LPAC is seeking representatives

LPAC, the Lesiglative and Political Action Committee, is seeking volunteers. LPAC seeks to further GAU’s longstanding involvement in issues of political and lesiglative concern to SIUC’s graduate population. Further, LPAC seeks to demonstrate GAUs solidarity with other unions, political organizations, and social organizations that share in GAU’s aim of representing the needs of graduate students. In accomplishing this goal, the committee seeks to interpret both “political” and “lesiglative” broadly to enable LPAC to make proposals that address the political and lesiglative needs of GAU’s diverse population.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact us at gau.siuc@gmail.com

Membership Cards!

If you are a dues paying member and have not received your membership card, I probably have it!

I think it was American Express that had the tag line “Membership has its privileges”. Unlike a credit card, your GA United membership card SAVES you money rather than charging you interest. There are discounts available on everything from local restaurants, travel, and even major appliances. When you have your union card, you’re entitled to all kinds of savings. This is one way to offset the cost of being a member; which for most graduate students is a welcome thing.

Please contact me, GAU President, Bob Velez, either by visiting Faner Hall room 3172 (I’m usually there Monday – Thursday from about 8am to 3:30pm) or sending an email to rwvelez@siu.edu. I can even send it to you via interoffice mail if you send me an email with your full name and on campus mailcode.

When you receive the card, visit http://www.ieanea.org/benefits/membership-card/ and register using your membership number. You will receive periodic emails about discounts available in the local area as well as nationwide. There’s even an app for your smartphone!

Saving you money . . . It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

Bob Velez
President, Graduate Assistants United (IEA/NEA)

SIU trustees to decide on court decision that university bargained in bad faith

A standoff between SIU Carbondale administrators and several employee unions remains unresolved, more than three years after a strike officially ended.

The SIU Board of Trustees’ executive committee met Wednesday to decide whether or not to appeal a court decision ordering the university to repay about 1,500 employees nearly $2 million in back wages after administrators in 2011 forced employees to take four furlough days.

John Charles, SIU’s executive director for governmental and public affairs, said the university will issue a statement today, outlining the trustees’ decision.

Up for appeal is a Dec. 18 decision by the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, which reaffirmed an earlier ruling that the university bargained in bad faith during contract negotiations in 2010 and 2011.

“The overall record clearly indicates that the university went through the motions of bargaining without an open mind or a sincere desire to reach an agreement,” the decision stated. “Instead, it wanted to get to a point where it could declare ‘impasse’ as quickly as possible so that it could impose the terms that it wanted. Although this course of action was easier, it was plainly unlawful.”

Three employee unions – the SIUC Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association, the Association of Civil Service Employees and the SIUC Faculty Association – filed the original complaint.

All three are affiliated with Illinois Education Association.