GEO Local 6300 IFT/AFT AFL-CIO at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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News and GEO-L

Member Communications

GEO Strike 2018 Day 4

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***March 1, 2018 --  199 days since our contract expired on August 15th -- GEO STRIKE 2018 DAY 4***

Good morning! Today’s weather is expected to be rainy (primarily in the early morning), with a high of 46 °F (8 °C) and temperatures dropping throughout the day. Dress accordingly. Strike Support Stations will have rain ponchos and hand warmers if you need them. (Umbrellas are not allowed on the picket lines.)

Despite the drizzle, yesterday was our biggest day yet. That means that our strike has grown larger and stronger each day. We shut down eight buildings over the course of the day, sent another roving picket to the North Quad, and even went south to the I-Hotel. The Agriculture Technology Innovation Summit at the I-Hotel and Conference Center included some of the university’s most influential donors, so a group of picketers marched there to cause some more “minimal disruption.” And did you catch the picketing saxophonist? Keep it up! 

We are eager to get back to bargaining, and back to work, but will not (cannot!) do so until the Administration shows that they are ready to do the same. Last Sunday, they changed two words -- though not their meaning -- and called it a new proposal ready for our response. Thus far, they have had nothing more to offer us. We demand a fair contract that provides economic stability and guarantees full tuition waivers for all graduate employees! And we will not stop until it is won.

Reminder: Our picketing shifts are from 8-10:15 am, 10 am-1 pm, 12:45 pm-3 pm and 2:45-5 pm. Please arrive for your picket shift(s) at least 15 minutes early. Meet at the Eternal Flame Pillar in between the English Building and Lincoln Hall on the Main Quad to receive your picketing location assignment. Everyone, GEO member or not, is welcome to join us on the picket line. Be sure to sign in and out with your picket captain once you are assigned!

To sign up for more picket shifts, please use our form on Airtable. We are trying to move away from paper sign-ups since some people’s handwriting is very difficult to read. (You know who you are.)

As the strike gets longer, more undergraduates will be forced to cross our picket lines. This can be frustrating, but it behooves us to direct their frustration towards the Administration rather than ourselves. Always be as respectful and informative as you can. If an undergraduate voices complaint, suggest that they repeat it to the Provost. 

Today’s rallies are moving! Our noon rally will be on the North Quad in front of the Beckman Institute. Our 5pm rally will be on the South Quad under the McFarland Memorial Bell Tower, and also serve as the General Membership Meeting for this week.

Strike Support Stations will again be located at Foreign Languages Building (FLB), Henry Administration Building (HAB), and Lincoln Hall. Think of something you need? They probably thought of it first, and have it ready! Childcare will be located in the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana).

Photo policy: Photos are allowed. If you do NOT want to be included in photos, please notify your picket captain.

Pet policy: All friendly pets are allowed (and encouraged!) on the picket lines. We have water bowls and dog treats at the Strike Support Stations.

We deeply appreciate how respectful everyone has been so far. Please continue to practice the basic picketing rules: be respectful (no harassment, no littering, etc.), be safe (no weapons, if you are harassed call 911, etc.), and most importantly, be joyful!

Today puts us at a tie for longest strike in UIUC history: NTFC’s strike in 2016 was four days long. Will the Administration make this strike a record-setter, on the 200th day without a contract, by failing to make movement for another day? 

Please be aware: Friday is “Unofficial,” and many undergraduates will be drinking heavily. Some start Thursday afternoon. Alcohol is never allowed on the picket lines. If you have an issue, contact your building captain for assistance. 

See you on the lines! Remember: The University Works Because We Do. Together, we can win a fair contract!

In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820

Phone: 217-344-8283

Email: geo@uigeo.org

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This is a newsletter for members about our recent news and events. The Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), IFT/AFT local 6300, AFL-CIO, is a member-run labor union and represents Teaching and Graduate Assistants (TAs and GAs) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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