GEO Members Talk “Strike” at Mass Meeting
On Feb 21, over 600 grads discussed the lack of progress at the table. Members heard from colleagues struggling to get by. Nico in Anthro spoke of working 12-hour days and multiple jobs just to afford basic necessities. Abigail in Math spoke about the mental health strain caused by hostility she and her friends experienced at U-M. Alice in American Culture spoke about difficulties finding & affording childcare. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The deadline for a tentative agreement is March 1. We should be wrapping up our contract! For more than three months we’ve shown up to open bargaining in large numbers, spoken to individual Regents, raised awareness by info-picketing University events, and attended Regents’ Meetings en masse. The discussion of what to do next quickly converged on preparing for a strike. Members decided to collect strike pledges, the first step toward strike authorization.
North Campus Bargaining: Last Session Before TA Deadline
Even though the March 1 Tentative Agreement deadline is less than a week away, it is clear management has no intention of honoring it. With the majority of proposals in their court, they only came with counters in a few areas. They hadn’t done their homework, either: HR failed to produce the list of peer institutions that pay their grads as little as us. Grads’ research shows U-M is in the bottom fifth of its official peer list. HR also failed to produce a cost estimate for our universal tuition waiver proposal, despite claiming it was too expensive.
“I am deeply frustrated that we’re one week away from the deadline and they still haven’t been able to provide us with the list of peer institutions that they’re using to justify their insultingly low salary offer.”– Jeff, Electrical Engineering
GEO prez Jared Eno questioned HR on U-M’s unilateral decision to narrow its vaccine mandate and shut down testing sites. HR gave GEO 41 minutes’ notice of these changes. It’s hard to bargain in good faith while the boss makes unilateral changes to our working conditions.
“I was pretty furious hearing HR talk about the new vaccination policy. There’s no rationale behind their decision – they’re clearly not working in the best interest of workers.”– Hardik, Robotics
Over 1,000 GEO Members Pledge YES on Strike
From the nurses to the lecturers, HR only gave serious offers after union members voted to authorize a strike. We need a similar level of commitment if we’re going to win affordability and dignity at the table. To date, over 1,000 GEO members have pledged to vote yes on strike authorization. Sign the pledge and get your colleagues to do the same! bit.ly/GEOStrikePledge