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

Preparing for GEO Strike 2018 Day 11

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***March 7, 2018 --  205 days since our contract expired on August 15th -- Preparing for GEO Strike 2018 Day 11***

Good evening! 

First, thank you for everyone who picketed today. A lot happened today. #OccupyUI is going strong, with occupiers in high spirits -- and the news is paying attention. As the occupation of Henry Administration Building entered 24 hours, we took Swanlund Administration Building as well. We are now occupying both the President’s and Chancellor’s offices! If they won’t come to us, we’ll go to them. At our noon rally on the North Quad, alderman of Chicago’s 35th Ward and UIUC alumnus Carlos Ramirez-Rosa commented on his disappointment over the administration’s inability to recognize that it must remain accessible to working class students. Members had fun caroling in the afternoon snow. Keep checking our social media for updates!

Our bargaining team is still at the bargaining session. They report that the strong strike and #OccupyUI seems to be making a difference. Keep them going strong! Although we don’t have further updates at this time, the fact that the session is still ongoing indicates it must be better than this past Sunday. A session summary will be sent out as soon as it’s over, so keep an eye on your email.

The weather tomorrow is expected to be cloudy, with a high of only 35 °F (2 °C). Dress accordingly! Support stations have hand warmers if you need them. 

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.

Tomorrow’s noon rally will be at Foellinger Auditorium. The 5pm rally, which will feature American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten, will take place at the Alma Mater statue.

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 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.

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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