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

News and GEO-L

Member Communications

Janus vs. AFSCME Decision Next Week before June 30, Scam Alert & Grievance Update


***June 24th, 2018***

Table of Contents:

  • Janus vs. AFSCME Decision Next Week before June 30

  • Scam ALert!

  • Update on Back Pay & Raises Grievance

  • Connect with GEO



A decision on the Janus vs AFSCME Supreme Court case will be announced anytime next week before June 30. We will keep you posted on what the decision is, so please watch out for another email sometime next week! We will also keep posting on our social media about this, so please stay tuned to our Facebook or Twitter.

  • If you don’t know a lot about the Janus case, see our FAQ here: long version & short version. We also made an infographic about how this case will affect GEO. Our awesome GEO stewards have also spoken about why they want you to learn about Janus!

  • If you’re interested in the legal side of things, here’s an excellent Amicus podcast where law professor Catherine Fisk goes over the arguments at the heart of the Janus case.

  • Is this case really about free speech by employees who disagree with “political” activities of the union? ACLU staff explain in this piece why they don’t think union fair share fees violate the first amendment.

  • It’s important to know about the history of the Janus case and the powerful organizations that have bankrolled it all the way to the Supreme Court. 

    • Did you know that this case started when Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner filed a lawsuit in 2015 challenging the constitutionality of fair share fees?

    • It’s easy to focus on individual plaintiffs like Mark Janus, but here’s a New York Times piece and another exhaustive report about the conservative advocacy organizations that have worked for years to cut back the strength of public unions.

    • In particular, the CEO of one such organization, the State Policy Network said the following in internal documents published by the Guardian: “To win the battle for freedom, we must take the fight to the unions, state by state...The target of such union-bashing, she openly admits, is to “defund and defang one of our freedom movement’s most powerful opponents, the government unions”.

  • Janus could bring in federal “right to work” but the history of this movement has its racist origins in entities seeking to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South. You can watch this short video here to learn more.



Beware Corporate Interests Who Ask You To Drop Your Union Membership

If the Supreme Court decides in favor of Mark Janus in Janus v. AFSCME, the same corporate interests bankrolling the case will hire people to pressure you to drop your union membership.

These people will tell you to "Give yourself a raise" by dropping your union dues. They may call, email, or approach you in person at work or at your home.

These people DO NOT have your best interests in mind!

What's the Truth?

UIUC TAs and GAs have increased their minimum pay by more than 50%, in addition to gains in health care and tuition waivers, since they started bargaining a union contract 15 years ago.

The best way to give yourself a raise? Keep the union strong by remaining a member and getting involved!




The Grievance Committee met with Heather Horn (the Assistant Director of Academic Labor and Employee Relations) on Friday, June 22. At this meeting, we discussed a variety of questions regarding eligibility, definitions of reappointments/new appointments, percentages of pay raises, departmental actions, etc. We have more clarity on how Academic HR has handled these after this meeting and a firmer grasp on potential next steps.

Moving forward, please keep in mind that, while it appears that the University does not always act in the best interest of its employees, it is always presumed that they have not acted out of line. So, this means that, in some cases, it is (will be) difficult to prove that the University has committed an offense against us as employees. Consequently, it might be that some issues are resolved to our liking while others are not. And, as we traverse the terrain of a new contract, we will have to learn and/or negotiate what some of the new language means—both for us and for the University. As with all things, the GEO is doing what it can to make sure that the most people get maximum benefits. We are partners in this together with you and your co-laborer in making sure all employees receive fair compensation for their work.

Thank you for your patience as the Grievance Committee has worked diligently to keep track of back pay and pay raise inquiries related to the new contract. Feel free to email us at directly so that we can reply to your specific questions. 




Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

Instagram: @geo_uiuc

Sign up for text updates! Text updates are the fastest, best way to get crucial GEO information. Text the word “GEO” to 69238 to receive periodic messages concerning crucial bargaining updates and other urgent information. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 69238 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 69238 for more information. Terms & Conditions.


In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820

Phone: 217-344-8283



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