Reminder to Submit Reimbursement Form, Upcoming Events, and More! (GEO-L)

***April 16, 2018***

Table of Contents:

  • Reminder to submit form for reimbursement

  • Officer elections

  • Events

  • Join a committee!

  • Connect with GEO

——

SUBMIT FORM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR LOST PAY

The GEO is committed to supporting members who lost pay due to their participation in the strike. Lost pay will be reimbursed at the base pay rate, approximately $23/hr. Your loss of pay will be reflected in the April 16th check, which you can view starting three days in advance of payday by viewing your online earnings statement. To accurately calculate reimbursement, we will need copies of your appointment letter, your March and April earnings statements, and the HR form for reporting missed hours in order to verify that you missed pay.

Please submit these documents and related information through this google form: https://goo.gl/forms/IvScwiKu7JLBVuDq1

To process reimbursements quickly, please submit documentation by Friday, April 20.

Reimbursements will be made by check and, once confirmed, will be available for pick-up in the GEO office. All information submitted to the GEO through the google form will be kept strictly confidential by the Grievance Committee.

If you need additional financial assistance, there will be no-interest loans available for GEO members who lost pay through the University of Illinois Community Credit Union starting April 16th. We also have a confidential Emergency Welfare Strike Fund for members who experience financial emergencies. You can find more information about those here; if you need one of these resources, please contact us at geo@uigeo.org.

For more information about food banks and other resources, see this document (originally compiled for during the strike).

——

OFFICER ELECTIONS

GEO Officer elections will be happening on Thursday, April 26! We are seeking new officers for the following positions:

Co-Presidents (2 positions)
Treasurer(s)
Communications Officer(s)
Grievance Officer(s)
Solidarity Officer(s)
Officers at large (3 positions)

You do not require any specialized knowledge to perform the roles associated with any positions, described in detail here. Our outgoing officers will be happy to help you transition smoothly.  To let us know you want to run for a position, or ask any questions, please contact us at geo@uigeo.org!

——

EVENTS

What is Janus? GMM

Our next General Membership Meeting will discuss the Supreme Court Case Janus that poses a great threat to public sector unions across the country and what it means for us. Pizza and childcare will be provided!

Date: April 19th
Time: 6:30-7:30pm
Location: Channing Murray (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL 61801)

Officer Elections GMM

Join us at the April 26th General Membership Meeting to hear from those running for elected positions and cast your vote. (More information about voting for those who cannot attend the GMM will be sent out closer to the date)

Date: April 26th
Time: 6:30-7:30pm
Location: Channing Murray (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL 61801)

I-H.O.P.E. Gala

I-CAUSE (Illinois-Coalition Assisting Undocumented Students) and La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc. are hosting the first I-H.O.P.E. Gala to raise funds for scholarships for undocumented students at UIUC. Tickets are $100 for the general public and $50 for students. The Solidarity Committee has approved ticket purchases on a first come first serve basis for members who are interested in going and representing GEO at the gala. Please email solcomm@uigeo.org if you are interested in attending. For more information please check here.

Date: May 2nd
Time: 6 pm-9 pm
Location: I-Hotel Conference Center (1900 South 1st Street Champaign, IL 61820)

——

JOIN A COMMITTEE!

Stewards’ Council

The Stewards’ Council (SC) is the primary organizing and planning body, and real “heart,” of GEO. This is where representatives from across campus come together to discuss membership needs. We meet every Tuesday from 5:30-7pm in the GEO office.

Grievance Committee

Just after a contract is signed is the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who haven’t been allowed to make up hours, who faced intimidation, and who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email grievance@uigeo.org. No special knowledge is required.

Solidarity Committee

The Solidarity Committee performs crucial outreach both within and outside of the labor community. SolComm is an important committee within GEO, and could use some more members! If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email solcomm@uigeo.org. No special knowledge is required.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee produces GEO-Ls and flyers, responds to interview requests, manages GEO’s social media, orders swag, and more! We could use people with all varieties of skill sets, so don’t be afraid if you’re not a writer or graphic designer — we’d love to have you!

——-

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uigeo.org
Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

——-

In Solidarity,
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-344-8283
Email: geo@uigeo.org

 

Statement in Support of GWTU

April 13, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Urbana-Champaign (April 13, 2018): We, the Graduate Employees Organization at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IFT/AFT Local 6300 AFL-CIO, condemn the January 31 attack against struggling Bangladeshi garments workers outside the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building in Dhaka. The attack was a culmination of events starting with the shutting down of Ashiana Garments Factory where workers decided to unionize. In the attack, at least 20 workers were injured. Following the attack, the workers tried to file a complaint but the local police refused to take their statement. Instead, BGMEA filed charges against Garments Workers Trade Union (GWTU) leaders, some of who were not present at the protest. BGMEA accused them of attempted murder and vandalism. On April 1, when requesting a court extension of their bail GWTU leaders Joly Talukder, KM Mintu, Monjur Moin, Jalal Howladar, Lutfar Rahman, Md Shahjahan among others were detained. As of now, they are all in custody at Dhaka Central Jail.

We admire and take inspiration from the long-running struggle of Bangladeshi garments workers for increased wages, better working and living conditions, and protection of workers’ rights. In solidarity with Bangladeshi garments workers, we echo their demands. We denounce the BGMEA for pressing false charges against workers and union leaders, and demand the immediate and unconditional release of the arrested workers and union leaders. Instead of holding responsible parties accountable, the current charges only silence and obstruct workers’ organizing for a higher minimum wage. We demand that the police take workers’ statements and hold all responsible parties accountable for the attack. We demand that all fired workers are reinstated in their workplaces without an exception. We further reiterate the demands for increased wages, safety, and substantial rights that the workers have long been fighting for.

We understand that workers’ rights can be secured only if workers have the right to organize and join unions. We demand that the right to unionize and form trade unions in all garments factories, including Ashiana Garments Factory in this case, without any threat or harm be respected and secured.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, represents approximately 2,700 Teaching and Graduate Assistants on the UIUC Campus. In November 2009, and more recently, earlier this year in February 2018, over 1,000 GEO members and allies participated in a strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Matresse, at commcomm@uigeo.org. More information can also be found on GEO’s website at www.uiucgeo.org.

Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo
@geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

 

How to Receive Reimbursement for Lost Pay – GEO-L (April 12th)

Table of Contents:

  • How to receive reimbursement for lost pay

  • Back pay and raise

  • The Grievance Committee needs more members!

  • Connect with GEO

——

HOW TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR LOST PAY

The GEO is committed to supporting members who lost pay due to their participation in the strike. Lost pay will be reimbursed at the base pay rate, approximately $23/hr. Your loss of pay will be reflected in the April 16th check, which you can view starting three days in advance of payday by viewing your online earnings statement. To accurately calculate reimbursement, we will need copies of your appointment letter, your March and April earnings statements, and the HR form for reporting missed hours in order to verify that you missed pay.

Please submit these documents and related information through this google form: https://goo.gl/forms/IvScwiKu7JLBVuDq1

To process reimbursements quickly, please submit documentation by Friday, April 20.

Reimbursements will be made by check and, once confirmed, will be available for pick-up in the GEO office. All information submitted to the GEO through the google form will be kept strictly confidential by the Grievance Committee.

If you need additional financial assistance, there will be no-interest loans available for GEO members who lost pay through the University of Illinois Community Credit Union starting April 16th. We also have a confidential Emergency Welfare Strike Fund for members who experience financial emergencies. You can find more information about those here; if you need one of these resources, please contact us at geo@uigeo.org.

For more information about food banks and other resources, see this document (originally compiled for during the strike).

——

BACK PAY AND RAISE

The raises negotiated into the new contract will be reflected in your April 16th paycheck. However, the lump sum back payment for the raise will not appear until your May 16th paycheck.

——

THE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE NEEDS MORE MEMBERS!

Just after a contract is signed is the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who haven’t been allowed to make up hours, who faced intimidation, and who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email grievance@uigeo.org. No special knowledge is required.

——-

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uigeo.org
Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

 

New Contract, Docked Pay, Officer Elections, Strike Debrief GMM (GEO-L)

***April 2, 2018***

Table of Contents:

  • New Contract Highlights

  • Docked Pay – Your Next Steps

  • The Grievance Committee Needs More Members!

  • Officer Elections

  • Events

  • Connect with GEO

——

NEW CONTRACT HIGHLIGHTS

With 98% of votes in favor, we ratified our new contract last month. A full copy of the contract is attached to this email, but here are a few quick highlights:

  • Expansion of non-discrimination article

  • Financial compensation for late appointment letters, starting Spring 2019

  • A 4.5% raise to the minimum in year one, to be applied retroactively. Your April paycheck will reflect the new pay rate, and your May paycheck will include all the backpay you are owed since August 2017.

  • A 2% raise to the minimum in years two and three, and a reopener to bargain wages for years four and five.

  • A 2.5% raise to reappointed employees making more than the minimum, to be applied retroactively. Your April paycheck will reflect the new pay rate, and your May paycheck will include all the backpay you are owed since August 2017.

  • Admin to cover 87% of healthcare premium, up from 80%. Option to add one dependent, covered at 25%.

  • More flexible parental leave, and a new article stating that supervisors must work to accommodate employees who have to miss work due to visa or immigration issues

  • A new tuition waiver article, guaranteeing tuition waivers for TA and GAs working between 25-67% appointments.

——

DOCKED PAY — YOUR NEXT STEPS

GEO is committed to supporting members who lost pay due to their participation in the strike. Lost pay will be reimbursed at the base pay rate, approximately $23/hr. Your loss of pay will be reflected in the April 16th check, which you can view starting three days in advance of payday by viewing your online earnings statement. We will need copies of your March and April earnings statements plus the HR form for reporting missed hours in order to verify that you missed pay. We will send out more instructions and a Google form to submit your information a week beforehand; all information will be kept strictly confidential by the Grievance Committee.

If you need additional financial assistance, there will be no-interest loans available for GEO members who lost pay through the University of Illinois Community Credit Union starting April 16th. We also have a confidential Emergency Welfare Strike Fund for members who experience financial emergencies. You can find more information about those here; if you need one of these resources, please contact us at geo@uigeo.org.

For more information about food banks and other resources, see this document (originally compiled for during the strike).

——

THE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE NEEDS MORE MEMBERS!

Just after a contract is signed is the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who haven’t been allowed to make up hours, who faced intimidation, and who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email grievance@uigeo.org. No special knowledge is required.

——

OFFICER ELECTIONS

GEO Officer elections will be happening on Thursday, April 19! We are seeking new officers for the following positions:

Co-Presidents (2 positions)
Treasurer
Communications Officer(s)
Grievance Officer(s)
Solidarity Officer(s)
Officers at large (3 positions)

You do not require any specialized knowledge to perform the roles associated with any positions described in detail here. Our outgoing officers will be happy to help you transition smoothly.  Please let us know if you have any questions!

——

EVENTS

AFSCME Rally

The AFSCME Local 3700 has been without a contract for 10 months as they have organized against frozen wages and the reinstitution of an historically abused Merit System. They will be rallying at the UIUC’s “Strategic Plan Town Hall” (described below) to ask if their well-being is part of the plan. For more information, see the Facebook event here.

Date: Tuesday, April 3rd
Time: 11:45am-12:45pm
Location: Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom, 601 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL, near the fountain

Strategic Plan Town Hall

The Strategic Plan Town Hall is organized by the UIUC Administration to discuss the next 150 years of campus priorities, with an emphasis on the next 5 years. The end of the presentation includes an opportunity for comments and questions, so we invite all GEO members to participate. A few of us are going as a group, so please email/facebook message us if you’d like to join us!  For information on the UIUC Strategic Plan, see the Strategic Plan page here.

Date: Tuesday, April 3rd
Time: 12pm-1pm
Location: Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom, 601 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL,

Tax Workshop

Trouble figuring out how to file your state and federal tax returns? Not sure how the new raises factor into your taxes? Come to this Tax Workshop! For more information, see the Facebook event here.

Date: Tuesday, April 3rd
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Channing Murray (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL 61801)

There will be a presentation and time for questions. Contact us at geo@uigeo.org with any questions.

Strike Debrief GMM

Our next General Membership Meeting will serve as a debrief about the strike and the new contract. Pizza and childcare will be provided!

Date: April 12th
Time: 6:30-7:30pm
Location: Channing Murray (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL 61801)

——-

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uigeo.org
Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.

——-

In Solidarity,
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-344-8283
Email: geo@uigeo.org

 

HR Strike Form & Tax Workshop (GEO-L)

HR Strike Form

Contract negotiations included terms that specify how graduate employees who participated in the strike may make up the work that they missed in order to avoid losing money in their paychecks. The deadline for submitting the paperwork regarding time and attendance during a strike is due on March 30. The GEO Grievance Committee continues to field questions from members and is glad to report that they have received clarification from Academic HR about filling out the form.

First, unless your department is using another form, the form you will submit can be found here: http://humanresources.illinois.edu/assets/docs/AHR/GEO-Time-and-Attendance-Form.pdf

In addition, the GEO has received clarification from Academic HR about how to fill out this form. The form only seeks to obtain the number of hours that a graduate employee is not able to make up. Therefore, if you were able to make up some hours, only record the hours that were not made up. If you were able to make up all hours missed, you may send an email to your supervisor for documentation purposes and not fill out the form.

If your supervisor is hostile or refuses to let you make up work, please contact the GEO Grievance Committee at grievance@uigeo.org.

Tax Workshop

Trouble figuring out how to file your state and federal tax returns? Not sure how the new raises factor into your taxes? Come to this Tax Workshop! For more information, see the Facebook event here.

Date: April 3rd
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Channing Murray (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL 61801)
There will be a presentation and time for questions. Contact us at geo@uigeo.org with any questions.

CONNECT WITH GEO!

Website: www.uigeo.org
Twitter: @geo_uiuc
Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm
Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Returning to Work FAQ

GEO Returning to Work After the Strike FAQ

Contract negotiations included terms that specify how graduate employees who participated in the strike may make up the work that they missed in order to avoid losing money in their paychecks. Now that the contract has been ratified by the GEO membership and the strike is over, it is important to come up with a plan on how to make up the missed hours. Below are some important guidelines for returning to work following the end of the strike.

“Additional Terms” of the newly ratified contract states:

Covered graduate students who participated in the strike will be permitted to complete work that was not completed by them during the strike to the extent possible. Those students should consult with their immediate supervisors with regard to assessing what work may need to be performed and in the scheduling of that work. If the work already has been performed by others or cannot be completed by the striking employees for any reason by March 30, 2018, the striking employees will not be compensated for the hours that they should have spent performing that work and the employee shall complete the time and attendance during a strike form accordingly. The University will not retaliate against any student who participated in the strike.

What should I do to prepare to return to work?

Schedule a meeting with your supervisor as soon as possible this week to discuss creating a plan to make up any work you missed.

By what time do I have to make up the missed work hours?

March 30, 2018.

Should I report to HR or my department that I went on strike?

By the end of March, HR will send out a new form that you will use to report that you went on strike and did or did not make up the hours. Submitting this form helps the GEO to protect you if you are retaliated against in the future as a result of your participation in the strike (e.g. if you receive a lesser appointment in the fall) by providing evidence that 1) you were on strike and 2) that your department knew about it. For this reason, you should submit the form regardless of whether you are able to make up your missed work hours.

If your work was scabbed or your supervisor refused to let you make it up, contact the GEO and we will help you work out an alternative.

What if my supervisor already reported me?

You should still schedule a meeting with your supervisor to make up hours missed. The first reporting form was to record participation in the strike. The second form will record participation in the strike as well as hours made up.

Will I still have my pay docked if I make up my hours missed during the strike?

If you make up the hours missed due to the strike by March 30, then you will not see a loss in pay as long as you submit the March 30 HR form. It is recommended that you keep careful track of the hours you make up so that you can easily report them.

What are some of my options for making up missed hours?

For TA positions, you could hold extra office hours, review sessions, or virtual class sessions online. For GA positions, you could pick up extra hours and help out on other projects. Ultimately, it depends on your the work duties for your specific job and department. If you are having trouble finding a way to make up work, contact the GEO Grievance Committee at grievance@uigeo.org and we will help you brainstorm ideas.

Does an HR representative need to be present at the meeting between me and my supervisor regarding make-up work?

No. HR representatives do not need to be present at the meeting between you and your supervisor. If your supervisor requests an HR representative, then you should request a GEO representative from the Grievance Committee to accompany you at the meeting.

What if someone substituted for me or did some of my work (scabbed) while I was on strike?

If someone else substituted for you and did your work, it would still be a good idea to meet with your supervisor to develop a plan to make up some of the hours. Depending on the extent to which your work was scabbed, you still may be able to make up some hours.

What if my supervisor is hostile or refuses to let me make up work?

Contact the GEO Grievance Committee at grievance@uigeo.org. The new contract explicitly states that members “will be permitted to complete work that was not completed by them during the strike to the extent possible.” If you have difficulty with your supervisor, then you should reach out to the grievance committee so we can determine if we are able to intervene through the grievance process.

What if my supervisor disapproves of my participation in the strike or threatens that it will affect my future appointments or my standing in my program?

It is illegal to intimidate, coerce, or retaliate against an employee for participation in a legal union action. If your supervisor has said anything negative to you about the strike before, during, or after your participation in it, it is very important that you document these interactions and contact the Grievance Committee at grievance@uigeo.org as soon as possible. We are here to protect you.

Who can receive support from the strike fund?

Any GEO member who walked the picket lines for at least 50% of their appointment percentage can receive support from the strike fund. For example, if you have a 50% appointment (20 hours) and walked the picket lines for an average of at least 10 hours per week, you are eligible to receive support from the strike fund.

How and when will strike funds be distributed?

Strike funds will be distributed through the GEO after the first paycheck that was docked.

What if I have a financial emergency before March 30?

The GEO has established a confidential emergency fund for members who experience financial difficulties. Email cc@uigeo.org or contact your department steward to learn more about how the GEO can help.

How can I help defend our new contract?

Join the Grievance Committee! We meet Tuesday nights at 7pm at the GEO Office (809 S Fifth St, Geneva Room, Champaign 61820).

If you have additional questions or need any other assistance, you can reach out to:

WE HAVE A CONTRACT!

Dear GEO Members,

We have a contract! All of the ballots have been tallied and 98% of GEO members voted to approve the contract. This means the strike is over and that we can all return to work.

Once the new contract has been properly formatted we will send out the full document and post it on the GEO website.

As part of the new contract, the bargaining team created a plan for how to make up hours lost due to striking. Please contact your immediate supervisor to create a plan for making up lost hours. If your work was scabbed, you may not be able to make up lost hours. Make up hours must be completed before March 30, 2018. Please contact the GEO if you have any questions or concerns!

Congratulations on a successful strike, everyone! Thank you for all of your hard work.

In Solidarity,
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-344-8283
Email: geo@uigeo.org

 

Information about the Tentative Agreement

***March 9, 2018 —  207 days since our contract expired on August 15th***

Dear GEO,

Now that many members have gotten to hear about and see the Tentative Agreement at yesterday’s General Membership Meeting, we wanted to share some of the highlights with you here.

First, the thing you’re probably most concerned about, tuition waivers:

Tuition waivers have been moved from a side letter to a new article in the main body of the contract. This prevents the administration from trying to declare the tuition waiver language as “expired” as they did this bargaining cycle. The article can be reopened and re-bargained in future cycles. While the language protecting tuition waivers has been changed, the new language clearly and explicitly guarantees tuition waivers for all Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants with appointments between 25% and 67% full time equivalent. At the meeting yesterday, Bargaining Team members stated that this language likely would have resulted in the same arbitration victories as the side letter. The language also reiterates that the University Senate, not the Provost, is able to designate programs, as they always have in the past. In the event that a program is redesignated with due process, graduate employees would continue to  receive the tuition waivers, as part of their appointment, as long as they remain students in the program that they were admitted into initially and are in good academic standing. Future students would be governed by the new policy in place at the time of their enrollment.

Wages:

All wage increases were secured as retroactive wages. Since this is Year 1 of the contract, you will receive back pay for the past six month’s worth of raises. Raises to the minimum were secured for years 2 and 3 of the contract, while the re-appointment raises will be determined by the campus wage program. During year three, the GEO can reopen the wages for negotiations, and these negotiations will define raises for years 4 and 5. This is a victory for GEO because it allows us to organize, and even strike, in Years 4 and 5 over wages. If we do not opt to reopen negotiations, we will default to the campus wage program for both minimums and reappointments in Years 4 & 5. Our bargaining team took into account what they were hearing from members, which was to prioritize getting raises to our lowest-paid members first. Thus, wage increases for the people making the campus minimum are guaranteed, while reappointments will be subject to campus wage program raises in Years 2 & 3. The floor for wage increases under the campus wage program is 0%.

  • Campus minimum
      • Y1: $17,097 (4.5%, retroactive)
      • Y2: $17,439 (2%)
      • Y3: $17,788 (2%)
  • Reappointment raise
    • Y1: 2.5% (retroactive)
    • Y2 & Y3: Campus Wage Program

Healthcare and Dependent Coverage:

The Administration agreed to pay 87% of the health care premium, up from 80%, for Fall and Spring semesters. Our bargaining team fought long and hard to get summer health insurance coverage, but ultimately the Administration was only willing to cover a higher percentage of semester coverage. For those with dependants, the Administration will now cover 25% of the premium for one dependent (up from 0). The Administration was unwilling to include baseline standards for insurance coverage in a contract with an employee union.

Appointment Letters:

Previously, appointment letters were required 60 days in advance. However, over 90% of appointment letters came late, and we had no mechanism to hold the administration accountable. Starting in the Spring of 2019, assistants who do not receive their notice of appointment 30 days in advance can request to receive $50 in compensation, unless the appointment is for a new course section on short notice. The cumulative financial penalty for late appointment notices should ensure members are notified in a timely manner.

Making up work:

Prior to the strike, Academic HR emailed a form for self-reporting. You should not fill out this form. As part of the Tentative Agreement to resolve the strike, the Bargaining Team has negotiated for graduate employees to be able to make up lost time. You must discuss how lost time will be made up with your immediate supervisor. This may be made up through changes to the course, extra office hours, or other means. Time must be made up by March 30.

Time not made up by March 30 should be reported using a different form that will be provided by the university. Even if your department is supportive, you may wish to consider reporting as this could be used to protect against possible retaliation in the future. It easier to prove that retaliation is occurring if there is a paper trail showing you were on strike. Retaliation is illegal under U.S. law, regardless of citizenship status.

If your immediate supervisor is not supportive or refuses to accommodate makeup work, contact the Grievance Committee at grievance@uigeo.org as soon as possible.

If it is not possible to make up work because a scab did it in your place, this still counts as missed work. Once you receive a check with the lost wages, please contact the GEO and we will do our best to compensate you.

Opportunities for reading and voting on the Tentative Agreement:

Thank you to all members who came out to vote yesterday on the Tentative Agreement at the IMC in Urbana. If you were not able to vote yesterday please come to our second GMM tonight at 4pm at the IMC (202 S Broadway, Urbana, Illinois 61801) to be briefed on the Tentative Agreement, ask questions, and vote!

You can also read and vote on the Tentative Agreement until 9pm at the GEO Office in the McKinley Foundation in the Geneva Room (809 S 5th Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820).

Why can’t I vote online?

Many members have asked why we have not created online voting for ratifying the contract. We need to conduct this vote in a timely and secure manner. We need to know by early tomorrow if the membership has approved this contract because, if not, we would have to go back on strike on Monday. Because we lack the necessary time and resources, we are not confident that we could setup a secure system to view the Tentative Agreement and vote on it. We would rather conduct a secure offline vote than an improper online one.

In the interests of a speedy and secure vote, we have opted for in-person voting only at our General Membership Meetings (GMM) and in the GEO office (see above).

This Tentative Agreement is a direct result of our collective efforts and our powerful strike. If you are unable to vote right now because of the lack of an online vote, please put your trust in your colleagues here who are able to vote in person. We must believe in each other and stay united to fight bigger battles ahead of us

Remember: Until all votes are counted, we are still on strike. Pickets are currently suspended, but please continue to withhold your labor until you hear from GEO about the results of the vote. Once the votes are counted, we will send out a GEO-L with the results.

In Solidarity,
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-344-8283
Email: geo@uigeo.org

More Opportunities to Vote!

Dear GEO,

In order to give more members the opportunity to vote on the Tentative Agreement there will be a voting booth open at the GEO Office from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. today, March 9, 2018. Come to our office in the Geneva Room of the McKinley Foundation at 809 S. 5th St in Champaign to cast your ballot!

We will still hold a second GMM today at 4 P.M. at the IMC (202 S Broadway in Urbana) where we will give a full presentation on the contents of the Tentative Agreement and answer your questions. Members can also cast their ballots at the GMM.

Until all votes are counted, we are still on strike. Pickets are currently suspended, but please continue to withhold your labor until you hear from GEO about the results of the vote. Once the votes are counted, we will send out a GEO-L with the results.

This Tentative Agreement is thanks to all of your hard work. Thank you for showing up and giving your all for your friends and colleagues!

In Solidarity,
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-344-8283
Email: geo@uigeo.org

 

2nd Emergency GMM to Vote on a Contract

Note: This will be the same as the GMM on March 8th, 2018. If you are a member and were unable to make it to that meeting, you can attend and vote at this one.

The bargaining team has signed a tentative agreement with the Administration, which will now go to the membership for ratification. Pickets have been suspended. The strike is still on, we will continue to withhold our labor until the contract is ratified. If the members vote to ratify, our strike is over and we have a new contract. If not, our strike continues.

All members should come to the Independent Media Center at 202 S Broadway in Urbana on Friday, March 9th, at 4:00 PM for our vote. The entire contract will be presented, questions will be answered, and members will vote.

The IMC is located next to the Lincoln Square Mall and garage. You can take the 5 E Green (or hopper), 6 E Orange (or hopper), 7 E Grey, 10 E Gold (or hopper), or 13 N Silver.

There is a side entrance with a ramp, for those who cannot take the front stairs.