The Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) is the labor union representing Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) and Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs) at the University of Michigan. GEO was founded in 1970 and we won our first contract in 1975, making GEO one of the oldest graduate employee unions in the United States.
GEO is an activist, democratic and volunteer-run organization where graduate employees come together to improve our wages and working conditions. The collective action of GEO members, organized as a union, is responsible for many of the concrete benefits that graduate employees now enjoy. Over the last 40 years, victories have included tuition waivers, health benefits, and child care waivers as well as a powerful grievance procedure to protect our rights, transparent hiring processes, and standard setting non-discrimination language. Graduate employees across the country look to GEO as an example of what can be accomplished when we work together.
GEO is Local 3550 of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). GEO works closely with our state federation, AFT-Michigan, to enforce and expand the collective bargaining rights of graduate employees on our campus and throughout the state. Through AFT, GEO is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO) and with the Alliance of Graduate Employee Locals (AGEL). We are also committed members of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Locals (CGEU).