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

News and GEO-L

Member Communications

Budget Vote Results, October GMMs and More


Table of Contents:


    • Budget Voting Results and Update

    • Meet Your Officers

    • GEO Library Survey


    • October General Membership Meetings

    • GMM Survey

    • Abortion Legalization in Argentina: A Conversation with Leaders

    • NEW GEO Swag

    • Tuesday Volunteer Hours





Budget Vote Results and Update

At the September 20th GMM, we voted on the proposed budget for this year, which is linked here. We are grateful for all of your questions and comments about the budget, and thanks to all the members who took the time to vote. We are pleased to announce that the budget passed with 90% approval!

We want to note that, in light of the Janus vs. AFSCME decision, we have had to provisionally cut our discretionary budget in half (to understand why, read our GMM slides here). Please let us know if you have any questions or would like more information about this year’s budget by emailing our Treasurer at

Meet Your Officers

At the last GMM, the elected officers of the GEO introduced themselves to the membership -- you can view the slides here. Below is your current GEO Officer Roster:

Co-President: Bruce Kovanen, English

Co-President: Hilary Gross, English

Stewards Council Co-Chair: Roshni Bano, Physics

Stewards Council Co-Chair: Brianne Gutmann, Physics

Stewards Council Coordinator: Chibundo Egwuatu, Anthropology

Stewards Council Liaison: Ryan Levy, Physics

Stewards Council Liaison: Beau Barber, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Solidarity Office: Carolina Ortega, History

Communications Officer (Interim): Thomas Day, History

Grievance Officer: Joe Izaguirre, Communication

Officer-at-Large: Andy Bowman, English/Writing Studies

Officer-at-Large: Tara Hatfield, Musicology

Officer-at-Large: Michelle Victora, Physics

Treasurer: Allan Axelrod, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

As you may have noticed, we have been posting about our officers on social media. You can expect even more Meet Your Officers posts in the coming days. If you’re not yet following the GEO on social media, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

GEO Library Survey

Thanks to our enterprising members, the GEO office is considering using our office to host a library on labor and union resources. All our members are invited to have a say in what this library looks like and who it serves. Please take a moment to fill out this short survey and check out the great work our members are already doing to help keep the union, and the community, strong and informed!

For more information on the library and what you might find there, please reach out to GEO member Chrissy O'Grady at



Next General Membership Meetings on October 18th, 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm

In an effort to make the General Membership Meetings (GMMs) as accessible as possible, we will be holding two GMMs on October 18th at 12: pm and 6:30 pm. Both GMMs will be held at the Channing Murray Foundation. Dinner will be provided at the 6:30 meeting. Doors will open around 15 minutes prior to the start of the GMM. General Membership Meetings are members only, but if you’re not a member, you can sign up at the door or online at Please attend for more information about GEO and to learn how to get involved!

GMM Survey

If you have any feedback about previous GMMs or any suggestions for upcoming GMMs please take a moment to complete our GMM Survey. We are especially interested in whether or not the current GMM meeting times work for our membership. If they don’t, please suggest alternative GMM times in the last two questions of the survey. Your feedback and suggestions will help us make the General Membership Meetings as effective and beneficial as possible for all of our members.

Abortion Legalization in Argentina: A Conversation with Leaders

This past summer, feminist activists in Argentina made history by bringing the first ever bill to legalize/decriminalize abortion to the legislature. Although the bill failed by a handful of votes, it was nonetheless a massive victory for the Argentine, and greater Latin American, feminist movements. Even now, abortion is only legal in three Latin American countries, and is punishable as a crime in many. Although this may seem distant, women’s rights and labor rights are crucially connected, and it is our duty to support the cause of labor and gender justice around the globe. Join the GEO Solidarity Committee on Wednesday, October 3rd from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Channing Murray Foundation (1209 W. Oregon St. Urbana) for an afternoon of international solidarity as we Skype with leaders from the National Campaign for the Right to Legal Safe and Free Abortion (Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito). Empanadas and English translation will be provided! Here is the Facebook event with more information.


Back by popular demand: GEO beanies! With the weather turning cold, now is the perfect time to pick one up at the GEO Office (809 S. 5th St., in the McKinley Foundation’s Geneva Room) and support our union in style. And while you’re there, why not help out with...

Tuesday Volunteer Hours!

Want to help your union but don’t know how? Want to get first dibs on GEO Swag? 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. For more information, take a look at the Facebook event here!



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, October 11th 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

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 October 9th 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. If you are interested in joining the Solidarity Committee, please email

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

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In Solidarity,

Graduate Employees’ Organization

809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room

Champaign, IL 61820


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