The Graduate Employees’ Organization of the University of Michigan (AFT Local 3550) stands in solidarity with workers and students of New College of Florida against Governor Ron DeSantis’s brazen war on public higher education. DeSantis’ anti-Black, anti-queer, and anti-worker agenda
Negotiation Bulletin #13: Grad Workers Back from Break with a Bang
On March 7, nearly 100 grads and undergrad allies took the streets during President Ono’s inauguration to protest the University’s lack of serious counters. The action came hot on the heels of grads filing Unfair Labor Practice charges against the University for bargaining in bad faith. This pattern continued on Friday, as HR called a living wage for grad workers “exorbitant” and went to the mat to defend ableist policies. Meanwhile, Governor Gretchen Whitmer expressed her support for a living wage for grad students.
Press Release: GEO Files Charges Against U-M’s Unlawful Conduct as University Disregards Contractual Deadline
Following a Winter recess during which a contractual deadline for a tentative agreement passed, the Graduate Employees’ Organization (AFT-MI Local 3550) has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the University of Michigan for failing to bargain in good faith. The University has refused to provide information related to subjects of bargaining that it is legally required to share. Furthermore, U-M disregarded its legal duty to bargain with GEO over working conditions when it unilaterally changed its COVID policies on February 20, 2023. The legal charges come on the heels of a contractual March 1, 2023 deadline for a tentative agreement that the University made no serious effort to honor.
Negotiation Bulletin #12: Over 1,000 Pledge YES on Strike as 3/1 TA Deadline Passes
On Feb 21, over 600 grads discussed the lack of progress at the table. With the March 1 deadline for a tentative agreement looming, the discussion of what to do next quickly converged on strike preparation. At the last bargaining session before the TA deadline on February 24, it was clear that management had no intention of honoring the 3/1 deadline specified in our contract. Over 1,000 GEO members have now pledged “yes” on a strike authorization vote! ign the pledge and get your colleagues to do the same! bit.ly/GEOStrikePledge
Negotiation Bulletin #11: Grads Speak at Regents Meeting, HR Stalls at the Table
On Feb 16th, grad workers in GEO and P4P rallied outside the School of Social Work before packing the room at the Regents Meeting. MSW grad Justice Cook explained that many MSWs are forced to take second jobs, making degree requirements–including 900 unpaid internship hours–nearly impossible to fulfill. MSW Larisa Mednis urged the Regents to bargain with grads over MSW compensation. 70 MSWs do their field placements at U-M, providing the University with nearly $1.3 million in unpaid labour. At the bargaining table, HR once again struck all of our proposed contract language, but had to face a powerful testimony from a grad worker who said: “How dare [HR] propose such ridiculous proposals on compensation without even having done the math of how a grad student would survive on those amounts, especially for those of us with additional costs?”