New Year’s Resolutions  

  • Track your hours! Make sure your work remains within your appointment fraction. Your department is required to send out a fraction calculation within 14 days of your start date. Get in touch with GEO if you end up going above your hours during the term. Check out resources for tracking hours on our website.
  • Know your rights and benefits as a GSI or GSSA by skimming our readable Contract Digest!
  • Get involved with the IGSI (International GSI) Caucus! GEO’s caucus for IGSIs is looking for new members. This is a working group open to anyone interested in maintaining and improving the conditions for international graduate students on campus. This is a voluntary position and co-chairs are free to choose how much time they can devote to the caucus. Interested? Email: internationalchair@geo3550.org
  • Don’t overpay for mental health services! Find a step-by-step explanation of how to determine the amount you’ve paid in mental health copays and how to enforce our annual cap of $700 per individual and $1400 per family on our website’s newest FAQ page.

Thurs. January 23, 2020

6pm – Rackham Amphitheatre (4th Floor)

Come learn the latest from the bargaining table and weigh in on what we’re hearing from University HR!


Informed Consent Hormone Therapy

For employees on a U-M health plan (such as GradCare), cross-sex Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can now be initiated on the basis of informed consent! This means that employees do not need to submit a psychological letter of support to be eligible for an HRT prescription. The U-M prescription drug plan does not require a letter to receive coverage for an HRT prescription, and information about how to set up an appointment with providers who will see patients without a letter can be found on the Michigan Medicine transgender services webpage.

It’s your body, and gender transition should fundamentally be your choice. We are therefore very excited to hear that U-M will affirm your right to make an informed choice, in consultation with relevant medical professionals.

Get more information on obtaining HRT prescriptions.


Bargaining is in full swing and the GEO Bargaining Team is wrapping up the process of introducing all our proposed contract changes. Once all proposed language is introduced, we can start to expect counter-proposals from the University.

So far, the GEO Bargaining Team has had especially engaged conversations with the University around hours tracking and hours caps, trans health provisions, protections against sexual harassment and misconduct, and how we define a GSSA position. The University has also proposed contract language that would require GSIs and GSSAs to disclose felony charges and convictions, per the Standard Practice Guide (SPG 601.38) released last year. The Bargaining Team has introduced language, approved at our last GMM, prohibiting discrimination based on legal history, and is communicating to HR our members’ concerns around the potentially discriminatory effect of the SPG.

In general, it is hard to say how far apart we are on most issues, but the Team remains optimistic and is looking forward to receiving further counter-proposals from the University soon.

The Team also invites our members to observe bargaining sessions and participate in caucuses (breaks from bargaining when the Team discusses and makes decisions about proposed contract language). Your presence in the room contributes to our power at the table and attending bargaining sessions and caucuses is a great way to make your voice heard. Sign up to attend a bargaining session as an observer.To learn more about a specific issue and to get more involved, contact the Bargaining Committee Co-Chairs atbargainingchair@geo3550.org.


Strengthen our bargaining position by paying solidarity dues!

Not teaching this term? Graduate students benefit from GEO even when we aren’t teaching — including through GradCare, tuition waivers, and annual raises — and we all have a vested interest in keeping our union strong. What’s more, this is the first year GEO is bargaining under Michigan’s new anti-union right-to-work laws. Paying solidarity dues is an important way to show the administration how strong our union remains and help win the protections we deserve.

See your options for contributing solidarity dues in terms you do not teach. Don’t forget to renew your solidarity dues if you set them up last semester.


Community Cooking: Dumplings!

Come be in community, learn how to make delicious dumplings, help feed your fellow students, and learn about food justice initiatives going on at U-M. Look out for future Community Cooking Events!

January 19, 2020 @ 12:00pm-6:00pm

Munger Residence Hall, 540 Thompson St.

RSVP Here

(Sponsored by: GEO, GRIN, and UAAO)

Newsletter 1/17/20: GMM, Bargaining Update, and More