April 6,  2010

After a marathon thirteen hour mediation session with the university’s bargaining team yesterday, the GEO bargaining team emerged with an agreement that will protect tuition waivers, increase job security, and made important gains on minimum stipends and the university contribution to health insurance.

Because of your organizing, emails, letters of support, and attendance at Monday’s successful  rally, the bargaining team was able to walk away from the table with a contract that makes important gains, and protects the benefits we currently have. Because of your hard work, the UIC administration got our message that we could not agree to a contract that put our tuition waivers at risk.

Next week, GEO members will vote on whether to ratify the agreement (time and place to be announced soon) which includes

* Tuition waiver security

* 2% increase to the minimum stipend in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.

* Increased university contribution to health insurance from $100 per year to $250 per year.

* Greater job security through strengthened language about appointment and re-appointment criteria

* Guaranteed on time pay, even at the beginning of the school year

* Grads must receive appointment letters 45 days in advance of appointments, except in the case of late appointments

* Academic-year (9-month) pay guaranteed for those currently paid that way.

* Grads may enroll children in the UIC childcare center, and pay according to an income-based sliding scale

* Increased transparency in tuition differentials and fees.

At the ratification meeting, full copies of the new agreement will be available.

In solidarity,GEO Strategic Contract Campaign Committee