Official Spring 2020 GEO Election Guide


Dear GEO Members and Allies,
The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) is holding elections to fill two half-time (0.5 FTE) assistantship positions on the Organizing Committee with a start-date of Fall 2020.

The GEO Organizing Committee is comprised of Graduate Assistants at UMass Boston. We work collaboratively to advocate for Graduate Employee rights on campus and enrichment opportunities for Graduate workers at UMass Boston. Some of the projects in which the Organizing Committee are currently working on include:

  • Bargaining a new contract with UMB’s administration to address labor concerns affecting graduate employees
  • Engaging with graduate employees across campus to organize collective action and increase membership engagement
  • Administering Scholarly Support Funds (SSF) for students seeking funding to present at, or attend conferences
  • Mediating member grievances
  • Developing communications content for the website, social media, and e-newsletters

Am I eligible to run for the GEO Organizing Committee?
These positions are available to current GEO members – graduate assistants – interested in becoming actively involved in the union. That means that you must have at least one Graduate Assistantship on campus currently and be a dues-paying member of the GEO in good standing. If you are not a duespaying member, you will need to fill out our dues-paying membership form and send it to us along with your nomination documents. Graduate employees who currently hold full-time assistantships are also eligible to run and, upon being elected, will receive a stipend in lieu of an additional assistantship.

For detailed amounts for the half- and full-time payments and benefits, see the GEO contract which can be
found here

What does it take to be part of the GEO Organizing Committee?
Each position is a half-time assistantship requiring 9 hours per week. Every member of the Organizing Committee is responsible for attending weekly meetings of the Organizing Committee; all other tasks are assigned upon committee consensus on best interests and expertise. The half-time assistantships include a stipend and tuition remission.

Schedule for Spring 2020 elections
I. Nominations: The nomination period is a two-week period starting on Monday, March 2 until Monday, March 16. The candidate with the most votes after voting–held in mid-April–wins. Your nomination should include:

  • Your completed nomination form (download here)
  • Evidence that you are an active dues-paying member (Paystub) or a Dues Authorization Form (attached), and
  • Strongly recommended: The picture that you will use for campaigning.
  • Nominations must be emailed to on or before March 16, 2020 (by midnight).

II. Campaigning: This is a two-week period starting right after the Spring Break – Monday, March 23 up until Sunday, April 5. During this time, you are expected to do outreach among other graduate students on-campus and sharing your campaigning platform.

The GEO will post all nominations (picture, name, program, and platform) on the website. However, the GEO Organizing Committee cannot campaign for or endorse any candidates, nor grant any advantage to one candidate and not all. Some campaigning ideas are to:

  • talk to graduate classmates/friends about
    • the importance of being active in your graduate student union,
    • what your target topics of action while in the committee would be -if elected,
    • and why they should vote for you to be part of the GEO Organizing Committee
  • put posters up (Follow UMB Postings and Flyers procedure)
  • use social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email

Nominations should include (Incomplete nominations will not be considered):
1. Nomination form (download here),
2. Candidate platform, picture, and bio (as part of nomination form),
3. Proof of dues-paying / membership by supplying either your pay stub (Online access through HR Direct) or a completed Membership Dues Form (attached)

III. Voting period: Voting will occur for three days in the second week of April, these will be Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8, and Thursday 9 of April and will span most of the day (10 am – 6 pm). Per UAW voting rules, voting must be done in person. Voting occurs by secret ballot. We will provide a list of the nominees and a ballot where you will mark your nominee(s) of preference. Nominees and friends are encouraged to attend the vote-counting meeting to be held on April 9 at 6 pm.

In the event that the number of eligible candidates does not exceed two (2), such candidate(s) will be deemed elected by acclamation and no election will be held. Please note that only dues-paying GEO members are eligible to vote or run in this election. If you are not a GEO member, we will have Membership Forms available at the polls for those graduate employees who would like to vote in this and all subsequent union elections, along with its other benefits. Results will be announced on our online platforms and celebrated in an end-of-semester party.

In Solidarity,
The GEO Organizing Committee