Hiring Notice: GEO-UAW 2322 Grievance Coordinator 2015-2016

The Grievance Coordinator will solicit member concerns to determine which are contract violations, and which are issues to organize around. When the University violates the contract, the procedure for seeking redress is the grievance process; in conjunction with the UAW2322 Servicing Representatives, the GEO Grievance Coordinator is responsible for managing this process.

Successful applicants will need to have a detailed familiarity with the GEO contract, be comfortable with administrative and legal procedures, and have a commitment to upholding the contract. Attention to detail, strong research and interpersonal skills, assertiveness and diplomacy in relations with University administrators, and persistence and ability to follow-through are essential for this job. Experience working with union contracts and knowledge of state labor laws is preferable.

Strong preference will be given to GEO members that have previous GEO experience, including active participation with campaigns and committees. All members in good standing of GEO-UAW 2322 for the two consecutive semesters prior to applying are eligible to apply. Applicants must be committed to the principles of social justice and collective action. All GEO employees should also demonstrate willingness to work towards the union’s collective goals and a commitment to being part of an organization that is fighting for progressive change on the UMass campus and beyond.

The core responsibilities for this position are investigating potential contract violations, working with to GEO members who feel their rights have been violated, filing grievances, attending grievance hearings, and monitoring the resolution of grievances. The Grievance Coordinator works closely with UAW2322 Servicing Representatives in the performance of these duties. The Grievance Coordinator is directly supervised by the UAW2322 President and the GEO Steering Committee.

Additional duties include, but are not limited to:

  1. Educating members about the grievance procedure and providing training and support to stewards so they can handle the first step of grievances.
  2. Organizing around grievances by working with stewards as well as Servicing Reps and GEO-UAW elected leadership.
  3. Assisting with the process of publicizing successful grievances.
  4. Contributing content to the GEO website and other media as appropriate.

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 weekly staff meetings. Some night and weekend hours may be required.

This position is for 20 hours per week for 2015-2016 for 52 weeks with a June 1 start date. The salary is the same as the average campus-wide stipend. GEO/UAW Local 2322 will provide training. People of color and women are encouraged to apply.

In order to apply, please submit:

  1. A resume.
  2. A cover letter stating the reasons you are interested in the position and your qualifications.
  3. A completed GEO grievance coordinator application
  4. Be prepared to bring proof of your student status to your interview (e.g. a letter from your GPD confirming your status).

Applications should be emailed to hiring@uaw2322.org by 5pm on Monday, April 20th, 2015. Interviews will be on a rolling basis.

3/12/15 GEO Bargaining Update

Hello GEO members!

The bargaining committee met on Tuesday for the first of two bargaining sessions this week. Management repeatedly refuses to share information with GEO on healthcare that would enable both sides to bargain more fully and effectively over this critical issue. In response, GEO has filed a formal information request to which management is (predictably) dragging their heels to respond. Management thinks that if they drag out negotiations that GEO will get tired and settle for less than what our members deserve. GEO is here to say that management’s strategy will not work; GEO will not be worn down by a petty delay.

On Tuesday, the GEO bargaining committee hand delivered a letter to Chancellor Subbaswamy demanding him to direct his negotiating team to stop these childish games and to bargain in good faith. GEO is giving the administration an opportunity to work with us to correct this situation and get this contract settled in a timely fashion. If GEO doesn’t see significant movement from management at the next bargaining session this Friday, then we will take this as a signal that it is time to escalate our contract campaign.

A contract campaign will not be as effective without the full participation of our members. GEO’s mobilizing force has been canvassing the campus this week, informing members of our bargaining successes and struggles. GEO has several campaign strategies in mind and many different ways for members to show support for GEO and frustration with management. Be on the lookout for days of action and events in the near future!

Here are some of the major issues that GEO has already won:

• All-gender bathrooms all graduate employees are now able to request access to an all-gender bathroom near their place of work (classroom, office space, or otherwise)

• Affirmative action hiring committee: we are pushing the administration to hire more graduate student-workers of color and revise their hiring procedures

• Paid family and medical leave: we got administration to include 40 hours of paid family and medical leave in one of their proposals. This would be on top off our additional time off and vacation time (which is already guaranteed in our contract)

• Out of Pocket Maximum (OOPM): management has stated at the table that they could lower to OOPM from $3,000 to $1,500, but GEO knows we can do better

The chart below illustrates the three biggest proposals left to go: wages, workload and healthcare. We present a side-by-side comparison of our proposals and management’s counter-proposals on these issues. Management’s proposals simply don’t stack up and are not in the best interests of graduate student workers.

Management’s wage proposal does not even begin to keep up with inflation and the rising cost-of-living expenses. This “raise” would keep graduate student employee wages stagnant and would not alleviate the burdens currently faced by our members.

The rampant overwork of our members that happens across all departments is unacceptable and must stop. Management simply refuses to see overwork as an issue.

Co-insurance shifts costs from the plan to our members, to the tune of thousands of dollars per year for our members. UMass admits that co-insurance discourages many members from getting needed health care for themselves and their families. This must stop!

  Union Proposal Admin Proposal
Wages 5% increase per year (15% total over 3 years)  1.5% increase per semester (9% total over 3 years) 
Workload Recognize daily and weekly workload maximums and institute an expedited workload grievance procedure  Do nothing: The Admin believes we are already sufficiently protected 
Healthcare Create co-payment system with dramatically decreased out of pocket maximum (ex :you pay a flat fee of say $25 for your doctor’s visit)  Continue with co-insurance (ex: you pay 15% of whatever your doctor’s visit is going to cost) 

We hope that all of our members have a great Spring Break and we look forward to waging a successful campaign with you when classes resume.

In solidarity,
GEO