GMM will discuss our response to UM’s counterproposals

GEO’s next GMM will be Monday, February 20th, at 6PM in the Ballroom at the Union. The meeting is scheduled for an hour and a half and has a very full agenda, so please arrive on time if at all possible. This will be an important GMM as we will be discussing what to do with our bargaining proposals now that we have received counter-proposals from UM.

Below is a list of our major initial proposals and what UM has responded with. Please read them over before the meeting and come with an idea of what your bottom line would be:

What we proposed:

  1. A 20% raise over 3 years (which would get us to Ann Arbor cost of living)
  2. Provide Grad Students doing work for the UM DEI plan to be compensated as GSSAs (many do the work for free currently)
  3. A Yearly cap of $100 on co-pays (which is the average amount a GEO member tends to spend on co-pays every year, and a reducing mental health co-pays to $15 per visit (we use Gradcare for mental health visits more than almost all other reasons combined)
  4. Reduced yearly co-pay caps for prescription drugs ($1,500 per person rather than the current $2,500)
  5. Expanded Trans health benefits
  6. Harder hours caps, which would apply for the whole unit but would specifically help international student GSIs who can not “fluctuate above the norm” of their weekly work hours due to visa rules (and could expose themselves to danger if they report it). Also created firmer deadlines for when you need to be notified that you have a GSI position.
  7. Free Dental Option 2
  8. Expanded Parental Leave for 16 weeks rather than the current 6, and decouple it from your sick time (so you do not burn all of your sick time at a moment when you have an infant). Also increased bereavement leave from 3 to 10 days and asked for professional development leave for conferences.
  9. Updates to the Childcare Subsidy both to address access to the program and increase the amounts to more accurately reflect the cost of childcare
  10. Retirement matching by UM beginning your second term of eligibility, and expanded parking access.
  11. Expand the full tuition waiver to all fractions (currently only applies to anyone above .237)
  12. Get rid of the second tier wage structure for Flint and provide the GSIs there with gradcare (currently they get paid less and are not given benefits).
  13. Expanded access to orientations for GEO (which is very important during Right to Work), as well as placing our contract end date during the academic year rather than after (it hurts our ability to bargain if we are forced to continue bargaining once everyone leaves for the summer)
  14. Added protections against Academic Retaliation (rather than just employment retaliation).

What we received back from UM:

  1. We asked for a 20% raise over 3 years to get us up to cost of living, they are offering us 6%
  2. The rejected our co-pay caps for mental health and doctor visits
  3. They rejected our DEI proposal to create GSSA positions for people doing diversity labor
  4. They offered 2 more weeks of parental leave, but only if it is deemed “medically necessary”
  5. They offered 2 more days of bereavement leave, but only in “extenuating circumstances”
  6. They are trying to change the formula on how grad care premiums are calculated, we are still researching what, if any, affect this would have.
  7. They rejected our proposals for retirement matching and expanded parking access.
  8. They want to add a penalty for striking that includes a loss of our dues deductions, they do not want to grant us more access during orientations (which would be helpful under Right to Work), and they want our contract to continue expiring in the Spring (when no one is here).
  9. They rejected our proposal to add restrictions on “academic retaliation” to our contract.

As you can see, we have some work to do, and we need guidance from as many members as possible. So please attend the GMM and make sure to bring your colleagues.

The University’s Counter-Proposals are Unacceptable