Good luck to all GSIs and GSSAs on the new semester!
A few important start-of-term reminders:
- Track your hours! Make sure your work expectations remain within your appointment fraction and that youhave documentation to show if you are consistently going above your hours during the term. Check out our resources for tracking hours here.
- If you are an international GSI or GSSA, fill out your SEVIS FEE reimbursement form
- Our newly won $700 annual cap on mental health copays in now in effect! You can track your spending by logging into you healthcare benefits account.
- Alert Rackham at the start of the term if you plan to use your Childcare Subsidy by filling out this form. Doing so will avoid retroactive reductions of the subsidy from need-based grants you receive. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Recruiting for GEO Sexual Harassment Committee
We need your help! GEO members are beginning to meet in order to address harassment and sexual misconduct at UM. This issue is widespread among college campuses and there is significant interest in researching how graduate students can help change the culture and policies of the university and beyond. If you’re interested in getting involved, please email email@example.com. Our next meeting will be Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 11am
in the GEO office (339 E. Liberty Street Suite 340).
Not Teaching this Term?
GEO is a labor union representing graduate student employees, yet many of the benefits we negotiate in our contract become the baseline for graduate student packages and are extended to graduate students even when they don’t teach. These include GradCare, tuition waivers, and annual raises. All graduate students benefit from GEO and have a vested interest in keeping our union strong. See your options for contributing solidarity dues in terms you do not teach!
GEO Supports the Ongoing Prisoners’ Strike!
GEO (AFT-MI Local 3550, AFL-CIO) supports the National Prisoners Strike, August 21st to September 9th, 2018. The nationwide strike is being called in response to the incident of violence at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, April 2018, in which dozens of workers were injured and seven were killed. These deaths could have easily been avoided had the facility not been overcrowded; had the inmates not been subjected to hopeless and violent conditions; and had prison guards and EMTs not waited hours before intervening. In the aftermath, all Level 2 and 3 facilities in South Carolina were put on statewide lockdown, denying prisoners any freedom of movement, regular access to showers, recreation, or meals outside their cells.
Organizers of the strike are thus fighting for humane living and working conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform, and an end to mass incarceration. (The full list of demands can be found here).
The strike call has also been endorsed by, amongst others, the Graduate Employees’ Organization (IFT/AFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW); Jailhouse Lawyers Speak; Millions for Prisoners; The People’s Consortium.
- Common Dreams’ report in the lead-up to August 21.
- GEO 6300 at UIUC’s solidarity statement.
- Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee’s solidarity statement.
- MAPS (Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity) action page.
- Welcome Back Party! – Sep 21, 7pm, Neutral Zone, 310 E. Washington St.
- General Membership Meeting – Oct. 3, 6pm, Rackham Amphitheater, 4th floor
- Members are welcome at all GEO committee meetings and Stewards’ Councils. These are always listed on our website, and you can also subscribe to the GEO Google Calendar.