Statement on Membership Dues Overcharges and the Upcoming IFT Convention
Table of Contents:
Membership Dues Overcharges
JOIN A GEO COMMITTEE!
CONNECT WITH GEO!
Membership Dues Overcharges
Dear GEO members,
As you may have noticed, the deduction of GEO dues by the University Payroll has been incorrect for the past three months. The University has overcharged our members holding TA and GA positions because of a failure to adjust the RA/PGA dues properly after the GEO membership voted to increase RA/PGA dues. In April 2019, members voted democratically to increase RA/PGA dues from $3 to $8/month; following the vote, our officers communicated the change to Payroll, which was supposed to take place over the summer. In July, UIUC payroll incorrectly increased dues for TA and GA members by $5. Our team of volunteers dealing with financial concerns and grievances communicated this error to University administration and ultimately filed a grievance and Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against the University in August when the error was not fully corrected. In response to our grievance and ULP, the University administration agreed to fix the mistakes in September, however, this week it’s clear that GEO members with TA and GA positions were again overcharged; this time the overcharge is $13.
GEO is very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused our members and we are trying our best to develop a quick reimbursement system for the overcharge. However, our financial team is made up of volunteers and the number of members affected is quite large. This means that a concrete effort from the University to resolve this issue would be remarkably helpful and we are focusing our energy on the grievance procedure. We are committed to being fully transparent about the process and keeping our members up to date. This message is a part of that commitment and though we cannot currently commit to a precise reimbursement date, we will follow up promptly. If you are severely affected by these overcharges, please contact email@example.com so we can discuss your individual situation. We are continuing to use all official channels available to us to rectify this mistake for the October pay cycle.
The current plan proposed by the University is to modify the dues of TAs and GAs affected by this most recent overcharge such that each TA and GA receives a $13 advance in their dues for the month of October; in effect, TA and GA dues should, barring any further mistakes by Payroll, be 2% minus $13 in October. RA/PGA dues will revert to $8 per month and remain there.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS:
April 2019 - GEO members vote to increase RA/PGA dues from $3 to $8
June 2019 - HR/Payroll confirm receipt of dues increase from GEO
July 2019 - Payroll changes RA/PGA dues to $8 but overcharges all TAs and GAs by $5
Payroll changes RA/PGA dues back to $3 so TAs/GAs pay the correct amount but RAs/PGAs are undercharged by $5
GEO files a grievance and an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against UIUC
GEO meets with HR who agree to fix the dues issue as quickly as possible if GEO drops the ULP and grievance
HR and GEO agree that: TAs and GAs will now only see one dues charge totaling 2%. Previously they had two amounts shown, totaling 2%—a $3 charge and then (2% - $3). Regular RA and PGA dues will be $8.
To correct the August underpayment, RAs and PGAs will pay $13 in September but revert to $8 in October.
September 2019 - HR again overcharges TAs and GAs by charging them 2% PLUS $13
October 2019 - Administration proposes a plan to reimburse TAs and GAs by decreasing their GEO dues by $13 for the month of October.
IFT Convention Delegates Election
On Wednesday October 2nd, we will be having an election to choose fellow GEO members as delegates to represent us at the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) Convention on October 18th-20th. More details, including polling locations, will be announced before the election.
This is of utmost importance to our union as we are attempting to pass an amendment that would lower the per-caps (similar to dues) that graduate employee locals pay to IFT. A significant contribution of our budget goes to per-cap payments towards IFT. Although IFT provides support to us in numerous ways, we do not always get to choose how they provide support and how they spend our per-cap payments. Lowering per-caps to IFT would provide more resources for a budget that OUR MEMBERSHIP can decide on.
In addition, Bansley and Kiener have completed the latest financial audit of our organization, for the year 2017-2018 (which overlaps with the last strike). This report is available for members to view at our office along with any of our tax returns, which, because we are a registered non-profit, are public.
If you are interested in nominating yourself as a delegate for the GEO or want to learn more, please contact our Steward Co-Chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day on September 25th. Housing and transport will be covered by the union for anyone who travels to this. We will be able to send 19 delegates and, as we know from the strike in Spring 2018, there is power in numbers. We are one of the largest IFT locals in the state of Illinois and having as many delegates as possible means the better chance we win.
JOIN A GEO COMMITTEE!
We are a member-run union; we depend on the commitment of our members to stay as strong as possible. You can find details about what each committee does and how to contact them on our website. No special knowledge is required. You can also follow the calendar of events on our website for the date and time of upcoming meetings: http://uiucgeo.org/calendar. Meetings are open to membership, and coming to a meeting does not commit you to joining a committee.
Healthcare Working Group (email@example.com) - Contact email for more
Stewards’ Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Monday September 23, 6-7:30pm
Finance Committee (email@example.com) - Contact email for more
Solidarity Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Wednesday September 25, 5:30-7pm
Grievance Committee (email@example.com) - Wednesday September 25, 2-3 pm
Communications Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Tuesday October 1, 6-7pm
Coordinating Committee (email@example.com) - Monday September 30, 4-5:30pm
RA/PGA Working Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Contact email for more
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820