My name is Katie and I am a 6th year PhD candidate in the English Department. I’m writing to tell you a little bit about why I was proud to sign onto the Initial Bargaining Demands — and why you should do the same

The Initial Bargaining Demands outline a bold framework for negotiating our first contract, setting the stage for badly needed and long overdue gains in crucial areas of graduate student life, including:

→ Fair Compensation and Benefits
→ Creating a Just and Equitable Workplace
→ Job Security and Workplace Rights for Student Workers
→ Union Rights

These demands are the culmination of years of organizing and mass participation, crystallizing the input of thousands of graduate student workers into a sweeping set of demands that will guide specific proposals at the bargaining table. And there’s so much to be excited about, from more support for international and first year students to better mental and reproductive health benefits. The most important thing to me is the demand for a higher salary and regular salary increases. Over my time here I have experienced random pay raises, pay freezes, and one-time bonuses that made it really difficult for me to know exactly what I was making every year. As someone who doesn’t have a car and relies on public transit, I am also especially excited about the demand for USC to provide free access to public transportation.

As we graduate student workers head into collective bargaining with USC, I encourage you to remember that our collective strength is derived from mass participation. Signing onto these initial bargaining demands sends an unmistakable message to USC administration that Grad Student Workers want improvements and are determined to win a transformative first contract. 

The more Graduate Student Workers who sign on, the stronger position we’ll be in at the bargaining table. Please join me in adding your name to the demands!

Click Here to Sign

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, simply reply to this email. I’m happy to chat further about why I and so many others across campus are proudly adding our names to these demands.

In solidarity,
Katie Googe, English
Wes Wise, Mathematics
Maile McCann, Civil Engineering
Julia Stal, Population and Public Health Sciences
Simon Judkins, History
Andrew Stewart, Philosophy
Piril Nergis, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Anna Haynie, Physics & Astronomy 
Dimple Sarnaaik, Physics & Astronomy 
Ellen Herschel, Psychology
Sulyab Thottungal Valapu, Computer Science
Megan Cassingham, Chemistry
Kyle Hulburd, Sociology
Max Lien, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Maggie Davis, Sociology 
Bennett Van Camp, Biology of Aging