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Graduate Employees' Organization remain on strike as UM seeks court injunction

The University of Michigan
Wikipedia Media Commons
The University of Michigan

Later today, a judge will rule on whether or not the union representing graduate student instructors and staff assistants at the University of Michigan should be forced back to work by the school. The Graduate Employees’ Organization, known as“GEO”, has been on strike since March 29th.

U-M filed a complaint with the Washtenaw County Circuit Court seeking a preliminary injunction against GEO. The court did not grant the injunction but they scheduled an evidentiary hearing for this morning at 10 a.m.

According to Amir Fleischmann, a member of GEO’s bargaining team, the two sides are far apart on a number of issues. The biggest gap is on salary as GEO is seeking a livable wage of $38,000 per year for its members. That’s a 60% increase in the first year. They say U-M is offering an increase of about 11% over the next three years.

Fleischmann says the university is hoping to use the court system to force members back on the job, but they will continue to resist that.

“Injunctions are really not the usual remedy for strikes. We think that the contract is best resolved at the negotiating table, not in a courtroom.”

A university spokesperson said in a statementthat “The U-M team remains focused on bargaining in good faith with GEO to reach a new agreement.”

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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