The University Record, April 2, 1996

GEO votes for walkout; plans strike for April 8-9 

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), which has been engaged in contract negotiations with the University since October, voted March 26 to stage a two-day walkout from classes April 8-9. The strike was called despite the fact that the GEO and University bargaining teams had agreed to state mediation, which is scheduled to begin April 10.

Lisa Baker, associate vice president for university relations, says the University "hopes to continue negotiations with GEO this week and to reach an agreement soon. We hope to avert a walkout."

According to GEO spokesperson Peter Church, the union will be setting up picket lines around classroom buildings April 8-9 and its members will not teach classes, hold office hours or attend classes during those two days.

Following announcement of the strike, GEO bargainers met with University negotiators again Wednesday evening (March 27). Chief negotiator Daniel A. Gamble says that negotiations centered around salaries and international graduate students, but that the outcome was discouraging.

"Little progress has been made," Gamble says, "in spite of the 31 sessions we have had since October."

There currently are 14 unresolved issues that face the two bargaining teams, including University-funded positions for GEO members to serve on committees, waiving registration fees for graduate student instructors, changes in grievance procedures and increasing the computing allocation to a greater amount than faculty currently receive.

The most recent contract extension expired yesterday (April 1). At Record press time, the next bargaining session was scheduled for tomorrow (April 3).