Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW)

Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW) GEO-UAW is a loud and proud unit of UAW Local 2322. GEO-UAW is the union for graduate employees at UMass Amherst, and is a unit of United Auto Workers Local 2322.

We represent teaching assistants, teaching associates, research assistants, project assistants, assistant residence directors, graduate interns, fellows, and trainees.

Operating as usual

A number of UMass workers in the Residential Halls (Residence Directors and Assistant Residence Directors) were suddenly...
02/09/2021
UMass Grad Workers & Families Suddenly Evicted, organized by Anna-Claire Simpson

A number of UMass workers in the Residential Halls (Residence Directors and Assistant Residence Directors) were suddenly forced to move this past weekend with little notice. Workers live on campus with their families, children, etc and we want to help ease the stress and shock of the sudden displacement. We are raising some money to help those affected get what they need to make this experience a bit more bearable. Please chip in whatever you can: between the campus community, the Unions, and the broader community off campus.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/UMass-Grad-Workers-Families-Suddenly-Evicted?pc=fb_co_campmgmt_w&rcid=r01-161283710216-95978741d74f4310&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_lico%2Bshare-sheet&fbclid=IwAR2knTK40Y6f_cKCOelSD54pn2kuPrakPjfLj7zIu0lJ3PS54x0N7VnBEns

We are raising money to help offset the shock, discomfort, and disp… Anna-Claire Simpson needs your support for UMass Grad Workers & Families Suddenly Evicted

Solidarity with Boğaziçi University! Their faculty and students are resisting the antidemocratic and anti-LGBTI+ politic...
02/06/2021

Solidarity with Boğaziçi University!

Their faculty and students are resisting the antidemocratic and anti-LGBTI+ political regime in Turkey.

Please read their open letter to the President of Turkey and share it to raise their voices.

01/27/2021

BARGAINING UPDATES!!
Please send any feedback you have to the bargaining committee ([email protected]). We are hosting an open meeting for members to talk to each other, ask questions, and offer feedback:
Friday January 29, 2021
https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/92064894368

Video transcript:

Hello GEO members! This is Melanie [and David] from the GEO bargaining committee.
We wanted to let you know that, just a few minutes ago, the bargaining committee sent an important, but non-comprehensive proposal, or “Mini Deal” to the UMass administration for Spring Impact bargaining.
We are hoping to lock in some important wins that we have achieved at the bargaining table thus far. This way, these wins can benefit members soon, as the Spring Semester is starting just next week. These wins include a 60k childcare and technology fund and a continuation of some of the FMLA wins we got last semester.

This is not necessarily the end of Spring impact bargaining. First, the administration will likely come back with a counter, and we will likely have to make some hard decisions about what to fight for in order to come to an agreement with the University. Second, as this proposal is non-comprehensive, we have the right to continue bargaining over other issues which members are willing to fight for.
We urge you to get involved. To that end, we are having an impromptu Zoom membership meeting this Friday, January 29th, at 11am. We would love to hear your input on the mini-deal and on how we should move forward.
Hope to see you all soon!

The UMass Unions sent a message to the BoT and Administration yesterday demanding greater transparency in making buildin...
01/27/2021

The UMass Unions sent a message to the BoT and Administration yesterday demanding greater transparency in making buildings on campus safer in minimizing the spread of COVID and a demand to bring back the furloughed maintainers and maintenance techs who do the work to make this campus safe!

Happy Friday Everyone!
01/22/2021

Happy Friday Everyone!

GEO Election Notice: ‼️Nominations open, deadline Feb 12‼️THIS IS A TEN HOURS A WEEK PAID POSITION! Ian Busher, elected ...
01/21/2021

GEO Election Notice:
‼️Nominations open, deadline Feb 12‼️THIS IS A TEN HOURS A WEEK PAID POSITION!
Ian Busher, elected last year to serve on the Bargaining Committee, has moved on from UMass, leaving a position empty, so it’s time to elect a new person into this PAID position.

According to the bylaws we are supposed to have the voting at the first membership meeting of this semester. However, due to everything being virtual, we will be conducting an online election (as we did last Spring) with voting offered on multiple slots/days.

To make this election happen, we first need an Elections Committee, up to 5 elected rank-and-file members who will run a fair and impartial election. Full notice coming soon.
Nominations open upto Feb 12 for Election Committee (5 positions, volunteer), will be elected by “Zoom poll” function at first Membership Meeting, Feb 12
Nominations open upto Feb 12 for one paid Bargaining Committee member (1 GEO-position, paid 10hrs/week with all GEO benefits, duration of appointment is as long as bargaining continues), will be elected by online ballot on ElectionBuddy, conducted by the new Elections Committee
Nominate yourself or any GEO member by emailing [email protected]
Elections Committee nominees, your tasks will be (1) running this barg comm election in Feb, and (2) running regular GEO officer/steering elections in April/May

UAW/UMass Health & Welfare Trust Fund
01/12/2021

UAW/UMass Health & Welfare Trust Fund

Attn UMass Grad Employees! Check out your email for updates on amazing new benefits & more!!

12/22/2020
www.umass.edu

Hello all,
This is a friendly reminder:
If you are on continuous enrollment for this upcoming semester, after enrolling for the Spring semester you will need to sign up for Health Insurance. This is the same for people who have less than 5 credits and those who are on a family plan. Please see the relevant forms below:
Health Insurance Enrollment Formhttps://www.umass.edu/uhs/sites/default/files/documents/forms/HealthPlanEnrollment_180-094_July2014.pdf
Affidavit of Domestic Partnership: https://www.umass.edu/uhs/sites/default/files/Affidavit%20of%20Domestic%20Partnership.pdf, Send this form, along with the enrollment form, to [email protected].

This is AMAZING!!!https://jacobinmag.com/2020/12/columbia-university-tuition-strike-dsa-debt-cancellation?fbclid=IwAR0O6...
12/16/2020
Columbia University’s Tuition Strike Is Only the Beginning

This is AMAZING!!!
https://jacobinmag.com/2020/12/columbia-university-tuition-strike-dsa-debt-cancellation?fbclid=IwAR0O6kgkLU21BOnU8674DKoSii2oZFb-SDb-PEfAVRDSDavyKBL-65F0mU0

Three thousand students at Columbia University have pledged to begin a tuition strike next semester if administrators do not concede to their demands. The strike is part of the nationwide student movement to end university austerity, resist rising student debt, and democratize the university.

Update and Invitation:Please come to the membership meeting scheduled this Friday at 4. The admin is waiting for our cou...
12/03/2020

Update and Invitation:
Please come to the membership meeting scheduled this Friday at 4. The admin is waiting for our counter and we should strategize together!

Photos from Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW)'s post
12/03/2020

Photos from Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW)'s post

In less than a week, we have 308 signatures already!!! Let’s keep the momentum going and share with other graduate stude...
11/18/2020
UMASS AMHERST: Graduate Workers Demand Safe Work!

In less than a week, we have 308 signatures already!!!
Let’s keep the momentum going and share with other graduate students you know!
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/umass-amherst-graduate-workers-demand-safe-work?source=direct_link&fbclid=IwAR3vEHhdmNQFB8tcTKMolh1PHhsrFJ9I9I9oW1He2Qd_KW2ebrhiByXGtFI

UMass Amherst is inviting 60% of the on-campus population back to campus in the middle of a global pandemic. This places unnecessary stress on the campus’s testing and tracing infrastructure, and dramatically increases the likelihood of COVID-19 spread at UMass and in the surrounding community. Th...

Mornin! Have you signed the petition? If not, please sign and share✊If you are not a graduate student workers but would ...
11/16/2020
UMASS AMHERST: Graduate Workers Demand Safe Work!

Mornin! Have you signed the petition? If not, please sign and share✊
If you are not a graduate student workers but would to sign in for support, please do so!! Thank you
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/umass-amherst-graduate-workers-demand-safe-work?source=facebook&&fbclid=IwAR1VLlPh0etBnHLcLyChtF9YH4VP9He9SWd-tkguqgRjFh1vlGeXei3v2fQ

UMass Amherst is inviting 60% of the on-campus population back to campus in the middle of a global pandemic. This places unnecessary stress on the campus’s testing and tracing infrastructure, and dramatically increases the likelihood of COVID-19 spread at UMass and in the surrounding community. Th...

❗It is SUPER IMPORTANT that we get AS MANY SIGNATURES AS POSSIBLE on this petition! Sign and SHARE! ❗We cannot agree to ...
11/12/2020
UMASS AMHERST: Graduate Workers Demand Safe Work!

❗It is SUPER IMPORTANT that we get AS MANY SIGNATURES AS POSSIBLE on this petition! Sign and SHARE!
❗We cannot agree to Face-To-Face as the DEFAULT mode of instruction for Spring '21!
❗Has your department said you might have to work in person? Have they said nothing? Are you getting threatening emails from your GPD?
❗If you're being forced into Face-To-Face, sign the petition for yourself, if not, sign it for your fellow workers.

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/umass-amherst-graduate-workers-demand-safe-work?source=direct_link

UMass Amherst is inviting 60% of the on-campus population back to campus in the middle of a global pandemic. This places unnecessary stress on the campus’s testing and tracing infrastructure, and dramatically increases the likelihood of COVID-19 spread at UMass and in the surrounding community. Th...

11/09/2020
Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Correct link for the impact Bargaining today:
https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/95441163764

Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer...

Correct link: https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/95441163764In a completely expected move, departments are "trying to decid...
11/09/2020

Correct link: https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/95441163764
In a completely expected move, departments are "trying to decide in a case by case basis" who gets a face-to-face appointment for Spring, and who doesn't. Have you been asked nicely by your dept "are you okay to teach in person?????" - perhaps you said yes, too? What are the outcomes of this Russian Roulette, really?
***Outcome 1: You say YES because you need a job, and they are like GREAT you can take this life-threatening in-person class that we need a TA for.
***Outcome 2: You say NO and you get that class assigned to you anyway.
***Outcome 3: You say NO and they're like ok then bye bye and now you have no assistantship for Spring 2021.
***Outcome 4: Oh great, you got to teach remotely because you're high risk (now all of your faculty know everything about your illness), but your friend has to teach in person because they are not high risk as per CDC, so their desire to be safe has no meaning.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Please do not believe even for a minute that the nice people in your dept can actually do anything to help you if the plan is to bring people back to campus. Refuse meetings to "discuss options" There is no good outcome possible here. Only collective action is possible. Only collectively staying at home can keep us all safe.

TODAY IS THE DAY!!! See you all at 1:30 ✊
11/09/2020

TODAY IS THE DAY!!! See you all at 1:30 ✊

🔺 Political Science Stewards need you in Level II Grievance!!🔺It just started, you can still join in (just write who you...
11/02/2020

🔺 Political Science Stewards need you in Level II Grievance!!🔺
It just started, you can still join in (just write who you are in the chat when you do) https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/94339874642

Department of Political Science has faced censorship and intimidation as a result of their Chair's decision to monitor the listserv (dept emailing list) that grad students/union members use for union organizing. TODAY @ 4-5pm EST. We are asking for as many Stewards as possible to show up and fill the “room” in support of the Political Science Stewards and members. You do not need to have your camera on or say anything. Please, if you can, show up in solidarity. This is a grievance that has implications for all of us. The GEO listserv is also at present hosted on the UMass system, as are our dept listservs. We must oppose censorship at all levels, and safeguard our right to protected concerted activity.

10/30/2020
Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

🔺Grievance Workshop🔺

TIME: TODAY @4- 5 PM
Zoom Link: https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/92726454960

Were you ever asked to perform a work that is CLEARLY a GEO-eligible position but not granting any of the benefits?

Were you ever asked to do prep work in summer for the upcoming semester but not being compensated properly?

Were you ever asked to accept a wage that is less than the GEO minimum wage, 30.30 USD?

Many members have had these experiences, especially in summer time. This management practice contributes to unit erosion. It not only underpays individual workers but also undermines our collective bargaining power.

The grievance workshop today is dedicated to Position Misclassification/Unit Erosion and Overwork. Grievance Coordinator, Anna, will lead us in looking at some of the related articles and workshop this issue so that we can spot it and address it!

Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer...

Today is the day!!! Please come join us today, grab a lunch if you would like! We will be discussing our plans for succe...
10/22/2020

Today is the day!!!
Please come join us today, grab a lunch if you would like! We will be discussing our plans for successor bargaining, and will allocate some time to talk about the Spring 2021 planning, how we can align it with future bargaining, and possible action we can take collectively.
Time: October 22, 2020 11AM - 1PM
Zoom Link:
https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/s/99169226794

Love these series from Harvard! Yes! Student worker parents deserve better✊
10/18/2020

Love these series from Harvard! Yes! Student worker parents deserve better✊

Did you know that Harvard only provided $350,000 to subsidize child care expenses for all student worker parents for an entire year, even though child care costs for one child for one month are about $3,000 (that’s about $36,000 per year!)?

Why do we care? Because student worker parents deserve sufficient resources and support to take care of their families and engage fully in their work. The current structure of academia places huge demands on parents.

Solidarity with the brave student protestors in Thailand! 【Emergency: Global Support for Thai Protests The Thai Monarch ...
10/17/2020
Bangkok Declares State of Emergency as Thai Unrest Continues

Solidarity with the brave student protestors in Thailand!
【Emergency: Global Support for Thai Protests The Thai Monarch must undergo imminent reforms】

On 16th Oct, over ten thousand protestors rallied in the city center of Bangkok under the banner of pro-democratic reforms. The Thai police force responded with water-cannon trucks in a violent crackdown over peaceful protests. We condemn the Thai Government for its contempt and disrespect of the appeal from the Thai people. We call on the Government to exercise self-restraint and to advance substantial political reforms in lieu of relentless political prosecutions under inhumane laws.

Ever since July, the Student Movement had attracted global scrutiny on Thailand. A country who had upheld a trinity of nation, religion and king since 1932. The Future Forward Party was dissolved by force. Legislators had been disqualified and pro-democracy figures had been forbidden to form political parties. The Government is also suspected of puppeteering the disappearance of dissenting figures, whether or not they are in-exile. We believe that the Thai Government ought to exercise self-restraint on these infringement of rights and liberties as well. We stand in solidarity with Thai protestors, in support of their demands including but not limited to the dissolution of the Parliament, to stop ruling with terror, to release all detainees and to lay down a new constitution.

Universal religious freedom does not serve as a basis for the state to undermine and overturn the essential thoughts of peace and freedom, which are endemic to the Enlightenment. The claim by a totalitarian regime based on the divine right to rule can be interpreted as a revival of an obsolete thinking, which should have been left in medieval times. It is no excuse to repress the many freedoms the people are entitled to, as well as their dignity as human beings and the fundamental civil liberties and rights.

A great number of undemocratic authoritarian regimes had survived or sprouted after the third wave of democratization, dating back from the last century. There is indeed a new surge of authoritarian states which devours the values of democracy we hold so dearly. The year of 2019 marks a crusade of peace-loving, democratic protestors risking their all to motivate change, in hope that their homelands will embrace reforms and undergo genuine democratization. The people have spoken, from Hong Kong to Taiwan, to Belarus and many more.

We believe the wind of change is inevitable. Democracy shall prevail over the authoritarian regimes that creep in shadows. We call on every freeman to voice out against tyranny, as of duty and belief.

Democracy now.

Sunny Cheung Nathan Law

Petition Link: http://chng.it/KVz8msP9Fh

Anti-government protesters are calling for reforms to Thailand’s constitutional monarchy

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UMass Amherst Campus, 911 Campus Center
Amherst, MA
01002

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority schedules are available here: http://www.pvta.com/schedules.php .

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(413) 545-0705

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If you have been at UMass since 2015 or 2016, could you please DM me? I am looking for people to send me their Bursar bills from around that time - Specifically to track Family Health Plan costs. So if you are someone who had a family plan back please talk to me, and if you know someone else who might have been on the family plan then please please tag them or DM me their name! Even if you have no info on family plans please DM me anyway if you've been around since 2015 or 2016, for important Bargaining research!
UMass Graduate workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits, and most are contracted for only 38 weeks a year. Many are international students, and are therefore not eligible for stimulus payments, relief under the federal CARES Act, federal or private student loans, and most other safety net programs. Furthermore, most international graduate students are unable to work off-campus, due to visa restrictions. Graduate workers have repeatedly voiced concerns about being able to provide for their families and survive over the summer, most notably in a petition that gathered over 900 signatures. Graduate workers recently hosted a “Reverse Town Hall” with 200 people in attendance online - UMass upper administration were invited, but not a single one bothered to attend. The Chancellor, Kumble Subbaswamy, was officially sent a list of demands with a deadline of April 23 to respond, while a drive-in protest with a caravan of almost 100 cars mustered at his campus residence. Neither of these actions moved the Chancellor to engage with the pressing needs of graduate student workers at UMass Amherst. We call on UMass to do the right thing, bargain fairly, recognize the needs of graduate workers!
Important updates
Hey everybody! The Office of the Bursar will be putting holds on students' accounts from the 10th of June onwards. If you owe rent or have any debts, please enroll in Fall 2020 courses before that date to avoid having issues in case your account will be put on hold! Thank you!
The executive board of UAW Local 2322, representing about 5,000 workers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, voted to endorse the Sanders campaign, reported here for the first time. Anais Surkin, the local’s president, said that the board chose to endorse based on widespread support of Sanders by the members, and as a result of frustration with the UAW international’s lack of a process for backing candidates in the Democratic primary. “What are they gonna do to us as a local if we endorse?” Surkin said. “We can and should express the will of the membership… the [Sanders] campaign isn’t focused just on the national leadership of unions. It’s focused on member-to-member communications.”
Hi fellow GEO members, Decades of increasing political and employer control have greatly diminished the power of all workers in the US. This especially affects vulnerable workers, including graduate student workers, in precarious conditions with little to no legal protections due to carefully crafted barriers constructed to prevent us from seeking legal protections and remedies from exploitative work conditions. Across the country events are unfolding of critical importance to the level and success of labor struggles for graduate workers at Umass and working people and students everywhere. There is one national presidential campaign that is devoted to empowering unions and increasing the strength and ability for workers to organize and fight for our rights, and that's the Bernie Sanders Campaign. https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1230288311006134274 The Sanders Campaign is actively building a mass movement, drawing in a broad, diverse coalition of working people, youth, and activists. Unions across the country are endorsing and advocating for the most pro-labor presidential campaign and movement in modern history. Sanders’ Workplace Democracy Plan, the Respect Graduate Student Workers Act, the Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal will be critical to creating an economy that works for all of us, not just the Billionaires. By investing in regular people’s daily lives, cancelling all student debt, guaranteeing good paying union jobs and the right to organize, we can reverse the long decline of wages and living standards. GEO Members for Bernie is a group of rank and file GEO members working to elect Sanders. We are organizing for a GEO endorsement for Bernie. Join us on February 26th at 6pm in S330 Life Sciences Lab to vote on the Bernie endorsement at our membership meeting. I encourage fellow GEO members to join us at the Umass for Bernie facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/601399810426507/) or to email us at [email protected].
I am seeking to get accommodations in my capacity as a teacher and sought help with accessible workplace. They’ve directed me to Disability Services. Is this right?
Faculty and Graduate Students from LLC and other departments came together to make a clear statement; white-supremacy and racism aren't tolerated here! Besides posters with slogans in the windows of Herter Hall, we just have published this statement. Please share and take action!
When was our first pay day for the semester supposed to be?
Hey guys! When is the benefits fair going to take place and where? Thanks!
Today's Child-In was pretty awesome!!!!
UMass Amherst folks...If you are a grad worker, work with grad workers, depend on grad workers, study under grad workers...check out how this administration "values" us as we attempt, 5 months AFTER we first presented our proposals in collective bargaining, to finally get some kind of an economic package counteroffer as we negotiate our new contract. Today we came to Barbara Krauthamer, the new Graduate School Dean, for her support in our efforts to bargain for livable wages. We waited for her for 20 minutes. Check out her responses to us starting at 19min in. IF YOU CARE ABOUT US AS STUDENT WORKERS, PLEASE SUPPORT US.