Sunday, November 15, 2009

Strike Volunteers -- Applications Being Accepted

Doesn't the GEO understand that our university is strapped right now?

I wonder if a majority of parents and students will respond in the way that the GEO wants, or if they will be angry at a group that's preventing their kids from getting the education they've paid for.

One further point here, then I'll have done: isn't it convenient to think that the GEO speaks for all grad students?  Then you don't have to work to understand what indiviudal grad students really think!  Unfortunately for the author of the email below, supporting grad students is more complicated than simply parroting the GEO.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brad Bolton <>
Date: Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Hey Amnesty,

Since we decided to support the GEO last week, I thought I'd pass this along to all of you - it's a call for support and contains information about the strike.  Feel free to pass this on to anyone else you know.

We'll be sending our usual reminder tomorrow, so this is it for now - have a great night and remember to support our grad students!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Miriam Larson <>
Date: Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Hi folks,

This is an updated call for support with information about the strike and a more specific appeal to undergraduates and parents. Could someone please post this on facebook? Hopefully grads on strike will send this around to their undergrads and we'll post the UGA statement as well as this and the info about the Tuesday meeting on the website.

Hope to see you tomorrow!



The Graduate Employees' Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, calls for the support of undergraduate students, parents of undergraduates, and citizens of Illinois. As a final recourse to secure tuition waivers for graduate employees, the GEO has authorized a strike against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois to begin at 8am on Monday morning.

After nearly seven months of negotiations, the GEO believes that we have provided the administration with every opportunity to avert a strike and ensure that classes are not disrupted. Our teaching and our relationships with our students is an incredibly rewarding part of our work and a top priority. However, we have been given no choice but to withhold our labor in order to secure tuition waivers. This request will not increase the University's costs, but it will help maintain the quality and accessibility of this university. If tuition waivers were rescinded, graduate education would be even further restricted to those with access to significant financial resources and our public university system will have failed in its core mission to guarantee access to education. We hope that undergraduates and parents of undergraduates will stand with us in holding the administration accountable.

Please help us make this strike as short as possible by calling Robert Easter, Interim Provost/Chancellor of the UIUC campus, and Christopher Kennedy, the Chair of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. A script and phone numbers are included below. In addition you can send an email by visiting: 

Provost Easter: (please consider adding a personal note to these emails)

Chair of the Board of Trustees Christopher Kennedy:

Thank you for your support. Please visit for the most up to date information on the bargaining process and the strike.


Miriam Larson
GEO Staff

Phone Numbers and Script: 
Robert Easter, Interim Provost
Phone: (217) 244-4545

ALSO . . .

Christopher G. Kennedy, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chair, President MMPI
Phone: (312) 527-7890 x7890

-Ask for Robert Easter or Christopher Kennedy. If they are not available, ask to leave a message.

- Introduce yourself and any affiliation with the University (especially if you are a current student, an alumnus, the parent of a student, or a faculty/staff member).

- I support the GEO and urge you to call off the strike by securing tuition waivers for graduate employees.

- Tuition waivers ensure the quality and competitiveness of the U of I and ensure that graduate education at the University of Illinois is accessible.

Thank you for supporting the University of Illinois Graduate Students! For the most recent information, visit


URBANA-CHAMPAIGN (November 15): The strike committee of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO), American Federation of Teachers/Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 6300, AFL-CIO, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has authorized a strike against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois to begin at 8am on Monday morning. After six hours of negotiation on Saturday afternoon, the GEO and administration bargaining teams managed to reach mutually agreeable terms on all aspects of the GEO contract except tuition waiver security. The administration's refusal to guarantee the continuation of its current tuition waiver practice not only means that the majority of graduate employees could be forced to pay thousands of dollars in additional tuition charges, but also indicates its plans to implement such a change. By making graduate education untenable for all but the most affluent students, the administration is abandoning its responsibility to ensure access to the highest level of public education for all.  This is contrary to the University of Illinois' mission as a public land grant institution.  By calling a strike, the Graduate Employees' Organization is holding the University of Illinois administration accountable to its stated commitment to excellent and accessible higher education.

The GEO is a labor union representing all teaching and graduate assistants (TAs and GAs) on the UIUC campus.  With over 2600 GEO members, and over 2600 graduate employees represented in the bargaining unit, the GEO is one of the largest higher education union locals in the United States.  Over the course of a three day vote, an overwhelming 92% of participating UIUC GEO members voted last week to authorize a strike against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Peter Campbell, GEO Communications Officer,, 253-222-5861, or the GEO office at, 217-344-8283, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL, 61820.  Information about the GEO can also be found on our website at

To Unsubscribe: Send an email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UIUC.EDU In the body of the email, type SIGNOFF amnesty-international-l

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

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