Offer Text and Background
On September 16, 2020, GEO members voted to accept an offer from U-M under the threat of injunction and end our strike for a safe and just campus. 1,074 GEO members voted to accept the university’s offer, 239 members voted to reject it, and 66 abstained.
What We Won
This isn’t the offer we wanted; it isn’t the offer we — and all of the U-M community — deserved. But in the face of the University’s threats and bullying, GEO’s member power still won critical progress.
We won workable pandemic childcare options; substantive support for international graduate students; transparent COVID-19 testing protocols; and incremental but real movement on our policing demands, including a commitment to a revision of the Michigan Ambassadors program, a commitment to substantive consultation with the undergraduate Students of Color Liberation Front about changing the role of the police in the revised program, a commitment to meetings with Regents on public safety, and a commitment to a policing task force that works with the SoC LF and GEO, evaluates best practices for DPSS information transparency, and issues a public report with recommendations on policing. Two days after GEO accepted this offer, the University announced an end to the Michigan Ambassador program all together.
Our victories on policing in particular came from our members’ refusal to abandon these demands by accepting a first offer with zero progress on them, and, importantly, from the work of some of our Black members to reorient around and win strategic first victories in a long-term abolitionist organizing campaign.
What Comes Next
GEO is still fighting. We’re standing shoulder to shoulder with undergraduate resident assistants, who have reached a deal with the university, and MDining workers, who have not, in both of their ongoing and courageous struggles for safe working conditions. We’re going to hold the University’s new policing task force accountable for enacting substantive, ongoing change in campus policing. We’re continuing to support our members in grieving individual health and safety violations.
Members, check your email and follow GEO on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates about ongoing organizing and how you can join in. Together, we’ll keep fighting for a safe and just campus for all.