Hiring Notice: GEO Black Caucus Coordinator (EXTENDED DEADLINE)

Black Caucus Coordinator

Rationale:

The Black Caucus is a progressive, democratic organization of domestic and international Black and African-descended graduate student-workers dedicated to the pursuit of racial, gender and economic equality through active political participation.

The Black Caucus Coordinator supports the Black Caucus in its work to address the unique needs and issues of both domestic and international Black graduate student-workers and graduate student-workers of Color in our bargaining unit. The Black Caucus Coordinator position responds to GEO’s recognition that this population faces workplace challenges such as unfair labor practices, racism, xenophobia and sexism that are directly and uniquely related to their racial/ethnic identities. In addition, the Black Caucus Coordinator position responds to GEO’s recognition that the target population makes up a significant portion of our bargaining unit and membership, that is nonetheless underrepresented in GEO leadership and participation.

Job Responsibilities:

The Black Caucus Coordinator will work with the Black Caucus in the execution of its stated mission and organizational goals as outlined for the upcoming year. The coordinator will act as a liaison between the Caucus and GEO leadership as well as the broader GEO Membership. The Black Caucus Coordinator works closely with UAW2322 Servicing Representatives in the performance of these duties. The Black Caucus Coordinator is directly supervised by the Executive Board of the Black Caucus, the GEO Steering Committee and the UAW 2322 President.

Job Objectives:

  • Facilitate the integration of employment issues concerning domestic and international Black and other graduate student-workers of Color with other GEO campaigns.
  • Create a solid support system amongst Black and graduate student-workers of Color across departments/programs through the development of an information and mobilization network between the Black Caucus, GEO, and the Graduate Student Senate.
  • Increase Black Caucus membership and participation rate of Black and other graduate student-workers of Color within GEO.
  • Foster a race-conscious engagement with GEO’s contract to ensure equitable enforcement of contract.

Job Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinate Black Caucus’ ongoing organizing efforts, including proposing and executing initiatives and campaigns consistent with Black Caucus’ mission and goals
  • Convene, propose, and organize agendas for Black Caucus meetings
  • Facilitate, organize, and record Black Caucus meetings and events
  • Work with Black Caucus and GEO Leadership, as well as the active Grievance Coordinator to address labor concerns and ensure equitable enforcement of the GEO contract
  • Participate in the ongoing planning and evaluation of GEO’s organizing efforts as they relate to Black and other graduate student-workers of Color
  • Participate in Steering Committee Meetings per GEO-UAW bylaws
  • Participate in GEO General Membership Meetings
  • Serve as a liaison between GSS, registered GSOs, and other departments/programs and schools as necessary for the performance of job duties
  • Record, document, and archive projects, campaigns, and membership concerns carried out during the term
  • Carry-out administrative duties immediately necessary for the Black Caucus assigned by the Executive Board
  • Maintain social media presence; maintain membership and Executive Board communication and correspondence

Details:

We are hiring one (1) benefitted position, 20 hours a week; for a period of 38 weeks, start date negotiable. Funding for this position will come from GEO-UAW Local 2322, therefore applicants must legally qualify for employment with a non-university organization (UAW Local 2322). We are seeking candidates with experience working with underrepresented minority communities, as well as experience organizing events and meetings. See attached job description for more details.

Every organizing position also comes with the requirement that the organizer be willing to help out in campaigns and organizing projects that are not narrowly related to their specialty, particularly at times when tasks within their organizing specialty are not at peak periods of intensity. Organizers are thus responsible for all aspects of assistance in the union’s organizing campaigns, including campaign start-up, committee building, assessments, developing literature, running meetings and workplace actions.

All employees are expected to devote a portion of their paid working hours to office management tasks (i.e. holding office hours, answering phones, taking messages, in-taking grievances, greeting members who come into the office, etc.) and to attend meetings as required, including regular staff meetings. Some night and weekend hours may be required.

Applicants must have been GEO members for 2 consecutive semesters prior to the hire.

In order to apply, please submit:

A resume.

A cover letter stating the reasons you are interested in the position and your qualifications. In your cover letter please address the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in being hired for this position?
  2. What kind of union activism, organizing, community or volunteer experience do you have? In what capacities have you been active with GEO?
  3. What skills do you possess that would be beneficial for this position?

A completed GEO Staff Application Form. Click here to download the form.  

Be prepared to bring proof of your student status to your interview (e.g. a letter from your GPD confirming your status). Also, international students need to provide their work authorization documents.

Applications should be emailed to hiring@geouaw.orgDeadline to submit resumes has been extended until midnight of July 31st.

Statement on Orlando Shooting

In the wake of the tragedy at Pulse in Orlando, GEO wishes to extend our solidarity. We understand the emotional difficulties that we all are facing  as a result of this and the many other devastations we continuously grapple with in this country.  The details surrounding this attack are slowly surfacing and we are still waiting to know more about the circumstances that led up to this event. It has taken us some time to make a public statement because amongst other identities GEO is Queer, Latinx, Black, Brown, immigrant and Muslim; and for these reasons and many more, it has been incredibly painful to hear the names of the dead, see their faces and process the enormity of this loss. We extend our hearts and open our door to those suffering in light of these unspeakable, heinous acts of unmitigated violence against members of a community we love and call our comrades. For all our friends, families, colleagues and members who may need an outlet to talk, to be embraced or to simply mourn, we are here with and for you.  Please do not hesitate to stop by.

 

The violence committed against queer people of color in a space where they were supposed to feel safe and be themselves (given that so many public places are exclusionary and potentially harmful) is reprehensible. We do not want to see hate perpetuated in response to this tragedy based on who people are, how they worship, who they love or how they party. We ask and hope that moving forward we all keep in mind and meticulously process the targeted and opportunistic narratives regarding culpability and politically motivated explanations for why this violent act transpired. It is imperative that this heinous crime not be used to justify the further militarization of our communities.

 

We will continue to mourn and we will continue to open our office and our hearts to those who may need it.

 

Peace, love and solidarity,

 

GEO Staff and Leadership, GEO Steering Committee

 

GEO joins the BDS movement: Press Release!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 19, 2016

Media contact: Anais N. Surkin, Union Representative/Organizer: 917-940-0312, anais@uaw2322.org

UMass Amherst Union of Graduate Student Workers Endorses BDS!

Members of the Graduate Employee Organization at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst vote overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to  join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement!

During a three day (April 12-14) vote, by secret ballot, the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO/UAW2322) at University of Massachusetts in Amherst voted overwhelmingly (95%) in favor of adopting a resolution to stand in solidarity with Palestinian civil society and join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The largest collective bargaining unit within UAW Local Amalgamated 2322 (UAW 2322), GEO represents over 2,000 graduate student workers at the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This makes GEO the second major body of unionized workers in the U.S. to formally join the BDS movement by membership vote.

This resolution renews and furthers a 2003 GEO resolution to divest from the Israeli occupation, and honors the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society– including trade unions, university faculty, and student groups– to embrace BDS worldwide as a tactic to put political and economic pressure on the Israeli state until it complies with international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories. The resolution also calls on our employer, UMass, and our union, the UAW, to divest from and boycott companies that fuel and profit from the military occupation and repression of Palestinians.  During a period of open dialogue when all members were encouraged to express diverse views, engage and organize, both the GEO Black Caucus and Jewish GEO members publicly endorsed the resolution.

A similar resolution passed in December 2014 by UAW 2865, the student-worker union at the University of California (UC) was later nullified by the International Executive Board of the UAW. That nullification is currently under appeal.  GEO and our local, UAW2322, stand with the UC union’s decision to appeal the nullification of their democratic vote to embrace BDS. We urge the UAW International to respect the democratic membership vote to endorse BDS, and in doing so we invite them to join us on the right side of history.

Quotes from GEO/UAW Members:

Santiago Vidales, GEO Co-Chair  “The fact that an overwhelming majority of our union voted for BDS is a testament to what social justice unionism looks like. Over and over again we were asked why GEO was getting involved in world politics. The reality is that Palestinian workers on our campus are entitled to their basic human and civil rights when they travel back home. By answering the call of the BDS Movement in Palestine, GEO members join other graduate worker unions across the country in demanding that our universities, our unions, and our communities boycott and divest from Israel’s violent occupation of Palestinian territories. We know that our principled stand will be criticized, scrutinized and challenged. But we know that we are building a movement for liberation. The liberation of Palestinian people is inherently connected to our own.”

Kevina King and Tiamba Wilkerson, GEO Black Caucus Executive Board  “The Black Caucus is immensely proud that our union put its proverbial “money where its mouth is” and voted in support of justice for the Palestinian people. It is especially meaningful for the Black Caucus, as we recognize the historical links between the liberation struggles of Black and Palestinian people, and how our traditions of resistance continue to inspire other oppressed and marginalized peoples across the world. International solidarity, particularly between Black and Palestinian people, is as important now as it has ever been, as both communities continue to fight state sanctioned terrorism and racist violence.”

Ghazah Abbasi, GEO member, Department of Sociology Global capitalism is a colonial, white-supremacist, heteropatriarchal system that alienates us deeply and multiply. A key part of overcoming our alienation is understanding our common humanity with other workers and peoples within and outside the US. It would be deeply contradictory for graduate student workers of UMass Amherst to campaign for our own rights while being complacent about the atrocious rights-violations taking place in Israel with the ideological and financial backing of the United States government. As a GEO member, I am deeply gratified to see that my union is committed to advocating for the fundamental dignity and equality of all workers, and all people, throughout the world. Peoples’ rights as workers are ‘legal’ rights dependent on the security of their other ‘natural’ inalienable rights – such as the right to food, physical security, physical mobility, and freedom from violence. Yet these basic rights are consistently denied to the Palestinian peoples by the state of Israel. Because there can be no conditions for fair and equitable work under colonialism and military siege, it is imperative to demand the immediate and unqualified decolonization of Palestine.”

Alyssa Goldstein, GEO/UAW2322 Palestine Solidarity Caucus Member As a Jewish GEO member and one of the drafters of the “Jews Support BDS” letter, I am so proud to see this resolution pass with overwhelming support. The state of Israel does not stand for or represent the Jewish people, and we must not allow its oppression of the Palestinians to continue in our name. The Jewish activists, in my union and elsewhere, who speak out for Palestinian equality uphold the tradition of the Jewish commitment to justice.

Full Election and Referendum Results!

Election season has come to a close and there are many people to
congratulate. You can see our new GEO Officers below:

Co-Chairs: Santiago Vidales and Armanthia Duncan
Mobilization Coordinator: Adam Garfield
Steering At-Large Member: Adaeze Egwautu

Furthermore, the referendum on the BDS Resolution: “Standing in
Solidarity with Palestinian civil society and joining the Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions Movement” was approved by 95% of voters.

Finally, thank you to everyone who came out and voted. We had excellent
voter turnout this year.

In Solidarity,
GEO Elections Committee
elections@geouaw.org