Despite Boss Threats of Injunctions, Fines and Jail, Graduate Workers at the U of Michigan Continue Strike – Safety Over Profits!

Graduate Employees’ Organization 3550

GEO members, our strike is surging in momentum — and that means events are moving fast. We’re committed to keeping you as informed as possible about rapidly changing schedules; appreciate your patience and flexibility!

Two important upcoming virtual member events:

1) NEXT EMERGENCY STRIKE GMM, DATE/TIME TBD: We will likely need to confirm the date and time of this event on very short notice. Please RSVP (once!) now to make sure you receive information when it is finalized: http://bit.ly/GMMTBD

2) MEMBER STRIKE UPDATE ZOOM Q&A: 5:30pm today. Bring any questions and concerns. RSVP: http://bit.ly/QASept15

Please check the steps at bit.ly/GEOFilter if you don’t see these announcements in your inbox.Also, tonight’s planned Labor Organizing 101 event has been cancelled – we will keep you posted on rescheduling plans!

And on September 16, 2020 – “Anti-Policing Rally on the Diag:” https://bit.ly/35GE1b0

Ways to Help:

Here’s letter of support folks at any academic institution can sign: http://tiny.cc/ScholarsSupportGEOStrike

Donate to the strike fund: https://www.geo3550.org/join-us/contribute/

Sign this petition for alums: https://t.co/gs2mO5FU2G?amp=1

Thank you to Graduate Employee Organization (GEO-UAW) for their statement of solidarity!https://www.geouaw.org/solidarity-with-geo-3550-umich-campus-workers/

UMass Amherst graduate employees of GEO-UAW2322 stand in firm solidarity with GEO-3550, the graduate employees of the University of Michigan, who are currently striking in opposition to UM’s unsafe and unjust operations in the collective emergency of the global pandemic. You have inspired solidarity from many organizations across your campus—including residential staff, dining and construction workers—and your actions have reverberated across the country.

During an unprecedented event, you have stood as a bulwark against the dangerous and ill-advised actions of your university, making you are a model for GEO unions everywhere. At the outset of your strike, your administration published a letter intended to deny, deflect and divert from your issues—with the ultimate goal of deceiving and dividing your membership. Central to their argument was the reminder that yours is a “Right to Work” state, making your strike an illegal act. Nevertheless, you persisted for the sake of both your union and the university at large.

Last night, you voted to extend your historic strike with 80% of your membership in the affirmative; this comes less than a week after rejecting an offer that did not include an option for GSIs to work remotely or flexible subsidies for caregivers. Crucially, it also did not address the militarization of UM police.Here at UMass, our administration is saddling us with similar challenges: the university is currently threatening its workers with 300 layoff notices if our Professional Staff Union and University Staff Association do not agree to the university’s most recent offer intended to “bridge the gap” on a revenue shortfall caused by COVID-19. Just as with your administration, ours is attempting to deny, deflect and divert from the issues important to workers.

This is unsurprising, but it does not distract from the facts: that in an unprecedented moment of uncertainty, the most vulnerable among us need support from our institutions, and, if our institutions are unwilling to give us the support we need, our workers will do their job for them. At a time when universities need to rise to the challenge of protecting their students and supporting their employees, you are stepping up to fulfill their duty—a duty they have neither the courage nor conviction to realize.

Your efforts do not just protect your workers, they also protect the larger student body from both the pandemic and from the militarized police presence used to carry out the punishment from an otherwise feckless university. Your demands are both righteous and just: this is a fight worth fighting, which means it is a fight worth winning.

Yours in solidarity,GEO-UAW 2322 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst 9/10/20

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