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

News and GEO-L

Member Communications

GMM this Thursday on Issue Campaigns, Public Charge Rule and More

Table of Contents:


    • Issues Campaigns at Next GMM

    • Finance Survey Presentation, Q&A, and Vote

    • Check Your Employee Earnings Statement

    • Public Comment on Public Charge Rule


    • General Membership Meetings on 10/18

    • Coffee with the Co-Presidents on 10/18

    • Contracts on the Quad on 10/16

    • GMM Survey

    • New GEO Swag

    • Tuesday Volunteer Hours





Issues Campaigns at Next GMM

Make your voice heard on the workplace issues that impact you the most! Based on information gathered at our last GMM, the GEO is looking for members to provide testimonials on: Summer Healthcare, Fees, Childcare, and GA Tuition Taxation. These testimonials will be presented at the two General Membership Meetings on October 18th at the Channing-Murray Foundation.  If you want to provide a testimonial or have any questions, email us at:

Finance Survey Presentation, Q&A, and Vote

At the next GMM, there will be a presentation, Q&A, and vote on a survey regarding member finances and a potential financial seminar for members. If affirmed, the questions on finances would be used to aggregate financial information related to issue campaigns and our community. This information will also help us in our wage negotiations at the end of next year.

Check Your Employee Earnings Statement

Your net earnings statement for next week’s pay is now available. We highly recommend that everyone check their earnings statement so that 1) you can plan ahead financially, and 2) we can organize proactively around unfair or unexpected reductions in pay. The latter point is particularly important for GAs and PGAs, as tax withholdings tend to increase around this time of year.

Our earnings statements are available at as well as You can also find these links by searching “uiuc earnings statements” online. If you see anything wrong or confusing, email as soon as possible!

Public Comment on Public Charge Rule

On October 10th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a change to the Public Charge Rule. A “public charge” is someone who is likely to depend or currently depends on the US government for subsistence. To be admitted to the US one of the things Immigration Officers consider is whether or not the person is likely to become a public charge, which is a major factor in determining admission to the US. Right now only Cash Assistance (TANF, SSI, GA) and Medicaid long term care institution are considered in the Public Charge test. If someone is found to be a public charge, their green card/visa application will be denied. What this proposed change seeks to do is expand the categories of aid that determine if someone is a public charge. For more details on those changes please read here.

This could affect the types to public assistance international and immigrant GEO members can access, as well as their visas and ability to apply for legal permanent residency.

These changes have not been implemented yet! From now until December 10th, the public can make comments on whether or not these changes should be codified in DHS rules. To make a comment you can go to this website, which also contains more information on the public charge policy.



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 For more information, check out the Facebook events here and here.

Coffee with the Co-Presidents on October 18th

Our Co-Presidents, Bruce Kovanen and Hilary Gross will be holding an open coffee and tea hour on Thursdays at 2pm at the GEO office located in the McKinley Foundation. Ask questions, share ideas, voice concerns, or just have a chat! Your GEO officers and staff work for you, so don’t be afraid to stop by. For more information, check out the Facebook event.

Contracts (with Coffee!) on the Quad on October 16th

We will be tabling with our contracts tomorrow, Tuesday, October 16th, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at the Eternal Flame on the main 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!

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.


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 25th 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 attend our next meeting on October 25th at 4:00 PM 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 October 23rd 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 or attend our next meeting on October 22nd in the GEO Office.

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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