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 5

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***March 2, 2018 --  200 days since our contract expired on August 15th -- GEO STRIKE 2018 DAY 5 -- The longest strike in UIUC history!***

Good morning! The weather is clearing up today, thankfully: mostly sunny with a high of 47 °F (8 °C). It’ll still be muddy though, so wear shoes that can get dirty!

Thank you to everyone who picketed yesterday in the rain! On the coldest and wettest day of the strike so far, our lines remained strong and joyful. Members experimented with trading traditional chants for reworked pop songs to keep spirits high. (Have you come up with one?) The march to the North Quad was awe-inspiring, and a picket made its way to the Music Building, too. Our wrap-up rally on the South Quad highlighted the real reason we’re all out here: fighting for #EducationForAll. Bargaining team member Katie outlined where the stakes currently stand, while Champaign Federation of Teachers president Jennifer White and strike captain Liz connected the current struggle to future generations of graduate employees.

Today’s picketing will be moving in the afternoon. Instead of a noon rally, we will march from Altgeld Hall to the South Quad. We will then picket the South Quad until 4pm, at which time we will hold a cake cutting ceremony in recognition of today’s milestones and to celebrate our tremendous GEO community.

Everyone, GEO member or not, is welcome to join us on the picket line. 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. Morning shifts should meet at the Eternal Flame Pillar in between the English Building and Lincoln Hall on the Main Quad, as before. Afternoon shifts should meet at the owl-like “Tree of Life Fantasy” sculpture just north of the Education Building. Be sure to sign in and out with your picket captain once you are assigned! A map to the sculpture can be found here and a picture of the sculpture is attached to this email.

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 and ask their professor to move the class, and ask them to flyer or sticker the inside of the building.

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! However, strike support stations will come down at noon, when our picket locations move. Support supplies will continue to be available in the afternoon; exact location/distribution method TBD. 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 is “Unofficial,” and many undergraduates will be drinking heavily. 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.

GEO-LThomas DayGEO-L