The Graduate Employees Organization, the union representing graduate student instructors and staff assistants, has announced its intention to stage a one-day work stoppage March 11.
A work stoppage of any length would be extremely disruptive to our educational effort, and would seriously shortchange our undergraduate students, says Interim Provost Paul Courant. We do not believe a work stoppage is appropriate, nor is it necessary in order for GEO to arrive at a fair contract with the University. Courant is sending a letter to deans, department chairs and faculty reminding them that it is the responsibility of each academic department to provide instructional staff for all scheduled classes.
The current three-year contract expired Feb. 1 and was extended to Feb. 15. GSIs have been working without a contract since that time. Bargaining sessions are scheduled for March 5 and 7.
The two bargaining teams have been meeting twice a week since Oct. 30 and have come to terms on four proposals. Several other issues remain unresolved, including wage increases, child care, non-discrimination and harassment, training and budgeting.
Information on the negotiations is regularly updated on the Web at www.umich.edu/~urel/gsi-sa/index.html.