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

News and GEO-L

Member Communications

Next GMM, Issue Campaign Sign Up, CFT Rally Today and More

Table of Contents:


    • Help us plan a campaign around our issues!

    • Finance Survey

    • Early Voting on Campus


    • Next GMM: November 29th @ 12-1 PM and 6:30-7:30 PM

    • Coffee with Co-Presidents

    • Come to the Champaign Federation of Teachers’ Rally at Windsor TODAY

    • Rally to Celebrate Almost 100 Years of Women Voting, Friday, 11/2 @ noon

    • Breaking the Silence: A Collective Art Project, Monday, 11/12 @ 3 - 5:30 PM

    • STEM workers, please support the Marriott Strikers’ Demands on Technology





Help us plan a campaign around our issues!

At the last GMM, we heard testimonials about ongoing workplace issues, such as the taxation of Graduate Assistant tuition waivers, lack of guaranteed summer health care, lack of access to affordable childcare, and excessive fees. We discussed how we could organize outside of contract negotiations and effect changes in university policy to address these issues, but we need your help to take the next step! Sign up here to join the Issue Campaigns Working Group, and help us plan a successful campaign.

First, we need to understand and investigate the issues and potential solutions so we can come together to decide how best to fight for change. Then, we’ll plan forums and actions that show our collective power. Experienced members from the current and past GEO leadership will be available for support throughout this process. Any time you can commit is valuable.  

Early Voting Available on Campus

Early voting is now happening in Room 404 of the Illini Union. It is available to any voter registered in Champaign County through November 5th. If you are eligible to vote but not yet registered, you can register and vote at the same time at any early voting location through November 5th or at your precinct voting location on Election Day, November 6th. To register and vote you need a photo ID (an I-Card will work) and something recent (a lease, a bill, a piece of mail) with your current address. If you are already registered to vote you do not need a photo ID nor any proof of address.

Voting hours at the Illini Union are 10a-6p Monday through Friday (including Monday, 11/5), Saturday, November 3rd from 10a-1p, and Sunday, November 4th from 10a-4p. Other early voting locations and hours are posted here. You can view your ballot here (you can print this and take it with you to vote) and you can find your election day polling place here.

Finance Survey

At the last GMM, our Treasurer Allan Axelrod proposed a finance survey to gather member data to aid in the upcoming issues campaigns and contract bargaining, as well as to shape future GEO finance committee events. The GMM attendees voted that the proposed survey would better serve us all with the following modifications:

  1. Terms of use for the survey data must be explicitly given.

    1. Terms of use: The identifying information in the survey responses will only be accessible to members of the GEO finance committee. The only details that members of the GEO finance committee may communicate are aggregate survey data such as count and statistical data. Communications regarding survey data will only be used for informing issue campaigns, contract bargaining and GEO finance committee events for members.

  2. A privacy disclaimer must be added to clarify that survey data would not be anonymous, but that identifying information would not be disclosed outside to anyone outside of the members and committees defined in the survey’s terms of use.

    1. Privacy disclaimer: Survey responses are not anonymous. The GEO finance committee will have access to identifying information of respondents. However, the GEO finance committee will not disclose identifying information, and GEO finance committee communication will be governed by the terms of use for the survey data.

  3. A feedback form must be presented in a GEO-L in addition to the survey to facilitate a comment period.

The survey draft is here, and the anonymous feedback form is here.  The feedback period is from today until Thursday, November 8th, 2018. Thank you to all who helped to inform this process, thus far! If you have any additional comments or concerns, please email



Next General Membership Meetings on November 29th, 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm

The next General Membership Meetings will be held at 12 PM and 6:30 PM on November 29th @ the Channing-Murray Foundation (1209 W Oregon St). At the GMM you will have a chance to provide feedback to the Solidarity Committee -- the committee that connects the GEO to other movements and social justice projects through financial endorsements, statements of support, collaborations, and more -- during the SolComm Open House. The Issue Campaigns Working Group will also be introduced at this meeting along with important announcements about the annual “Tutor-In.”

If you have any feedback about previous GMMs or any suggestions for upcoming GMMs, please take a moment to complete our GMM Survey. Your feedback and suggestions will help us make the General Membership Meetings as effective and beneficial as possible for all of our members.

Coffee with the Co-Presidents on November 8th

Our Co-Presidents, Bruce Kovanen and Hilary Gross, hold an open coffee and tea hour every Thursday at 2pm at the GEO office located in the McKinley Foundation (809 S 5th St). 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. This afternoon we will be making signs for the Champaign Federation of Teachers Rally at Windsor later today. For more information, check out the Facebook event.

Rally to Celebrate Almost 100 Years of Women Voting, Friday, 11/2 @ noon

Breaking the Silence: A Collective Art Project, Monday, 11/12 @ 3 - 5:30 PM

Please join Students Against Sexual Assault, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies for a rally to celebrate women’s political power THIS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND. We’ll be meeting at noon in front of Alma Mater to hear from a diverse array of speakers on how issues like immigration, healthcare, mass incarceration affect women, and techniques for lifting up other women in our political discourse, including women of color, transwomen, incarcerated women, and sex workers. Together we will make our voices heard!

The rally will be followed by Breaking the Silence: A Collective Art Project hosted by the University YMCA on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH from 3 – 5:30 pm.  This will be a breaking and making mosaic project led by Susan Parenti of the School for Designing a Society. Please bring something to break (i.e. a cup, saucer, glass, etc.), a plastic bag to break it in, an idea for what to create from the shards, and some sturdy vinyl gloves. You can also show up empty handed—we’ll have extras. Mosaics will be on display after the event!

For more information, please check out our Facebook events here and here!

Champaign Federation of Teachers’ Rally at Windsor TODAY (11/1) @ 3:30 pm

Champaign Federation of Teachers are holding a Rally at Windsor today at 3:30 pm, at the Unit 4 Administrative Center (502 W Windsor Rd, Champaign, IL 61820). Their contract expired on June 30th and bargaining with a mediator has not led to a fair contract yet. CFT is preparing to strike right now. As we know very well, teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions, so come out to support CFT!

STEM workers: please support the Marriott Strikers’ Demands on Technology

STEM workers: please sign this petition from Science for the People to support the striking Marriott workers’ demands for a say over the deployment of new workplace technologies, especially when those technologies could endanger their livelihoods. As you may know, unionized Marriott workers across the country have been on strike for more than three weeks asking Marriott, one of the largest corporations in the world, to compensate them fairly, because One Job Should be Enough. You can read more about the Marriott strike here and follow the picket lines through the locals’ Facebook pages.


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, November 8th 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 Thursday, November 8th 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 November 6th 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 November 12th 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

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


GEO-LThomas DayGEO-L