GEO Local 6300 IFT/AFT AFL-CIO at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Member Communications

Preparing for GEO Strike 2018 Day 10

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***March 6, 2018 -- 204 days since our contract expired on August 15th -- Prepping for GEO Strike 2018 Day 10***

Remember, as a member of the GEO bargaining unit (TA or GA), you have a legal right to strike without retaliation. If your department, supervisor, or any faculty or staff attempt to intimidate, coerce, or otherwise influence your decision to strike, this is a violation of your legal rights under the Illinois Labor Education Relations Act. Please report any such violations to grievance@uigeo.org. We will always have your back. 

Good evening! 

Thank you to everyone who came out to picket today! By mid-morning we had strong and energetic pickets at all of our core buildings! At our afternoon rally activist Ai-jen Poo spoke about the connection between all organized workers. Our evening march and rally at the President’s mansion were both a success and many passing cars honked in support!

Even as we marched on the President’s mansion, several GEO members began an occupation of his office in the Henry Administration Building! Since President Killeen has been absent from the bargaining table, we’re occupying his office until we get the contract we deserve. While our members are holding down the President’s office, we all need to back them up by walking the picket lines!

Tomorrow, March 7, the GEO bargaining team is meeting with the administration. This means that we MUST have a strong turnout for tomorrow! Our strength on the picket lines directly impacts bargaining and is crucial for the success of the strike. Everyone needs to come out to the pickets to show the administration that we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to win. Let’s throw our collective weight behind the bargaining team tomorrow!

Tomorrow is AFSCME Solidarity day. We will have speakers from AFSCME at our rallies and extra support from them on the lines. Our noon rally will be on the North Quad and our evening rally will be at the McFarland Bell Tower on the South Quad. 

The weather for tomorrow is expected to be cloudy, with a 10% chance of rain, and a high of 35 °F (1.6 °C). Dress accordingly! We’ll have rain ponchos and hand warmers at the support stations, as umbrellas are not allowed on the picket lines. 

Community support is strong. Our strike fund has surpassed $50,000 in donations and community members have continued to donate lunch and other supplies to our cause. Local unions have expressed support and many have pledged to join our pickets.

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. All shifts should meet at the Eternal Flame Pillar in between the English Building and Lincoln Hall on the Main Quad. Be sure to sign in and out with your picket captain once you are assigned! You can sign up for more picket shifts here.

Strike Support Stations will again be located at Foreign Languages Building (FLB), Henry Administration Building (HAB), and Lincoln Hall. They have food, water, hot drinks, first aid supplies, and just about anything else you can think of. 

Childcare will be located in the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St, Urbana). See here for more information about childcare. To help us plan for your childcare needs, please use this form to sign up in advance.

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. If you take a picture with your pet, send it to us!

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 a complaint, suggest that they repeat it to the Provost, ask their professor to move the class, and flyer or sticker the inside of the building.

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!

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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