Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition (NTFC Local 6546) ::
Open Letter of Support for GEO ::
We, the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition AFT/IFT/AAUP Local 6546 (NTFC), call upon the University of Illinois to bargain a fair contract with the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO). We urge Provost Cangellaris and the administration to accept GEO’s proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement, including the continued protection of graduate employees’ tuition waivers and provisions for stability. NTFC stands in full support of GEO’s actions in its efforts to secure a fair contract.
The services that GEO members provide through their teaching and research are vital to the mission of this university, and their labor should be fairly compensated. A fair labor contract for GEO is essential in allowing the university to recruit the best graduate scholars for our campus. Further, providing equitable compensation to graduate employees protects access to public higher education. These matters should be of highest priority to the administration of the university.
Many of our NTFC members work alongside graduate assistants and teaching assistants. Some have expressed concern that we may be called upon by the administration to replace GEO labor in the event of a strike. It is NTFC’s firm position that any attempt to require NTFC members to break the GEO strike and replace the labor of striking employees would violate our members’ rights and our collective bargaining agreement.
While under our current contract, NTFC members must complete all of their own contractual duties and cannot and should not withhold their own labor. Nevertheless, NTFC recognizes, and will act fully to enforce, the rights of our members under the First Amendment to demonstrate solidarity and support for GEO. We encourage our members to support GEO in their fight for a fair contract by participating in peaceful protests, pickets, and rallies as per their First Amendment rights.
Kay Emmert, President
Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition (NTFC)