The GEO represents 2,600 TAs and GAs on campus, providing help against grievances of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, sexual orientation harassment, and other types of harassment, discrimination, preferential treatment, overwork, and other types of exploitation. The GEO is one of the largest higher education union locals in the United States. (You can find more info at the GEO website)
1. Tuition waivers
Putting language in the contract to protect tution waivers will cost the university $0. All TAs signed contracts that granted them tuition waivers. Without this, many TAs would have chosen to go to another school that offers tuition waivers for graduate students–around 90% of programs in the US grant tuition waivers to graduate students. It is unjust for the administration to refuse to protect this stipulation in the middle of our degree programs.
2. Minimum salary and University cost of living
Current minimum 50% salary: $13, 430
University’s estimated cost of living in C-U: $16,086
3. Administrator salaries
President, B. Joseph White $450,000 (pg. 42) (President Obama’s salary is only $400,000)
Chancellor, Richard Herman $395, 500 (pg. 126)
Interim Provost, Robert Easter $254, 095 (pg. 6)
Together, just these 3 people make $1,099, 595 (enough to pay 81 TAs for the whole year)
Increasing the minimum 50% TA salary: $2.6 million or 0.7% of the university budget. (This is less than 1%.)
4. Admissions Scandal
The former Chancellor diverted $450,000 of discretionary funds to provide jobs and scholarships for politically well-connected but undeserving applicants. Another $400,000 went to the attorneys who represented the University before the Governor’s investigative committee found the ethical violations.
* Combined with administrator salaries = $1,949,595 (pay for 145 TAs for the whole year)
* This is only $650,000 short of the $2.6 million needed meet the GEO’s requests.
5. When Campus Revenues Rose
When campus revenues rose by 7% in FY 2009, only 0.8% ($2.7 million) went to undergraduate instruction. Meanwhile, the Chief Information Officer’s budget rose by 10.9 percent ($1.6 million), and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics budget increased 6.2 percent ($4.1 million).
6. Undergraduate Tuition Waivers revoked
In the Spring Semester, Chemistry will revoke 100 Undergraduate TA tution waivers. Click here to show your support for them.
7. State of Illinois monies
State of Illinois monies only make up 5% of the university’s entire budget–so this cannot be used as a reason to claim the university is in dire financial straits. If the university is in dire economic straits, it is because the Administration has mis-allocated funds to a failing Global campus initiative, a failing Industrial Park, and in inflated Administrative salaries.
Please call the chair of the Board of Trustees and Interim Provost Easter to voice your support for the GEO–The University of Illinois belongs to its students–not it’s administrators.
WHERE TO CALL
Interim Provost Easter: (217) 244-4545
Christopher Kennedy: (312) 527-7890 extension 7890
WHAT TO SAY (It’s useful if you can put your message in your own words, but the following provides a basic template for you to use. This text suggests leaving a message, but if you can talk directly with these men, even better. Remember, what’s most important is that the message of support for the GEO position be communicated to administrators.)
You cannot be penalized by the administration for voicing your opinion. You are their bosses. You and the taxpayers of Illinois pay their salaries.
Hello, my name is __________. I’m an undergraduate of the University of Illinois, and I’d like to leave a message for [Provost Easter/Mr Kennedy.]
I want to urge the administration to reach a fair agreement with the Graduate Employees Organization, and ensure that graduate employees, who teach a quarter of classes at the University, receive a living wage. This is vital to maintaining the quality of education at the U of I.
*This information sheet is lifted, copied, and plagiarized from the Graduate Student website.