GEO LOCAL (6297) LEGEND Award Given to Matt DeVilbiss

July 28th, 2022

Matt holding the LOCAL (6297) LEGEND trophy

Our strike last Spring was an incredible success. We won what we won together, as grad workers standing in solidarity. We could never have achieved what we did without the efforts of every GEO member, but that is especially true of Matt DeVilbiss.

Matt was a steward in the math department during the 2019 GEO strike, an experience that galvanized them and instilled in them a conviction that unions are critical to advancing justice for workers. In 2020, Matt stepped up and became the Organizing Chair of GEO. Over the following two years, Matt helped develop and execute the organizing plan that buttressed our contract bargaining with the University. Matt was a tireless advocate of grad workers: they planned and coordinated events, they led a team of organizers, they had countless personal conversations with grad workers about their needs and goals. Grad workers at UIC will begin the Fall semester with better pay and stronger protections than ever before, and Matt was instrumental in that effort.