GEO Update

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months under the terms of an expired contract,
the Graduate Employees’ Organization
(GEO) continues to seek a negotiated
agreement over the terms of their new contract
with the University of Illinois Board of
Trustees. The GEO platform includes a living
wage, tuition waiver security, and
greater University contributions to and better
coverage of health care and child care.
Recent bargaining sessions have been
unproductive, with all GEO compromise
proposals having been rejected.
The administration’s bargaining team
has claimed that the University cannot
afford to provide a $16,086 living wage and
improved benefits, given the current budgetary
climate. Actually, the budget has
been on the rise. State funding of public
higher education has increased by 1.1%.
Last year, tuition was increased by $401
per semester, resulting in revenue growth
of 14.5%. Investment income from the
University’s endowment rose 5%. Former
President Joe White, who collected
$550,000 for his work during the 07-08
academic year, has stated that the endowment
has performed better than expected
during the recession. Fiscal year (FY) 2009
was among the five most lucrative of the
University’s 142-year history, representing a
2.6% increase from 2008.
Overall, the campus budget increased
$103 million, or 7%, in FY 2009. However,
the percentage of the budget directed to
“instruction” rose only 0.8%. At the same
time, the Chief Information Officer’s budget
rose by 10.9% and the Vice Chancellor for
Institutional Advancement saw an increase
of 12.1%. “Other Administrative Units”
recorded an increase of 10.2%.
The GEO advocates for greater access to
public higher education for all and stands
in solidarity with campus and local laborers.
Learn more at

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