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Graduate employees end strike, vote to accept offer from U of M

a sign for GEO that says UM works because we do
Caroline Llanes
Michigan Radio

The Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan voted to end their strike late Wednesday night.

An overwhelming majority of members voted to accept U of M's second offer to the union, which included COVID relief options such as expanded options for childcare, support for international graduate students, and increased transparency in the university's COVID-19 testing protocols.

The offer also included incremental movement on GEO's anti-policing demands.

GEO members rejected the university's initial offer last week, saying not enough demands had been met, and were set to strike until Friday. However, they will now return to work Thursday.

On Monday, U of M filed an injunction and restraining order against GEO, saying the strike had a "profound disruption" to students' education. And last week, the university filed an unfair labor charge against the union. 

By accepting the offer, the university will not retaliate against the union or graduate employees.

In a statement, GEO leaders praised members for standing up against the university.

"Thousands of members and allies came out in force day after day on the virtual and in-person picket lines to show that graduate students and their allies were prepared to fight for this community. By withholding our labor, building coalitions, and making our power impossible to ignore, we forced the university to give us an offer with substantive progress toward a safe and just campus."

Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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