|GEO picket signs were used only once, during a daylong walkout March 11. The settlement averted a longer strike. (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)|
A number of issues were resolved in bargaining sessions that began last October, with child care the last point to be settled. Under the agreement, the University will increase awards available for support of child care expenses for graduate student instructors (GSIs) and graduate student staff assistants (GSSAs) under the Child Subsidy Program to $1,700 for the first child and $850 for the second and third child, per semester. That is an increase from award amounts of $1,000 and $500 per semester. Students must meet income eligibility criteria and use licensed childcare providers.
In addition, the University and GEO signed a memorandum of understanding about child care that commits to an implementation committee working to carry out the recommendations of a Rackham-CEW task force. GEO will appoint three members of that committee. The Provost has committed at least $150,000 per year over three years to support the implementation of the recommendations on availability and affordability of child care, as guided by the work of the committee.
Other highlights of the contract include:
The contract also addresses limits and requirements for the training of GSIs, defines harassment and discrimination, and details an expedited grievance procedure for handling harassment complaints. More information on these and other provisions of the new contract can be found on the Web at www.umich.edu/~urel/gsi-sa/negotiations.html.