrated a willingess to listen to the needs of graduate employees at UIC and has worked together with GEO members to help advance those interests.  For example:  Ken agreed to set up a separate town hall meeting Read More →

Dates and Times for Tuition Waiver Overview Sessions

Recently, an email was sent out by the UIC administration that addressed the new, graduated rate of taxation for all graduate assistant tuition waivers.  Rather than continuing to tax the graduate assistant tuition waivers over the amount of $5250 at the flat federal rate of 25%, the university will now tax it at a graduated Read More →

Updated Information Regarding GA Taxation

Updated Information Regarding Changes in GA Tuition Waiver Taxation   A university-wide email went out this week from University Payroll regarding the rate of taxation on tuition waivers for Graduate Assistants.  Rather than the tuition waiver being taxed at a federal rate of 25%, the amount of federal tax for GAs will be based on Read More →

Organizing Training: Wednesday, February 1st

Do you want to talk to fellow graduate employees about the issues that concern them most but aren’t sure how to start those conversations?  Come to our Organizing Training on Wednesday, February 1st, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren Suite 203) to learn more about what issues are at stake, Read More →

General Membership Meeting: Monday, January 23rd

On Monday, January 23rd, there will be a General Membership Meeting from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in Student Center East, Fort Dearborn B.  The purpose will be to vote on Bargaining Committee members, who will be representing the GEO at the table with the university administration when we bargain our contract.  If you have a desire to Read More →

Welcome Back/What’s Coming in Spring 2012 for the GEO

Welcome back to the Spring 2012 semester!  It’s sure to be an exciting one as the GEO heads into a contract campaign, meaning we’ll be going back to the bargaining table to bargain a new contract with the administration.  In order to have a successful contract campaign, it’s vital to have as many members as Read More →

Join the Contract Campaign!

As we continue into next semester, GEO will continue its work heading towards the bargaining table in the spring.  The contract expires in August of 2012 and, as a result, GEO will be bargaining a new contract with the university and the Board of Trustees.  There are plenty of ways to get involved: –Beginning in Read More →

Grad Labor Counts! Petition for Private University Graduate Employees’ Right to Collectively Bargain

Since April 2010, New York University and the Graduate Student Organizing Committee/United Auto Workers have been waiting for a decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on whether or not graduate employees at a private university will have the right to collectively bargain with their employer.  Currently, Graduate Students United at the University of Read More →

Sign the petition to reinstate tax-exempt status for graduate stipends

Due to taxation of their stipends, graduate students often lose out on hundreds of dollars per year.  Until the Tax Reform Act of 1986 these stipends were tax-exempt. Please see this petition below, calling on the Obama Administration to return stipends to their tax-exempt status. The petition requires you to create a whitehouse.gov account in Read More →

Nov 17th National Day of Labor Action with Occupy Wall Street!

Occupy Wall Street has put out a call for labor unions across the country to join in solidarity with the Occupy movement on Thursday, November 17th.  With unemployment rates remaining high, this national day of action will call for solidarity amongst the Occupy movements across the United States as we demand jobs, not cuts!  Join Read More →

GEO and Student Trustee Townhall Nov. 16th!

Do you want to know more about how your concerns are being addressed as a graduate employee and how you can get involved in implementing change? Join the GEO for a town hall meeting on Wednesday, November 16th at 5:00 p.m. in the GEO office (815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203) with the Student Trustee, Read More →

Open Letter to Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and the Chicago City Council

Last Saturday, October 15th, over 200 people were arrested while assembling in Grant Park for a peaceful protest as part of the Occupy Chicago movement.  Several GEO members were arrested as well and as such, an open letter to Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and the Chicago City Council has been drafted, asking them Read More →

GEO Resolution to Support Occupy Chicago

GEO Resolution to Support “Occupy Chicago”   Whereas, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, the national parent union to the Graduate Employees’ Organization officially endorsed the national “occupation” movement “Occupy Wall Street.”   Whereas, Occupy Chicago’s mission statement states, “Occupy Chicago is here to fight corporate abuse of American democracy in solidarity with Read More →

Have a drink with the GEO at the Haymarket Brewery social on October 21st

Put away your books and research for a little bit; you deserve a break, so come to the GEO social on Friday, October 21st from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Haymarket brewery (737 W. Randolph, corner of Halsted and Randolph).  Grab a ticket at the door and enjoy a free beer or soda Read More →

Come with GEO to the Student Trustee’s Town Hall Meeting on October 17th!

Are you a GA concerned about waiver taxation?  Or are you studying in one of the departments that institutes tuition differentials (get a complete list here)?If you have questions or issues that you want to address, come with the GEO to voice your concerns at the Student Trustee’s Town Hall meeting on Monday, October 17th Read More →

Learn more about your GEO Contract!

September 12th:  Know Your Contract (Lecture Center A6), 5-7 p.m. Are you wondering what the GEO contract covers and what your rights as a graduate employee are under the contract?  Come learn about how you are protected and how the contract affects things like workload, sick pay, and other aspects of your employment.  Be informed Read More →

Join Us for a General Membership Meeting and Social on August 31st

All GAs and TAs are invited to attend the first General Membership Meeting of the Fall 2011 semester on August 31st from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 713 of Student Center East.  We’ll be discussing the union’s plans for the upcoming semester and year, so come and join in the discussion about your union! Read More →

Grad Employee Parents and Our Current Contract

By: Aleks Zarnitsyn Editor’s Note: This week’s post is by guest blogger Aleks Zarnitsyn of UIC’s Philosophy program. Aleks examines our current contract to discover what guarantees it secures for grad employees who are also parents, and assesses some of our options for improving working conditions for grad employee moms and dads. This post is Read More →

GEO, USG, GSC Joint Letter Regarding CampusCare

Click Here to read the letter.

What It’s Like to be a Mom in Grad School

By: Molly McGown Editor’s Note: This week’s post is by guest blogger Molly McGown of UIC’s Anthropology program. Molly’s post is the first in a “What It’s Like” series we will be running in which members describe their experiences. Molly identifies some of the ways that graduate programs fail to adequately accommodate parents in our Read More →

What is a Union? Part 4

By: Gina Gemmel This is part four of a series explaining what a union is. For the first post,click here. For the second post, click here. For the third post, click here.  Lately, it seems that people are talking about “choice” a lot. Choice, some claim, is the basis of capitalism, and it’s what protects people Read More →

What is a Union? Part 3

By Gina Gemmel This is part three of a series explaining what a union is.  For the first post, click here For the second post, click here. Sometimes people feel suspicious about the decision unions make. They’re not sure how unions come to their decisions, and they worry that the union will negotiate working conditions for Read More →

What is a Union? Part 2

By Gina Gemmel Part 2 of a multi-part series This is part two of a series explaining what a union is.  For the first post, click here.  With all the talk of austerity going around these days, there are a lot of people who feel uncomfortable making demands of their employers.  We may think that Read More →

What is a Union? Part 1

By Gina Gemmel The history of the labor movement is not something that is typically taught in history courses in the US anymore, at least not those general courses that most of us are required to take.  As a result, there is a lot of misinformation about what unions are and what they do.  In Read More →

Students or Workers?

By: Gina Gemmel In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing a series of posts on what exactly a union is and how a healthy, active union can benefit workers.  But today I want to start by discussing the concept of a “worker.” Is a graduate employee a worker?  Most graduate students who hold assistantships, whether they work Read More →

UIC-GEO Supports Wisconsin Public Workers

February 21, 2011 To Whom It May Concern: As the many thousands of protesters in Madison, and around Wisconsin, the United States, and the world have been demonstrating for days, the bill currently up for consideration by the Wisconsin State Senate known as the “Budget Repair Bill” is not genuinely directed at repairing the state Read More →

Flame Covers GA Tax Issue

The front page story in today’s Chicago Flame is about Graduate Assistants being taxed on their tuition waivers!

Hours Tracking Sheet

Use this form to keep track of the number of hours that you work during a semester. Remember to include all of your work duties and to file your completed form for safekeeping. If you think your job requires you to work more hours per week than you are being paid for, please contact us Read More →

International Graduate Employee Rights

International graduate employees have the right to participate in their union, and have the right to all legal forms of speech and association. The university may not retaliate against international students for participation in union activities, and union participation may not be used as a consideration when reviewing your visa application. Please see the attached Read More →

Get Paid on Time–Check NESSIE Today

The first pay day of the Fall semester is Thursday, September 16. To make sure that you will be paid on time, please check your NESSIE earnings statement immediately. You can access NESSIE at http://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu. If your September 16 paycheck does not appear in NESSIE today, please contact your department payroll administrator IMMEDIATELY to track Read More →

SEIU Local 73 Responds to Chancellor’s Email

Response to Chancellor Allen-Meares Statement on Negotiations By Joe Iosbaker, Chief Steward, UIC Clerical Unit, SEIU Local 73 On August 10th, the Chancellor sent a letter to every employee and student at UIC. While we won’t have the opportunity to get our response to every student and non-union employee, our members and supporters need to Read More →

UIC-GEO Supports SEIU Workers Considering Going On Strike

SEIU Local 73 workers at UIC filed an intent to strike notice on Friday, August 6 after a year of contract negotiation. Below is a letter of support UIC-GEO leadership sent to SEIU workers to show our solidarity with them. To SEIU Local 73 Workers: The UIC GEO would like to offer our full support Read More →

GEO reaches agreement securing tuition waivers

After a marathon thirteen hour mediation session with the university’s bargaining team yesterday, the GEO bargaining team emerged with an agreement that will protect tuition waivers, increase job security, and made important gains on minimum stipends and the university contribution to health insurance. Because of your organizing, emails, letters of support, and attendance at Monday’s Read More →

Video of GEO mediation rally

Courtesy of www.laborbeat.org: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrY9AtXLsqI

GEO Update & FAQ About Your Right to Strike

1. GEO Calendar 2. I’m in a hurry. What do I need to know? 3. RESULTS OF BARGAINING SIDE-BAR 4. YOUR RIGHT TO STRIKE   1. Calendar TODAY, April 1, 5:00 PM: GEO EMERGENCY STRIKE MEETING, room 302 SCE.TODAY AND TOMORROW, April 1-2: Online Voting. Details forthcoming.MONDAY, April 5, 8:00 AM: GEO TUITION WAIVER AND Read More →

GEO Responds to UIC Email

You may have seen the email this morning from John Loya, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and R. Michael Tanner, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, regarding contract negotiations between the GEO and the UIC administration. We are writing to clarify some of their points. Through the use of federal mediation, the union and Read More →

Why Are We Considering Striking Over Tuition Waivers and Differentials?

We’ve been asked a lot why it is so important to secure tuition waivers and put an end to increasing tuition differentials in our contract now. The reason is simple: if we don’t secure these things in the contract now, we will not have the ability to protect GEO members from any attempts to cut Read More →

GEO Establishes $50,000 Strike Fund

THE GRADUATE EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION HAS ESTABLISHED A $50,000 STRIKE FUND TO AID STRIKING GRADUATE EMPLOYEES. The GEO has set aside this significant amount of money in order to provide financial security for graduate employees in the event of a strike. Any card-signing member of the GEO would be eligible to benefit from the Strike Fund Read More →