Summer GradCare Coverage

If you were a GSI or GSSA during the Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 semesters (even if you’re graduating) or if you were a GSI or GSSA in Winter 2019 and you will be a GSI or GSSA in Fall 2019, you are guaranteed our zero premium GradCare coverage during the spring and summer months.

This should be automatic and is handled by department administration. However, if you filled these teaching requirements and believe you are not receiving spring/summer coverage, please contact your department administration and umgeo@geo3550.org

as soon as possible to have any errors corrected.

* If you teach either spring or summer term, GradCare works the same way. You need to teach two contiguous terms prior to a covered non-teaching term (ex: Winter 2019 and Spring 2019 gets you covered for Summer 2019), or teach in the term before and after your non-teaching term (ex: Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 gets you covered Summer 2019).


Rights and Benefits as Spring-Summer GSI

If you are working this spring or summer as a GSI or GSSA, remember to take a look at the rights and benefits contained in your contract. You can find them in our handy contract digest!

Be sure to track your hours and ask about compensation if your summer job required course prep before the start of your appointment.


Concerns about how your department handles job offers? We want to know!

Recently members have reached out to GEO with concerns over how departments have made spring/summer offers, including:

  • Requiring work before the start of the appointment

  • Making “pre offers” that seem to go around our contractual guarantees

  • Making offers late in the Winter term, leaving little time for preparation

If you have stories or concerns about how your department handles the hiring process, we want to know! Contact the Grievance Committee at grrrchair@geo3550.org.


U-M Expands Trans Health Coverage after GEO Campaign

After a long year of organizing and advocacy efforts from GEO members, the University has agreed to extend all UM coverage plans to include Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS), permanent hair removal, and Adam’s apple reduction as fully covered benefits! These changes will go into effect on July 1st of this year.

We cannot express enough gratitude to our allies for their help in this fight. Find more details about the coverage for gender-affirming care under UM health plans in their info sheet.

You can read news stories on this victory from the Michigan Daily, U-M Record, and MLive.

The GEO Trans Health committee will continue to advocate for trans health equity. To get involved in future efforts, email transhealthchair@geo3550.org.

Consider Contributing Spring-Summer Solidarity Dues

Our recent victory expanding trans health coverage for all U-M health plans is an example of how GEO’s work benefits a broader community of graduate students who may not be GSIs or GSSAs.

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 Movie Nights – Hosted by Solidarity and Political Action Committee (SPAC)

Join us for our Movie Nights this spring and summer. Snacks will be provided and there is free parking on Sundays at the Liberty Lane Parking Structure! All Movie Nights start at 5pm, at 339 E Liberty St. #340 (3rd floor, above Isalita/Mani).

Family Nights are particularly kid-friendly, but anyone is welcome to attend. Feel free to bring friends and family to any GEO movie nights, but be aware that some movies may be unsuitable for kids.


Get Involved this Summer in GEO

The summer is a great time to get involved with committee work at GEO. Committees meet  to work on summer projects, working flexibly with committee members’ summer schedules. Regardless of your summer travels, get in touch with committees you may be interested to get involved.

  • Bargaining Committee Now that we have voted on a preliminary bargaining platform, help conduct research and write draft proposals! This is exciting behind-the-scenes work that is essential to having a strong bargaining year. To get involved, email: bargainingcommitteechair@geo3550.org

  • Solidarity and Political Action Committee (SPAC) – Get involved with GEO’s committee engaged in solidarity work with local organizations and keeping members informed and engaged in local politics: solidarity@geo3550.org

  • Grievance Committee – Winning a strong contract is only a part of what GEO does, we also enforce the contract by representing members who experience workplace problems and contract violations: grrrchair@geo3550.org

  • Feminist Caucus – Join efforts to address sexual harassment and misconduct through the contract and within the university: feministchair@geo3550.org

Newsletter 5/6: Summer Gradcare, GSI Offer Letters, Announcements