The University of Chicago Labor Council (of which GSU is a member) will once again be hosting a May Day Rally on Sunday, May 1, celebrating International Workers Day. The rally will focus on bringing awareness to unrecognized labor and anti-union policies at UChicago and across the South Side. In addition to GSU, participating organizations include National Nurses United, the International Workers of the World-Chicago, Hyde Park Tenants United, UChicago without Borders, Care Not Cops, Students for Justice in Palestine at UChicago, and more!
The event will kick off at 2pm at Nichols Park in Hyde Park and will feature a march at 2:30, speeches, and tabling until 5pm. There will be children’s activities going on throughout the event and families are welcome. Please bring a mask and dress for the weather (we will be rallying rain or shine! Free masks will also be provided.
You can follow the Facebook event here to keep up with updates. If you are interested in volunteering to help with organizational and day-of tasks for the rally–such as marshaling, tabling, gathering materials, and/or live streaming and posting on social media–please reach out at email@example.com!
Steering Committee Election Results
Thank you so much to everyone who voted in our election last week. We are very pleased to announce the Steering Committee officers that will help administer the daily needs of our union over the next year:
Co-Presidents: Neomi Rao (Political Science) and Andrew Seber (History)
Communications Secretary: Shannon Sheu (Geophysical Sciences)
General Secretary: Natalie Farrell (Music)
Financial Secretary: Christopher Wilson (Mathematics)
Divisional Representative for the Humanities: Naomi Kurtz (Linguistics)
Divisional Representatives for the Social Sciences (working jointly): Carol Iglesias (History) and Elaine Colligan (Political Science)
Divisional Representative for the Crown School: Brianna Suslovic (Social Welfare)
Divisional Representative positions for Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Divinity remain open, as there were no candidates running for those positions this year. However, the Organizing Committee has indicated their dedication to supporting and training Departmental Organizers in those underrepresented divisions over the next several months with the goal of developing and encouraging candidates for future nomination to those position; if you are interested in becoming a Departmental Organizer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder, you can review the list of elected officers and other information about GSU’s structure any time at uchicagogsu.org. These new officers will be joined by representatives from each of GSU’s other committees; if you are interested in becoming more involved with GSU or any of our committees, check out our website at https://uchicagogsu.org/get-involved/ for more info.
Student Services Fee: Spring Quarter Organizing
While organizing around the Student Services Fee has been winding down this quarter, we’d like to remind you that it’s more important now than ever that we stay in touch. We know that many graduate workers still have outstanding debt from participating in this action in order to force the administration to eliminate the SSF going forward, and that some are planning on graduating this spring and summer.
If you have outstanding debt and are planning on graduating this quarter, please contact your Departmental Organizer or email email@example.com as soon as possible; we know that individuals have been able to graduate without paying off fees in the past, and we’d love to support you in doing so!
Meanwhile, if you are seeking a way to pay down debt, GSU’s Hardship Fund is up and running. If you are a graduate worker, you can apply here to receive funds to help pay off outstanding Student Services Fees. And if you have a few dollars to spare, consider donating to the GSU Hardship Fund to help support our coworkers who put their finances on the line to get the fee canceled for everyone!
If you have any questions or concerns or want to help organize with the campaign, please reach out to your departmental organizer or to the union directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IU Bloomington Grad Workers On Strike: 2 weeks and counting!
Following a successful card campaign by graduate workers at Indiana University Bloomington – in which over 60% of graduate students signed union cards – IU refused to enter talks with the union. IU Bloomington grad workers proceeded to strike, and are now voting to continue their strike into a third week! Show your support by donating to their strike fund and showing your solidarity on social media!
Strike Victory for UIC Graduate Employees Organization!
The UIC-GEO strike that began last Monday, April 18 ended with a victory! After their administration failed to bargain in good faith, UIC-GEO successfully won a wage increase, retroactive pay, protections for survivors, and arrangements for workers to make up work (and get paid!!) for the time spent on strike. Thank you to all GSU members who showed their support on the picket lines!
Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) Reparations Fundraiser
Join our comrades with Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) next Thursday, May 5, from 7-8:15pm on Zoom, for a discussion and fundraiser on the campaign for reparations from the University of Chicago. Hear from three generations of activists who have organized in response to UChicago’s racism and learn more about how STOP, along with the coalition for a Community Benefits Agreement and UChicago Against Displacement, is demanding that the University fund affordable housing in Woodlawn. You can find more information and register for the event here!
Support our Organizing–Sign Up for Optional Monthly Dues!
We’re excited to announce that GSU is now officially able to collect optional monthly dues from members! With just a fraction of your salary–far less than the annual cost of the Student Services Fee that we have just won coverage of–our union can create a stable and sustainable income that can be budgeted to pay for needs like meeting space, supplies, and organizing support. We are setting the initial goal of collecting enough to hire a part- or full-time staffer to help support the expansion of our organizing efforts. You can sign up now to start contributing any amount, and you can change the amount you contribute or stop at any time.
Get Involved with GSU this Quarter
GSU has a number of ways to get involved, from organizing to committee work! All meetings are open to all members. Below you can find the new Spring Quarter meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s organizers or email email@example.com if you are interested in work at the departmental or divisional level. To receive Zoom links and updates for the meetings below, email us to join the Departmental Organizer listserv.
Steering Committee – Alternating Wednesdays at 5pm and Fridays at 2pm
Mutual Aid Committee – Tuesdays at 10am
Communications Committee – Tuesdays at 11am
Anti-Racism Working Group – TBD
Department Organizer Training – weekly by appointment (contact us!)
Organizing Committee – Wednesdays at 4pm
Worker Action Committee – Meeting on an as-needed basis