26 Apr GEO Wins Tentative Agreement | Celebrate Janet Smith this Friday
- GEO settles contract, suspends strike: grad workers won protections for survivors, increased wages, and fee waivers, among other important victories.
- Rally to memorialize Janet Smith, Friday at 12pm: Join us to celebrate Janet’s memory and rally to continue her fight for worker power at UIC and beyond.
- Action to save the quad, Thursday at 12pm: Join UIC undergraduates and the cultural centers in an action to save the quad as a space for protest and gathering.
At midnight last night, GEO and the UIC administration bargaining team reached a tentative agreement on the remaining articles of the GEO contract. GEO has suspended their strike and will hold a ratification vote later this week. In addition to increased protections for workers experiencing harassment, discrimination, and bullying, GEO won a 9.6% pay increase for the coming academic year and 3.75% and 3.25% increases in the following two years. All striking workers will have the opportunity to make up their missed work for full pay, and everyone currently in the bargaining unit will receive a lump sum retroactive payment of $1,000 for each of the past two semesters. See GEO’s wins summary for more details.
We greatly appreciate all the solidarity that faculty have shown during the strike. Your contributions undoubtedly helped push the university administration toward a fairer contract.
We will continue this spirit of solidarity by celebrating Janet Smith’s life and legacy this Friday at noon outside University Hall. Colleagues and comrades will speak to Janet’s enormous impact on UICUF, UIC, and the labor movement in Chicago. We will also present the inaugural Janet Smith Organizing Award to Gayatri Reddy (GWS, GLAS, Anthropology) and two years’ worth of John Shuler Shared Governance and Academic Freedom Awards to Philosophy and Global Asian Studies. We’ll conclude by introducing the 2022-24 UICUF leadership and sending the bargaining team into the summer with some rallying chants. After all, we couldn’t properly honor Janet’s memory without bringing some fighting, chanting spirit.
Janet thought and cared a lot about physical spaces and how we use them. To honor that, we are asking participants to bring items that evoke Janet: photos, jewelry, buttons, or anything else that brings her to mind. We will have a space set aside to hold these items for the duration of the memorial. We hope to see you all there.
Another way to honor Janet’s legacy and the history of protest at UIC is to join UIC undergrads and the Cultural Centers in resisting the planned renovation of the quad, which would eliminate it as a gathering space for rallies and other events and make it less accessible for people who need to pass through it. Please join students for an action in the quad this Thursday, 4/28 at noon and write to the Chancellor and Provost to express your support for the students’ concerns.
UIC United Faculty Leadership