Scrolling Headlines:

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

Letter: The Graduate Employee Organization wants to empower those who are marginalized

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) is the union that represents and protects grad workers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For over 25 years, teaching assistants, teaching associates, research assistants, project assistants, assistant residence directors and interns have worked together to ensure that their working and living conditions are protected by a strong contract. This contract, that we will be bargaining again in the coming months, has ensured that grad workers at UMass get paid fair wages, have affordable and accessible health insurance, have access to dental, vision and childcare benefits, have legal protections and remedies against discrimination, harassments and exploitation. And yet our members, like many in our community, still must endure the indignity of food insecurity and lack of affordable housing.

As a social justice organization, we seek to empower the most marginalized among us. We know that grad workers who are parents experience discrimination at the University’s childcare center, and that their on-campus housing is expensive and run-down. We know that students of color, particularly international grads, experience daily harassment and racism at their work and in their community; that they cannot afford to live in Amherst and that without summer funding they find themselves routinely in precarious circumstances. We know that many people have major concerns over their Visa status and their ability to remain in this country and that the University lacks resources to support them.

Our campus has a long way to go to achieve its mission of being welcoming to minority populations. GEO receives numerous grievances (official complaints) regarding sexual violence in the workplace. We have heard repeatedly that the UMass Center for Counseling and Psychological Health is understaffed and desperately needs more Black and brown professionals. We have heard that University Health Services must have better resources for the transgender community, as well as more on-campus resources for women’s and reproductive health.

Twenty-five years of labor activism have taught us that only worker solidarity and campus coalitions can improve the living and working conditions of all people at UMass. We know that a democratic union can empower members to defend their rights and expand their benefits. To ensure that our contract remains strong and that our union grows, GEO members have voted to establish the following guiding principles for our bargaining campaign:

HEALTH CARE: Health care must remain affordable and accessible; it must also be expanded and secured against regressive political visions.

WAGES: Our members will only accept a wage increase significant enough to get them out of poverty.

PROTECTIONS: We will protect the most vulnerable among our members.

ACCOUNTABILITY: We will hold the University accountable to its mission, vision and values of inclusivity, diversity, social justice and progressivism.

GRAD PARENTS: We will ensure that families can remain together through fair wages, fair housing and affordable health insurance.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: We will demand that the university swiftly denounce and penalize any practices of workplace discrimination, harassment or intimidation.

In solidarity,

GEO, UAW 2322

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