Janus vs. AFSCME & Union Benefits, SB 2546 Passed & More
***June 11th, 2018***
Table of Contents:
Janus vs. AFSCME & the Benefits of Unions
Senate Bill 2546 Passed by Both Houses
Back Pay and Raises - How to Inquire about Eligibility
GEO Staff Evaluations
Connect with GEO
JANUS vs. AFSCME & THE BENEFITS OF UNIONS
The decision in the Janus vs. ASCFME Supreme Court case could come at any time. The results of this case could reshape the landscape of organized labor. Over the past two weeks, the GEO has shared information about the upcoming decision, its possible ramifications, and the ways in which we as GEO members and workers can help to mitigate those effects by standing strong together.
We have put together an FAQ on the Janus case. The biggest immediate impact that the case could have on any union is in the potential abolition of fair-share dues. These dues, which are currently collected from all bargaining unit members, provide resources that the GEO uses in order to help defend its members, both in the case of specific grievances and in being able to maintain a strong negotiating position from which we can bargain, as we did this spring, for fairer wages and a more equitable workplace. Such activities benefit all members of the bargaining unit; even the plaintiff in the case, Mark Janus, has benefitted from the work that AFSCME has done with its fair share dues
Very importantly, the labor movement has historically been a major player in ensuring the civil rights of people of color in the workplace. For instance, unionized women of color currently earn more than their non-unionized counterparts. This is reflective overall of a union’s goal of allowing us to stand together in order to protect the rights of those members who are the most structurally vulnerable. It is thus thought that a decision in favor of Janus could more adversely affect people of color. We must continue to stand together as a union to ensure workplace equity for ourselves and our colleagues .
It is likely that there will be a decision on Janus within the coming days and weeks. We will continue to put out information on the case and its potential ramifications. Stay tuned to our Facebook or Twitter throughout the coming days for more information!
SENATE BILL 2546 Passed by both Houses
SB 2546, the bill that would allow RAs & PGAs in Illinois to unionize, passed the Illinois House of Representatives on May 30th with 66 votes! Remember, this bill had already been passed by the Senate earlier with 34 votes. Please see link here to track the journey of this bill so far.
However, Governor Rauner could still veto the bill. We need to continue to make our voices heard in order to show the Governor and the full Illinois Legislature that ALL graduate workers including RAs and PGAs deserve union representation. Please contact Governor Rauner at his Springfield Office (217-782-0244) or his Chicago Office (312-814-2121) and tell him to sign this bill into law!
A number of GEO members who are RAs and PGAs have written great testimonials on why they want to be represented by a union. You can find them on our Facebook page or on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #WeAreWorkers. We’d love to hear from more RAs and PGAs on this, so if you have questions/comments, or even better, if you’d like to write a testimonial, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on facebook!
BACK PAY AND RAISES - HOW TO INQUIRE ABOUT ELIGIBILITY
The GEO Grievance Committee is currently compiling a list of members who have reported not seeing pay raises and/or backpay in their May paychecks. The contract stipulates that eligibility for back pay and/or pay raises in the first year of the contract is determined on the basis of belonging to the Bargaining Unit (TAs and GAs) at the time the contract was executed—April 2, 2018.
According to grievance procedure, the committee has sent University HR a list of names asking for clarification on these issues and will be responding to emails as quickly as possible.
If you are unsure of your eligibility, or believe that you are owed a raise and/or back pay for your assistantship(s), please email email@example.com and include: (1) your appointment letter(s) from the past academic year, (2) your May NESSIE statement, and (3) tell us whether you were “reappointed" in Spring 2018. Reappointed, according to the language in the contract, means that assistants held "the same job in the same unit [department] as the assistant held in the previous semester (summer excluded) or within the three previous academic years."
The GEO has filed a grievance on this matter and is trying to resolve it as quickly as possible. If you have already sent us your information please be patient as we work towards resolution.
GEO STAFF EVALUATIONS
GEO needs your input for our staff evaluations! Your feedback helps elected GEO Officers (who are members) make informed decisions about personnel matters, and it helps GEO staff understand the needs and interests of members.
CONNECT WITH GEO!
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Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820
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.