Nomination deadline has been EXTENDED

REMINDER–please submit your nominations for the five (5) available GEO positions. The nomination deadline has been EXTENDED to March 24, 2017, at midnight.

See below for descriptions of the available positions.

__________________________

Dear GEO Members,

GEO is a democratically-run organization.

Nominations are now open for GEO officer positions for 2017-2018. Please see below for nomination calls for each position, including information about each position and the nomination/election process.  Any full member in good standing may nominate themselves or another member in good standing for any of these positions. All positions begin duties June 2017.

Nominations are now open for:

GEO Co-chair (2) (20 hr., 52 week contract)

Mobilization Coordinator (20 hr., 38 week contract, pay starting in September)

Steering Committee At-Large Member (2) (volunteer position)

GEO Co-chair (2)

Duties and Responsibilities:

Responsibilities will include but are not limited to: organizing and overseeing the election of Stewards in departments and/or work sites; chairing Steering Committee meetings and general membership meetings and ensuring agendas are set for both; and acting as primary GEO representatives to the Joint Council of Local 2322 and therefore attending Joint Council meetings. Except where otherwise noted, the co-chairs shall be considered to be the official representatives of GEO to the Administration and in all external relations; sign agreements between GEO and the University (with approval of the General Membership and/or Assembly of Stewards); serve as liaisons for the Steering Committee to the Staff; ensure GEO representation at Central Labor Council meetings; speak on behalf of GEO to media, the University, etc., and manage the production of media and publicity; act as primary liaisons between GEO and other Unions;; oversee publication of GEO newsletter and web page; organizing Standing Committees; and assist the union in achieving its overall mission in the workplace.

Mobilization Coordinator (1)

Duties and Responsibilities:

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: supervising membership drives; assisting in boosting attendance; attending Steering and Assembly of Stewards meetings; introducing all new members and visitors; assisting the GEO Co-Chairs in preserving order when called upon to do so; ensuring that minutes are taken at all GEO meetings; maintaining records of organization; submitting requisitions to the Local and International as needed; planning and administering GEO operating budget and chairing the GEO Finance Committee; facilitating GEO sponsorship of events and organizations; taking charge of all property of GEO not otherwise provided for; monitoring and giving guidance on procedural questions and rules; ensuring that those attending GEO meetings are either members or invited visitors; assuming duties of the Co-Chairs if they are unavailable; and assisting the union in achieving its overall mission in the workplace.

Steering Committee At-Large Member (2)

Information about the Steering Committee:

The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the unit including, but not limited to: the direction of the day-to-day operations of the organization; the oversight of the staff; preparation and submission of all proposals, budgets, budget requisitions and budget modifications to the Assembly of Stewards for approval; coordination and oversight of standing committees; the appropriate maintenance of the health of the organization; management and execution of the budget; all correspondence and relations between the leadership, the Assembly of Stewards and the membership; and all external relations excepting those duties specifically proscribed for other committees (such as the Bargaining Committee).

The Steering Committee shall meet at least two times a month during the academic year. The committee shall meet once a month at other times. Additional meetings can be called as needed by the officers.

Nomination Process:

Nominate yourself or someone else for any of the above positions via email to the Steering Committee at steering@geouaw.org. Nominations are due by 11:59pm Monday March 13.

If you have any questions regarding the elections or nominations process, please do not hesitate to email the Elections Committee at elections@geouaw.org.

In Solidarity,

Stacey Sexton

on behalf of the Elections Committee

Grad Workers Rising: May Day Solidarity Statement with CGEU

We are members of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions, a body that represents unionized graduate workers throughout the United States and Canada, including grad workers undertaking campaigns to unionize who have not yet achieved recognition. We are course instructors; researchers; teaching & research assistants; student affairs, advising, and residence life staffers; tutors, readers, lab supervisors, and graders. We are graduate student-workers. This May Day, members of CGEU stand together to demand collective bargaining rights and fair, socially just contracts for every single graduate worker in North America, and all workers in higher education worldwide. Coordinated May Day actions, social media, and events will take place across the SUNY system as well as at UWisconsin Madison, UMass Amherst, Rutgers University, and other schools across the US and Canada on May 1st, 2014.

Whether grad student-workers have a union determines much about our working conditions and salaries, going beyond wages and hours to include whether we are formally protected from workplace and hiring discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in a way that is actually enforceable. Unions give us concrete, tangible power in bureaucratic workplaces whose administrators would otherwise see each of us only as a collection of financial transactions and numbers. Despite rhetoric we often hear about a walled-off “ivory tower,” the forces of economic crisis directly shape the reality of working and studying for faculty, undergraduate students, and graduate workers alike.

As universities have begun to function more like large businesses and state and federal financial support for public higher education has been slashed, graduate workers nationwide have felt the sizes of the classes we teach grow and the funding pools for our assistantships shrink. In the Northeastern US, this has resulted in a renewed movement toward unionizing graduate workers, and more energy toward bargaining strong contracts for those of us who are already organized. Grad workers at University of Connecticut and New York University are bargaining brand new contracts this year, while the long-unionized grad workers at the three University of Massachusetts schools (Amherst, Boston, and Lowell) and across the SUNY system are preparing to bargain new, significantly stronger contracts in the coming months. Members of UAW2865 in the University of California system continue to fight for a fair contract including the right to bargain over class size. Yale University and Brown University graduate workers have renewed their fight for union recognition.

Academic workers face similar increased demands on our time and energy to workers in other industries, along with the same stagnating wages. Academic workers of color, women, international students, and members of the LGBTQI community face institutionalized discrimination and permissive attitude toward harassment, much like workers in other industries. In 2012, a federal bill stripped graduate students of all access to federal subsidized loans and cut the six-month grace period before repayment must begin; this consigns many of us to a lifetime of debt, and an extraordinarily stressful transition out of graduate school.

The divisions between graduate workers and workers in other industries are fabricated, porous, and finite: graduate education does not last forever, and we go into a huge range of workplaces and positions after school. Strong, mobilized graduate unions serve as a consistent source of workers in a variety of fields who have had the opportunity to develop union consciousness, who have learned to care about their fellow workers, have experience in democratically-run organizations, and are willing to fight together with others for systemic change. We neither suffer nor succeed in isolation; our struggle is all workers’ struggle, and your struggle is ours.

Matt at May Day IMG_2093 IMG_2068 IMG_2066

GEO Membership Meeting

We have had to postpone the Thursday, February 7 membership meeting to Monday, February 11 as a result of “Winter Storm Nemo“.  Please stay safe and warm.

Where: Campus Center room 803
When: Monday, February 11th, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Come to the first GEO Membership meeting of the semester! This is a great way to get involved with GEO and meet fellow union members. We will be discussing department-specific issues, approving the budget, and more! Refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Annual Food Drive!

UAW Local 2322 is sponsoring a food drive to help local pantries restock their shelves for the upcoming winter season. We encourage everyone to donate whatever they can to this drive and help us support the needs of our communities. We will be collecting non-perishable food items in our Holyoke & UMass (GEO) offices from October 15th until December 17th, and then we will send the donations to one or more area pantries, where they can be the most help.

Even if you think you can’t give enough, remember that every item helps when you have nothing. If we all are able to donate just one item each think of how many families, together, we could help…

Please check the attached file for a list of suggested food and non-food items. It is set up as a shopping list that you can take with you and give out to others.

*  PLEASE NO GLASS ITEMS  *

This event doesn’t have to be just a union event. Help us make this the biggest collection yet! Spread the word and ask your family and friends to help out too. If you are willing to collect items at your worksite let your Union Representative know so we can arrange delivery to one of the two union offices. The UAW Local 2322 Community Services Committee thanks you in advance for any help you can provide.