GEO IS HIRING! Black Caucus Coordinator, deadline extended to DEC 2!

GEO Hiring Notice: Black Caucus Coordinator, DEADLINE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 2 AT 11:59PM

Black Caucus Coordinator


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 the Spring 2017 semester (summer funding may be possible). 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.

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

3. What skills do you possess that would be beneficial for this

A completed GEO Staff Application Form available here:

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

Applications should be emailed to

Deadline: DECEMBER 2, 2016 AT 11:59PM

Nominations for bargaining committee elections OPEN NOW! 4 paid positions

Dear GEO Members,

Next semester negotiations will commence on a new collective bargaining agreement; the contract between GEO/UAW2322 and the University that governs the terms and conditions of your employment. GEO is a democratically run organization and a successful contract campaign depends on your participation. Stewards have been out in all of the departments having dialogues with you about the new contract one on one and look out for an online survey within the next few weeks. We now need to elect a bargaining committee to coordinate & lead this campaign.

There are FOUR PAID POSITIONS and an unlimited number of unpaid & alternate positions on the committee. See below for more information and the call for nominations.

The Bargaining Committee:

The bargaining committee will consists of the four elected bargaining members, alternate members, and the GEO staff. The bargaining committee members will elect its chief and co-chief negotiators. All members of the bargaining committee are to serve throughout the duration of a contract negotiation and will not need to be re-elected in the event that contract negotiations is extended beyond a year. Membership will have ultimate oversight over the bargaining committee and the committee answers to and is in service to the membership. The bargaining committee’s responsibility is to assess the needs of the membership prior to negotiations, and made transparent regularly via the GEO website.

Nominations are now open for the GEO bargaining committee. The positions are listed below:

Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinators (2) (10 hr. contract)
Bargaining Organizing & Mobilization Coordinators (2) (10 hr. contract)
Bargaining Committee At-Large members (5 unpaid & unlimited alternate
volunteer positions)

Call for GEO Bargaining positions

Job description (pick A or B in your nomination)

Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinators (2 positions):

The two Bargaining Research & Proposal Coordinators will focus on researching, drafting, discussing, and writing our contract proposals for negotiations. These elected members will also help argue for our proposals at the bargaining table with administration. Paid GEO Bargaining team members are expected to make Bargaining-related trainings and meetings that have been scheduled (around team members’ availability). These elected members will also serve as the liaison between the negotiating/research group, and will be in regular communication with the existing listserv of members who have signed up to be active on this committee and the bargaining committee.


B) Bargaining Organizing & Mobilization Coordinators (2 positions):
The two Bargaining Organizing & Mobilization Coordinators will focus on organizing members around their issues/concerns. These elected members are responsible for involving more members in the bargaining process and recruiting members to speak at the bargaining table (to administration)
and for actions around contract negotiations. Paid GEO Bargaining team members are expected to make Bargaining-related trainings and meetings that have been scheduled (around team members’ availability). These elected members will also serve as the liaison between the campaigning/organizing group and will be in regular communication with stewards, the existing listserv of members who have signed up to be active on this committee, and the bargaining committee.

Any full member in good standing may nominate themselves or another member in good standing for any of these positions. Nominations and candidate statements are due by 11:59PM on November 30th and the election will be held at the membership meeting on December 8th (with advance voting earlier that week) All positions begin duties in January 2017. The four paid coordinator positions are fully benefitted, 10/hours per week GEO jobs and shall continue through the summer and through the end of the semester in which negotiations conclude.

If you wish to be a Bargaining Committee At-Large member (5 unpaid & unlimited alternate volunteer positions) you may nominate yourself at the membership meeting on December 8. If you are unable to attend that meeting, you may send your nomination & a short statement to to be read at the meeting.

GEO’s PURPOSE (GEO Bylaws article 2)

A. GEO is a democratic union that aims to organize and represent all graduate employees at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst over issues related to their employment and the improvement of their working conditions. GEO supports the struggle of all workers, and stands in
solidarity with other unions and progressive organizations in their fights for social and economic justice.

B. GEO is authorized to negotiate on the employment practices and policies of the University as they relate to graduate employees including, but not limited to, affirmative action; appointment and
reappointment process; childcare; contract length; disciplinary policy and codes of conduct; dues check-off and agency fee; evaluations; fee waivers; grievance and arbitration; health and safety, including health benefits and sick leave; hours of work and workload; job descriptions, retrenchment, salary, seniority, sexual harassment, and training. GEO is not authorized to negotiate on academic practices and policies as they relate to graduate employees in their simultaneous capacity as students,
such as salary maximums or limitations on employee’s rights to choose the time and manner of their work.

C. GEO follows an equal opportunity policy and employs personnel and serves its members without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, HIV status, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, veteran status, military obligations, and marital or relationship status. GEO Strives to be an inclusive union and build a broad based unity among its members. It will actively seek to promote the participation and engagement of oppressed groups and underrepresented work sites at all levels of the union.

Nomination Process:

Nominate yourself or someone else for any of the above positions via email to the Steering Committee at Nominations are due by 11:59pm November 30, 2016.

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

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Message from your Co-Chairs regarding this election

Fellow workers, friends, comrades, colleagues,

We can imagine that many of you are feeling overwhelmed, shocked, deeply concerned, and righteously angry about the recent election results. We anticipate that there will be challenging times ahead, and many people will be both personally and professionally impacted by the strong oppositional shift of the political landscape of this country. As you struggle to find manageable ways to move forward, know that we are here. We want to remind you that we share your concerns, your fears, your uncertainties and we are in solidarity with you.

The election results signaled a regressive and reactionary politics that seeks to limit the union participation of those who need it most, our marginalized base. Black people, queer people, immigrants, refugees, poor and women graduate student workers are a vulnerable population that suffer disproportionately from not having union representation and contract protections. The upcoming presidential administration vows to fundamentally change labor laws to limit, if not eliminate, our collective bargaining power. And this impacts us, the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), directly. We will be seeing in the days ahead draconian anti-labor laws that will at all levels of local, state, and federal governments compromise the vitality of our organization.

These election results are a direct threat to our survival as a Union
and as a collective of workers dedicated to social justice and improving our working and living conditions. We are at a historic crossroad and it is our task to build a Union membership that speaks to the necessity of protecting and expanding workers’ rights. The next administration has vowed to dismantle the current Affordable Healthcare Act, and as a Union, we must come together to ensure our GEO negotiated insurance plan is not only protected but also expanded and improved to cover families and eliminate out of pocket expenses.

GEO staff and leadership will continue to do the fundamental work of our Union. We will unabashedly and unapologetically remain anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-xenophobic, and anti-islamophobic. In FACT, we will open our doors wider and they will remain open to the disenfranchised and the marginalized. We will focus our energies towards growing the labor movement and negotiating a contract that protects all of us fully and for the long term. We need one another and we need our Union more than ever.

We need an active, engaged and vocal membership. We cannot build a movement for solidarity and liberation without YOU. We cannot take for granted the protections and benefits that we currently have. Our shared task is to realize the potential of the collective by coming together and demanding the work protections, salary raises and health insurance expansions that we all know we deserve.

We ask that you engage your fellow grad students, in your labs, in grad lounges, in your offices, about the pressing dangers that we face. Our power and our gains for 25 years have been rooted in our collective struggle, our solidarity with one another and our mobilization for fair contracts. We remain committed to social justice and combating oppression. We are entering uncertain times but through our Union we will do our part in the struggle against white supremacy, sexism and bigotry. We are here for you and we are focused on the task at hand.

Peace and solidarity,
Santi & Armanthia from Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW)