91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Unfair labor practice charges dropped but war of words continues in GEO strike against U of M

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio
The University of Michigan's graduate employees union is on strike.

The graduate student union, GEO, and the University of Michigan have agreed to drop unfair labor practice charges against each other.

University administration also agreed to drop a lawsuit it filed against the union over the economic damage from the strike.

But the war of words between the two continues, as does the strike, which began March 29.

“The Administration’s approach to its negotiations has relied almost exclusively on legal stunts rather than serious bargaining,” said Jared Eno, president of GEO. “The university has failed to end this strike because none of its strategies have engaged with the urgent cost of living, health, and safety crises that graduate workers are trying to address. We remain ready to bargain whenever the administration is ready to treat its workers with respect.”

The University of Michigan blamed the union for the impasse.

"Ideally, this matter would be settled at the bargaining table just like we do with the other dozen unions we work with at the university. But both sides need to want to come together and be serious about negotiating. So far, GEO hasn’t shown a willingness to do this. The union, so far, has agreed to bargain for only one day this month. That alone shows the union’s lack of seriousness in working toward a resolution. "

The University says on its strike web page that it has made several counter-offers to the union's initial demand for a 60% wage increase.

On its strike page, GEO says the cost of living "squeeze" is why it's fighting for a "living wage," of $38,500 for union members.

The University of Michigan holds Michigan Radio's license.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Related Content