Bowling Party – Part 2!

This will be a party for UAW Members, Friends and Family, for a fun night out in Northampton on October 4 from 6:30-8:30PM! Spread the word to your coworkers and let us know if you will be attending (and how many guests you will bring). We need to have a count to reserve lanes so please let us know as soon as you can.

The party will consist of 2 hours of unlimited bowling, free shoe rental and light refreshments (generally chips & salsa, veggie platter, etc and pitchers of soft drinks). The Bowling Alley also has a full bar and kitchen that will be open for people to take advantage of on their own.

If you enjoy this bowling event, it won’t have to end there. Starting Thursday, October 11th at 6:30 pm you can join The UAW “Friends and Family” 8 For 8 League. UAW has worked with Spare Time Bowling to bring you a great offer. 8 weeks of bowling for $8/week. For those who commit to join the league, Spare Time will give each league member a free bowling ball! You can sign up at the bowling alley

Come out October 4th and have some fun! Please RSVP for the party to info@uaw2322.org or 413.534.7600.

GEO-UAW endorses “Can’t Be Neutral” and the rehire of Dr. Barbara Madeloni

The Graduate Employee Organization, UAW 2322 endorses the rehire of Dr. Barbara Madeloni, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Secondary Teacher Education Program at the School of Education, who last spring led a group of students to boycott the implementation of a corporate sponsored, standardized teacher assessment on pre-service (student) teachers.  We see this as one more example of the corporatization of public education and the surveillance, silencing and demands for obedience that accompany it.

Shortly after Barbara was featured in a New York Times article detailing the recent student resistance to Pearson and the Teacher Performance Assessment, she received a letter of non-renewal. While the School of Education (SOE) claims that this is coincidental, many of our members who know Barbara and have witnessed current trends in the SOE believe otherwise.  We join our members in the SOE who are organizing efforts to support Barbara and to resist the larger corporatization of education, of which this incident is symptomatic.

Students and faculty in the School of Education who speak out are putting themselves on the line.  They need our support from across campus:

  1. Find out more by reading the New York Times article, this Daily Hampshire Gazette op-ed piece, and listen to the recent Education Radio episode about the TPA.
  2. Go to Can’t Be Neutral – our SOE members’ online presence in the fight for public education.
  3. Save the date for the Can’t Be Neutral Teach-In planned to run all day on Friday, Oct. 19 in the Cape Cod Room.
  4. Most importantly, please sign this petition. We need your voice.

Please consider including a statement about your reaction to her termination, the threat to academic freedom, or your thoughts on the privatization of education – at UMass and beyond.

Important UAW/UMass/AETNA Coinsurance Settlement Update

Your union, the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO/UAW Local 2322), and the University of Massachusetts have agreed on a grievance settlement for the out-of-pocket (OOP) health insurance expense amounts that graduate employees in are required to pay for plan year 2011-2012. Under this settlement agreement, the University agrees that the out-of-pocket maximum for graduate student employees covered under the student health insurance plan (AETNA Student Health) for Plan Year August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012 is $3,000.  Out-of-pocket expenses include coinsurance payments but exclude deductibles, copays and precertification penalties.

If you were a graduate student employee that paid over $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses during the 2011-2012 plan year (08/01/11-07/31/12), you should have received an email from Aetna Student Health with instructions about how to get your refund.  This email would have also included an important release that must be signed to process your reimbursement.  Please don’t hesitate in completing and returning the forms.  Be assured that Aetna Student Health will only release your student ID #, name and the total amount that has exceeded $3,000 of out-of-pocket costs.  No diagnostic or clinical information will be shared with the University or your union.  If you paid more than $3,000 in out-of-pocket costs and you did not receive an email from Aetna Student Health, please contact a staff member at the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO/UAW Local 2322) at (413) 545-0705 or geo@external.umass.edu .  This agreement along with the saving of the laboratory and pharmacy at University Health Services are tremendous wins for the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO/UAW Local 2322).  Congratulations to everyone that participated in all of the collective actions leading up to this victory.

AY 2012-2013 Officer Elections

Following the close of nominations for GEO officers last week, we are pleased to announce that the nominees for the two GEO Co-Chair positions are current officers Derek Doughty and Jocelyn Silverlight, and that the nominee for Mobilization Coordinator is current GEO Database Coordinator Danielle Allessio.

Because there is only one eligible nominee for each position, Danielle Allessio is elected by acclamation to the position of Mobilization Coordinator.  For the Co-Chair positions, the GEO bylaws call for a process of vetting nominees by the Stewards’ Assembly later this week.