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

News and GEO-L

Member Communications

GMM this Thursday, Other Upcoming Events and Announcements


***September 18, 2018***

Table of Contents:


    • Earnings Statements and University Fees 

    • Opt-in for Dependent Health Care by 9/25/2018

    • Call to Action: Solidarity with Champaign Federation of Teachers!


    • General Membership Meeting on 9/20

    • Coffee & Contracts on (Bardeen) Quad on 9/19

    • STARTING 9/18! Tuesday Volunteer Hours

    • STARTING 9/19! Wear-it-Wednesday and Ice Skating

    • GEO Intramural Basketball Team





Earning Statements and University Fees

Earning statements for this pay period are available here: It’s important to regularly check your earning statements and make sure you are being paid the correct amount. If you’re not sure how much you should be paid, or have not been paid the correct amount, contact the Grievance Committee (, the main GEO email (, or talk to your departmental steward!

University fees are due September 28th. If you cannot afford to pay now, the late fee is better than the university’s payment plan! The university charges a late fee of 1.5% -- about $8 -- per month for the standard graduate fees ( Simply enrolling in the repayment plan costs $40 per semester and may carry additional penalties.

Opt-In for Dependent Health Care by 9/25/2018

The opt-in period for dependent health care coverage ends September 25th. While registered students are automatically enrolled in the UIUC health insurance plan, their dependents are not. We secured 25% coverage for a single dependent per graduate employee during the March 2018 strike. However, the administration has not yet provided instructions for how this is to function and is asking that employees enroll their dependent(s) and apply for reimbursement. For more questions about this please contact or the Health Care Working Group at

Call to Action: Solidarity with Champaign Federation of Teachers!

The Champaign Federation of Teachers is currently negotiating their new contract. The school district has hired an expensive, union-busting lawyer, funded by taxpayers including UIUC graduate employees living in the Champaign-Urbana and Savoy areas. They are asking for our help. 

To call attention to the questionable practices of the school district, CFT is asking Champaign and Savoy residents to submit Freedom of Information Act requests to uncover the cost of this anti-union effort. It only takes a minute and every FOIA request helps!

To submit a FOIA request for the information sought, email School Attorney Tom Lockman at Use the following template, which you should send from a personal email not a UI account:

Dear Mr. Lockam:

Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I am requesting copies of any and all invoices pertaining to the legal fees associated with the district’s collective bargaining with the Champaign Federation of Teachers, going back to April 2018 and forward to the date of this email. 

Please email these records to me at __________[insert your home email]___________. 

I understand that your website states no fees will be charged for the first 50 pages of black and white copies. If there is a charge associated with this request please inform me of the total cost before complying. I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3). Thank you for considering and responding to this request.

For more information, please contact our Solidarity Committee at



General Membership Meeting (GMM) on 9/20

Our first General Membership Meeting of the semester will be held on September 20th at 6:00 PM at the Channing Murray Foundation (see map below). Please attend for more information about GEO and to learn how to get involved! We will be voting on our annual budget, and discussing the next steps after our victories in the Spring strike. Here is a tentative agenda for the meeting. Please RSVP to the Facebook event so that we know how much pizza to order. General Membership Meetings (GMMs) are members only, but if you’re not a member, you can sign up at the door or online at

Coffee & Contracts on (Bardeen) Quad on 9/19

We will be tabling with Contracts & Coffee on September 19th, from 11 am to 2 pm at the Bardeen Quad (also known as the Engineering Quad)! Come grab a cup of coffee and a copy of our contract and have all your important questions answered. We’ll also be handing out GEO swag -- just in time for #WearItWednesday! For up to date information on the event, please check our facebook page. 

STARTING 9/18! Tuesday Volunteer Hours

Want to help your union but don’t know how? Come by the GEO office at 809 S. 5th St., in the  McKinley Foundation’s Geneva Room any Tuesday between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The Union has a number of small tasks that could use your help. Come by, lend a hand, have a snack, and meet your fellow union members on Tuesday afternoons.

STARTING 9/19! Wear it Wednesday and Ice Skating

Every Wednesday is #WearItWednesday! We can increase GEO’s visibility by wearing swag while teaching, conferencing, lecturing, researching, and doing all the other vital work that we do on this campus. Plus, our treasurer loves to ice skate, and invites all GEO members to join him on Wednesdays at the Ice Arena for the Lunch Skate in GEO swag! Lunch skate runs from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm and only costs $2 for Graduate Students. For more information check out the Public Skating information on the campus rec website.

GEO Intramural Basketball Team

Join GEO Member Joe Coyle on the court! We will be starting a GEO Intramural basketball team this fall. If you want to play some basketball with your fellow union members, make new friends, or just prove how strong the union can be, contact Joe ( for more information. All skill levels are welcome!



GEO Committees Need Your Help! 

We are a member-run union; we depend on the commitment of our members to stay as strong as possible. Below you’ll find details about what each committee does and how to contact them. 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 commit you to joining a committee. 

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. They need people with a variety of skills, and they’d love to have you. The next Communications Committee meeting is on Thursday, September 27th at 5pm in the GEO Office, but 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
Whether it's late wages, a missing tuition waiver, or retaliation in the workplace, the Grievance Committee helps GEO members take on the UIUC administration. The months after a new 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! If you are interested in joining the Grievance Committee, email or just come to the next meeting, which will be on September 27 at 4:00pm in the GEO office!

Stewards’ Council
The Stewards’ Council (SC) is the primary organizing and planning body of GEO. This is where representatives from across campus come together to discuss the needs of our membership. Right now, stewards are doing office visits and organizing beginning-of-year events such as department meetings.If you are interested in becoming a Steward, email or just come to the next meeting at 5:30 pm on September 25th in the GEO Office!

Solidarity Committee
The Solidarity Committee (SolComm) builds connections between the GEO and other people’s movements and local social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more. SolComm supports several local organizations and movements that work towards economic, racial, gender, disability, prison, and environmental justice. In addition to graduate employees, we welcome undergraduate students and C-U community members to participate. The next Solidarity Committee meeting is on Monday, September 24th at 5 PM at the GEO Office. If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email or just come to the next meeting.

NEW! Constitutional Committee
Interested in structure and community values? Like clarifying procedures and logistics? Just want to know more about GEO? Join the newly formed Constitutional Committee to work on updating our Constitution and By-Laws! 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. Email if you would like to pitch in!

Questions About Healthcare? Email the Healthcare Working Group!

We know you have questions about what healthcare options are offered by our current contract, and we remain committed to guaranteed accessible and affordable healthcare for all graduate students. Our Healthcare Working Group is a member-led caucus that works towards informing members and organizing around our healthcare. If you have any questions about your healthcare or are interested in working towards improving it, you can contact the Healthcare Working Group at!  




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 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


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