GEU Support for DACA Participants

Are you or is someone in your immediate family a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participant? Do you know of graduate students in your department or your MSU community who are participating in the DACA program? Recent changes to this program have caused a huge and unanticipated financial burden to DACA participants. I’m emailing today to let those of you who are grad students at MSU and eligible for renewal know that there are resources available to help you recover the cost of legal consultations and DACA renewal fees. Maybe you’ve paid for these items and are now struggling to cover your other expenses, or maybe you’ve been unable to renew due to the cost. The following channels may help you:

  • If you are a GEU member and need IMMEDIATE SUPPORT TODAY to afford your (or your immediate family member’s) DACA renewal, please apply for the solidarity grant by following this link. We are watching these applications closely, and are prepared to process these requests quickly.
  • If you are a GEU member and have already paid for your DACA renewal but are now experiencing additional unexpected financial hardship, the solidarity grant program is also designed to help you. You can learn more about the program (and apply) by following this link.
  • If you are a graduate student at MSU, the graduate school also has emergency fellowship funding available for students experiencing unexpected financial hardship, which you can apply for by following this link.

If you are not a DACA participant and are confused about the details of this current situation, a helpful article outlining the urgency of the problem is here: “The Trump administration didn’t notify immigrants about an abrupt deadline to renew DACA” From the article: “As of Wednesday, on the eve of the deadline, US Citizenship and Immigration Services reported to a third party that 111,565 of the approximately 154,000 who were eligible to apply for one last extension of their protections had done so.” This means over 40,000 applications for renewal have not yet been sent in.

We can’t change the actions the federal government has taken in this area, but we can help to offset the financial burden these actions have imposed. If you have any questions about any of the above items, please email:


GEU Opposes East Lansing Income Tax Proposal

East Lansing is currently running a budget deficit due to long term fiscal mismanagement.  One of the proposed ways to make up this budget deficit is to impose a tax on all income earned in East Lansing.  The proposed tax for the November 2017 ballot is 1% for East Lansing residents and 0.5% for income earned in East Lansing by non-residents, with an income exemption of $600 (savings of $3 or $6 depending on residence). This income tax proposal is tied to a property tax decrease

  • This tax will cost university workers roughly 5.5 million dollars per year

  • Roughly $800k of this will come just from students

  • This income tax will cost TAs that live outside East Lansing that work half time year round at least $100

  • Decreasing property tax and increasing a flat rate income tax will reduce burden on high earners, while placing an undue burden on young families, students, and renters

  • Faculty and other people with high earning potential can just leave East Lansing for other nearby communities, which was not considered in the financial studies that lead to the proposal on this tax

  • If you live in Lansing, your total city income tax rate will be the same, but the city of Lansing will lose access to approximately $800k in revenue, which is currently supporting vital public service projects

Vote: Tuesday November 7, 2017

Registration Deadline: Tuesday October 10

For more information or to get involved, contact:


Solidarity Call! Stand with DACA!

The current federal administration’s actions related to DACA directly impact numerous members of the graduate and undergraduate community at MSU. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting our RCS Stewards, Osvaldo and José, you should know that them as leaders for positive change on campus. As this article from the State News describes, they are also DACA participants. During their time at MSU, these two (along with so many others who have close personal ties to the DACA program) have dedicated themselves to improving life for students across campus through their involvement with various campus groups for change, including GEU. We are so lucky to have folks like José and Osvaldo among our campus community.

Call your representatives today and demand a legislative solution that will keep our colleagues and their families together. Find your representative here: and talk to them about the American Hope Act today.

(For more on this bill: follow this link.)


We’re Hiring!

Part-time Union Organizer

East Lansing, MI



The Graduate Employees Union is seeking a part-time organizer to build membership during Fall semester 2017 and Spring semester 2018. GEU represents approximately 1200 teaching assistants at Michigan State University. Organizers will report to GEU’s executive board, and will follow an organizing plan determined by GEU leadership and staff.   The Organizer will be paid $16/hour for work performed over this period, which will average 20 hours per week, beginning Tuesday, September 5th. The position follows the MSU University calendar. Candidates must be able to work a flexible schedule. The positions will be based in East Lansing, Michigan, but may require occasional in­-state travel. We will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue accepting applications until the position is filled.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned:

  • One-on-one internal organizing, including locating potential, new, and current GEU members, assessing their membership status, following up on previous conversations, and identifying potential activists.
  • Keeping detailed notes and managing confidential data
  • Motivating GEU members and setting an example in organizing
  • Meeting twice weekly with local staff to coordinate organizing plans.
  • Coordinating with existing workplace leaders on organizing plans.
  • Identifying and developing new workplace leaders to participate in organizing efforts.
  • Conducting job site/group meetings with members and potential members to discuss ongoing organizing efforts.
  • Communicating with members and potential members outside the workplace through office visits and phone calls.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Be a skilled, experienced organizer, ideally with 1 year or more of organizing experience
  • Higher education experience; bachelor’s degree required
  • High degree of personal integrity
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Strong interest in and commitment to unions and the labor movement
  • Familiarity with current issues in higher education
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including oral communication, effective listening, writing and motivational skills
  • Be self-motivated, responsible, organized, professional and detail-oriented
  • Have basic computing skills, including experience with Microsoft Office, database systems and social media

GEU is an affirmative action employer. Women, people of color, members of the LGBT community and other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Please submit cover letter, resume and contact information for at least three professional references in a PDF format with your last name as part of the file name to: using the subject line: “GEU Part-time Organizer.” Cover letters should include a short summary of your organizing experience and answer the following questions:

  1. Now that “Right-to-work” has made union membership optional, why should graduate employees want to join the GEU?
  1. What would be your strategy to recruit members as leaders and build the GEU in areas where there are not currently many activists?