The University Record, March 4, 2002

GEO schedules walkout

By Julie Peterson
Office of the Vice President for Communications

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.