solidarity across unions

Thursday, August 05, 2004

GEO-AFT/IFT 6300 ratifies first contract GEO and the University of Illinois administration reached a tentative agreement on July 15. In two weeks of voting ending August 2, 610 members voted in favor of the contract, 10 against. GEO's current membership is 1172, including 125 new members this summer, most of whom joined during the ratification vote. Once the Board of Trustees approves the contract it will be posted online and I'll provide a link. For now, a few highlights: GEO secured a 3% raise for all assistants in each year of the contract, plus a 3.75% increase of the minimum stipend in the first year (2003-04); beginning in Year 2 (04-05) the university will pay the health services fee ($181/semester) and contribute $50/semester towards health insurance; in year 3 the insurance contribution will rise to $100/semester; and, most importantly, we've got fair share. Press coverage can be found here, here, and here. ------ I have a few thoughts on union democracy that I hope to post here sometime in the next few weeks, for now though I have a question. Here at the GEO we were very happy to be able to turn out over 600 ratification votes during a period when many of our members are out of town. What I'm not sure of, however, is what kind of turnout grad unions typically shoot for and achieve. So, what would you consider a success on your campus?

The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions is a loose-knit coalition of labor unions in the USA and Canada that represents graduate students employed as teachers, researchers, and administrative staff.