On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, University of Michigan Administration provided a comprehensive offer to graduate workers for their three-year employment contract starting in Fall 2023. The offer shows serious movement in key areas of GEO’s campaign platform, and include: (1) 20% raises on Ann Arbor campus; (2) the Rackham Plan in grad workers’ contract; (3) expanded access to childcare subsidy; (4) meaningful movement towards the creation of a transitional funding program. The offer leaves these issues unresolved: (1) no pay parity across Ann Arbor, Dearborn & Flint campuses; (2) many grads excluded from Rackham Plan; (3) Limited movement in key areas such as provisions for transgender healthcare, disability accommodations, and COVID protections. See the full text of the offer at bit.ly/UMOfferAug2.
UM’s offer indicated that a response was expected at 5PM on August 4, a mere 48 hours after the offer was sent, or else the offer would “expire.” GEO held a General Membership Meeting the evening of Thursday, August 3, where workers came to the consensus that 48 hours is insufficient time to respond to management’s offer. They overwhelmingly voted to initiate a week of discussion and reconvene on August 10, at which point it will be decided to either move to ratification or vote on a counterproposal. On Friday, August 4 at 4:59 PM, GEO President Jared Eno informed UM Administration of membership’s decision to move forward with a week of deliberation. Bargaining sessions have been scheduled for this coming week in order to clarify the current offer’s terms, and working groups will be convening throughout the week to discuss what the offer lacks and how to move forward.
Over the next week, grads will come together in department meetings, caucus meetings, and issue-specific working groups to evaluate U-M’s comprehensive proposal. They will meet again on August 10 for a General Membership Meeting to move to ratify U-M’s proposal or offer a counter proposal
Evelyn Smith, Ross PhD, GEO Lead Negotiator
“This offer – the first real offer we have received from U-M in the course of these negotiations – represents a positive step forward and solid foundation for a settlement, but it is not perfect, and it is up to members to decide how to proceed.”
Jared Eno, Sociology PhD, GEO President
“We are taking this proposal very seriously. Our proposed timeline best balances our commitment to democratic process with the need to move quickly.”