March 1, 2023

My name is Ana Iwataki and I’m a 3rd year PhD student in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture. I’m reaching out today with some exciting news: the NLRB has certified our union! Today we sent a letter to Vice Provost Stott demanding that USC administration begin negotiations with Grad Student Workers. You can find a copy of the letter here.

With this in mind, I’d like to share some important next steps.

Now that we’ve won our union, it’s time to turn our attention to bargaining an outstanding first contract. In the month of March, we will lay the groundwork for the bargaining process with two key actions: nominating & voting on a bargaining team, and working toward initial bargaining demands. 

To help kick off this next stage of our union campaign, I’d like to invite each of you to a campus-wide town hall next Thursday, March 9th, at 5 pm. The town hall is open to all graduate student workers at USC, and will be held over Zoom and in an in-person location (details to come). To RSVP, please fill out this form.

Throughout March (and beyond), we will also work together to host a series of trainings and events related to bargaining. Our first post-election Contract Bargaining Training will be held this upcoming Tuesday, March 7th, 4pm over Zoom. RSVP here if you’d like to attend. If you’d like to help organize a bargaining training for your department, your lab, or even just a group of your friends and coworkers, please fill out this form or simply reply to this email!

Additionally, GSWOC is kicking off an exciting new series of sessions on Understanding the UC Contract. The UC strike and contract were a watershed moment for academic workers in California and across the country. It’s crucial we have a thorough understanding of what they won — and how they won it through mass action and an engaging bargaining process. If you’re interested in attending the first of these sessions, which will be held over Zoom next Wednesday, March 8th, at 4 pm, RSVP here.

On this note, I’m delighted to announce the establishment of the Working Conditions Research Committee. The WCRC is a brand-new team founded to conduct research into current working conditions at USC and academic worker union contracts across the U.S. RSVP here for our first meeting, this Friday, March 3rd at 2 pm. 

Finally, I’d like to encourage you to fill out the Workplace Environment and Compensation Survey and the Initial Bargaining Survey, if you haven’t already. Each of these surveys contains space to share your experiences and provide input into what we, as Grad Student Workers, should work to accomplish during contract bargaining.

There is no better time to get involved than now. Getting USC to the bargaining table and winning a first contract will take massive and wide-scale effort involving all of us, across all departments, and at both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help out, please fill out this form.

In solidarity,
Ana Iwataki, CSLC