Newsletter 10/5/2022

Happy Wednesday, graduate workers! We are still actively carding, so if you haven’t yet signed your card, make sure to click the button below or use to sign online.

In this newsletter, you can find a recap on the Howard Brown nurses – who won on the eve of their strike, as well as GSU announcements and events.

Victory for Howard Brown Nurses!

A Bite-Sized Breakdown:

What was happening at Howard Brown?

  • Nurses formed a union to demand fairer wages, benefits, and bonuses from Howard Brown. They had planned to go on strike this week – today would have been their first day picketing outside the clinic! GSU organizers, like Kit Ginzky – a Social Work and History PhD – called for GSU to support the picket line.

Why aren’t we picketing today?

  • Great news! The nurses union won a tentative agreement with Howard Brown. After almost four months of tireless negotiations, the nurses have secured a second contract!

What is in the new contract?

  • From the Nurses Union:
  • “Immediate 5.5% increase (or higher based on where steps happen to fall) for first year of Contract
  • Steps that give a 2% increase for anniversary increases each year that happen August 1 each year
  • Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) equaling the greater of 3% that also happen August 1 each year
  • Current RNs get an immediate $1,500 retention bonus, $1,500 in August 2023, and $1,500 in August 2024″
  • and other key wins!

What does this mean for GSU?

  • Besides a critical victory for the nurses in our community and an opportunity to blast Pete Seeger this afternoon? The nurses union and their victory has been a backyard demonstration of effective union organizing. As we gear up to card and unionize, having these experienced allies alongside us can help us to plan for our demands – and hopefully make an equally sweeping win!
  • The Nurses Union thanked several unions for their help, including: the Illinois Nurses Association, Chicago Teacher’s Union, More Perfect Union, and Jobs with Justice for their help in organizing this effort. For GSU, and all university workers, this is a reminder that we will not win our fight alone. We wage this fight alongside a broader movement of workers. Remembering the importance of a coalition between our unions is necessary for any success at the bargaining table. We look to fellow workers – and graduate workers – to win this contract!
  • But mostly, a win for healthcare workers – the backbone of our society – is a win for us all. Solidarity forever, and congratulations to the new Howard Brown union!!


  • Interim Steering Committee Elections: The Steering Committee announces two resignations from officer positions. Effective immediately, Andrew Seber (History) is stepping down as co-president and Shannon Sheu (Geophysical Sciences) has stepped down as Communications Secretary. Andrew will more actively serve department organizing committees ahead of the card campaign as a member of UE’s project staff team. He will be primarily working on UChicago GSU’s campaign, but also serving the larger UE GWOC (Graduate Worker Organizing Committee) project which works across existing and new grad campaigns. He remains a department organizer and member of the union. Shannon will no longer be part of the bargaining unit as of August 31, 2022. Shannon has been hired as a new part-time staffer, taking on the dues-funded position that was approved by general membership at the August 25th General Member’s Meeting. He will be working exclusively with GSU supporting existing and new organizing efforts. In light of the above, an elections committee will follow up shortly about an interim election to fill the co-presidency and Communications Secretary roles. We are seeking two Communications Secretaries to manage our internal and external communications via our communications committee. If this description sounds like you or someone you know, please consider submitting a nomination for an open position.


  • 10/5 CHD Organizing Committee
    • Organizing Committee for CHD
    • When & Where: Wednesday October 5th 4:45-5:45 PM at the CHD Lounge.
  • 10/5 Organizing Committee
    • The central committee meeting where major organizing concerns are discussed. The strategizing session and beating heart of the union!
    • When & Where: Wednesday, October 5th 5:30-6:30 PM at Hyde Park Union Church.
  • 10/6 Comms Meeting
    • Weekly communications meeting where we’ll talk comms strategy, social media, newsletter, press contacts, and more! All are welcome!
    • When & Where: Thursday the 6th at 11 AM on zoom.
  • 10/6: Departmental Organizer Training
  • 10/7: Solidarity Working Group Meeting
  • 10/11 GSU 101

Get Involved!

  • Fill out this form, get in touch with one of your department’s organizers or even email if you are interested in working at the departmental or divisional level. You can always check out our calendar for upcoming events. To receive Zoom links and updates for all our weekly committee meetings, email us to join the Departmental Organizer listserv and Slack workspace. All meetings are open to all members. 

In solidarity,

Graduate Students United