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

News and GEO-L

Member Communications

Backpay Grievance Update, Communication Officer Needed, GEO at Orientations & More


***August 7, 2018***

Table of Contents:

  • Backpay and Pay Raise Grievance Update

  • GEO Needs Communications Officer(s)

  • GEO at New Grad Student Orientations, Come Help Us!

  • Membership Card Sorting This Wednesday

  • GEO Tabling at CU Days: Volunteers Needed

  • Take the GEO Library Survey!

  • Questions about Healthcare? Email the Healthcare Working Group!

  • Get Involved in a Committee!



The backpay and pay-raise grievance has been resolved, and the grievance committee has made efforts to contact those who added their names to the official grievance. If you have not yet been updated on your status or still have questions about how this was resolved, please contact the Grievance Officer at For more information please click here.



Interested in helping GEO with its communication to membership and media? Consider running for GEO’s Communication Officer position for the 2018-2019 term! Both our previously elected officers have had to step down due to unforeseen circumstances, and the GEO is now looking for interested members to chair the Communications Committee. This role can be a single officer, or shared as co-chairs of the Committee. The responsibilities of the Communication Officer include chairing the Communications Committee and serving as a point person for a variety of projects such as sending newsletters and press releases, facilitating press interviews and media contacts, ordering GEO swag, coordinating social media presence, and representing Communications on the Coordinating Committee.

The work of the Communications Committee is highly collaborative, drawing on members from a wide variety of areas and skill sets. As Communications Officer, your task would be to recruit and coordinate members to manage communications and help connect membership interest with communications projects (see the Communications Committee description later in this email for some of those projects). If you are interested in the position, please email us at  



Each semester, first-time TAs attend big interdepartmental orientation sessions. It is crucial for us to make contact with these new TAs and sign as many new members as possible, especially to keep our union strong post-Janus. To do that, we need YOU to volunteer! Volunteers help to inform and recruit newly-appointed TAs by handing out information booklets, discussing what the union is and how we keep trying to better grad employees’ working conditions, collecting signed cards and distributing T-shirts, etc. In addition to the big TA orientation, we need volunteers to table at the International Students and Scholar Services orientation. The big TA orientation will be Monday August 20 and Tuesday August 21 outside Foellinger Auditorium; and ISSS orientation is August 16 through August 23 at the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building.

If you have not done this before, don’t worry, we have planned short orientation trainings to help you navigate volunteering at the orientation. We have one today at 5:30 pm at the GEO Office, but we will have more! Check the GEO calendar to see when they get scheduled. 

The following are links for signing up for shifts at the orientations. By signing up, you will help to keep our union strong in the post-janus era! Please comment with your name and email us at so can coordinate between volunteers:



The last card sorting event we did  was so productive, we’ve decided to do it again! Membership cards are almost done being alphabetized, and we want to finish getting them in order before we sign up new members in the Fall semester. Join us this Wednesday, August 8th, from 5-7pm at the GEO Office. Facebook event here



The event CU Days on Saturday August 11 from 11am - 8pm at Douglass Park, celebrates the Chambana Community. GEO will be tabling there to reach out to the community and hand out contracts to members! If you’d like to volunteer, please comment to sign up here and email us at so can coordinate between volunteers. If you plan to attend the event, please email us a shout-out as well so that we can set aside contracts and swag for you! 



The GEO is considering creating a union library for its members in the GEO office and we want your input in shaping the library and its resources! UIUC has the largest public university library system in the United States and has over 14 million physical items and 24 million items in other formats in its collection. Are we utilizing that resource to the best of our ability? What sort of labor specific materials are available?  How could we support our members and committees in house by making labor specific materials accessible in the office? Please take our survey to help develop a GEO library:

The survey will remain open until the end of summer.



Many of us have and continue to have questions about what healthcare options we have with our current contract. Our Healthcare Working Group has obtained an email address dedicated to helping with your questions. Send them your questions at!  



We are a member run union!
GEO Committees have a lot of work to do with the new grad student orientations coming up, and need your help! Below you’ll find details about how to contact each Committee and a little more about what they do! No special knowledge is required. You can follow the calendar of events on our website for the date and time of upcoming meetings: Meetings are open to membership, and coming to a meeting does not mean you have to commit to joining a committee. You can just come, check things out and take things from there! 

Communications Committee
The Communications Committee produces GEO-Ls and flyers, manages GEO’s social media, responds to interview requests, designs and orders swag, and more! We could use people with all varieties of skill sets, so don’t be afraid if you’re not a writer or graphic designer — we’d love to have you! You can help with writing and editing GEO-Ls, managing our social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), being our media liaison, and archiving our history. Make sure to check the calendar for up to date information! If you are interested in joining the Communications Committee, email or just come to a meeting!

Grievance Committee
The months after a contract is signed are the busiest time for the Grievance Committee. They are working hard defending members who are already experiencing violations of the new contract. As one of our smallest committees, they could use your help doing this essential work! Make sure to check the calendar for up to date information! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email

Stewards’ Council
The Stewards’ Council (SC) is the primary organizing and planning body, and “heart” of GEO. This is where representatives from across campus come together to discuss membership needs. Right now, stewards are working on preparing for orientation for new grads, planning office visits and organizing trainings, and beginning-of-year events. Become a steward and help GEO organize across campus! Our next meeting is on Tuesday August 14th at 5:30 pm in the GEO Office (809 S. 5th St, Champaign). If you are interested in becoming a Steward, email!

Solidarity Committee
The Solidarity Committee performs crucial outreach both within and outside of the labor community. SolComm is an important committee within GEO, especially post-Janus and could use some more members! Over the summer, SolComm is working on various summer community events and statements of solidarity. If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email

NEW Constitutional Committee
Join the newly formed Constitutional Committee to work on updating our Constitution and By-Laws! Interested in structure and community values? Like clarifying procedures and logistics? Just want to know more about GEO? The Constitutional Committee needs members who are interested in developing a proposal to present to our general membership in the fall for review and ratification. Contact if you’re interested in getting involved!

NEW Finance Committee

The newly formed Finance Committee is tasked with accounting, reporting to members on how dues are spent, fundraising, and connecting members to emergency financial support provided in the community. Email if you would like to contribute!




Twitter: @geo_uiuc

Facebook: @uigeo  @geosolcomm

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In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820


GEO-LThomas DayGEO-L