Yesterday was the first meeting between our bargaining team and USC administration. We had a very productive discussion about GSWs’ goals for negotiations and setting up future meetings.

Key takeaways from the meeting:

  • For the remainder of April and May, we intend to hold bargaining sessions bi-weekly with our next meeting falling on April 25th from 1-5 PM – location: USC Hotel, Victory Room B
  • Sessions will be open to our membership to attend in person
  • The first topic of negotiations will be student-worker health and safety
  • In the lead up to subsequent meetings, the bargaining team will be requesting information pertaining to other bargaining topics to assist us in developing proposals

After each future bargaining session, the bargaining team will share the key takeaways via email and include a link to a page on the GSWOC website where we will be posting longer summaries of the events that occurred in the session for those who are interested. For this initial, brief meeting, a summary of events is include below:

  • The session began with introductions on both sides. Of note, we were joined by Mike Miller, UAW Region 6 Director, who spoke on behalf of all UAW members nationwide to voice support for our effort. 
  • Who’s USC’s bargaining team? This is who attended yesterday:
    • Jeffrey S. Bosley – Davis Wright Tremaine attorney, representing USC
    • Lillian Yoo – USC General Counsel
    • Dawn Kennedy – USC General Counsel
    • Andy Stott – Dean of Graduate School
    • Meredith Drake Reitan – Associate Dean of Graduate School
    • Trina Wallace – USC Executive Director of Human Resources
    • Laura Yoneda – Associate Dean of Graduate School
    • Elda Padilla – Academic programs specialist 
  • Next, we summarized our goals for negotiations. This was a condensed version of our initial bargaining demands, introducing USC administration to the areas we are going to want to negotiate and write proposals in
    • USC administration expressed a desire to start negotiations on a non-economic issue where we were likely to find common ground in order to set a productive tone for negotiations.
    • Their lawyer emphasized how “new” this process was for everyone in the room. We hope that USC administration does not intend to use this talking point to slow the pace of negotiations or imply that we will not be prepared for the exchanging of proposals 
    • Both sides agreed to begin negotiations with improved Health and Safety Standards 
  • Discussion then turned to logistics, focusing on the when and where of future meetings
    • For the immediate future the meetings will occur bi-weekly, with our next Meeting on April 25th 
    • We discussed a mutual desire to hold future sessions on-campus once the semester had ended, and to increase frequency of meetings as negotiations progressed
    • We established a process for requests for information. Through this we can get access to information that USC has that is relevant to any of the topics we intend to negotiate on 
  • Adjournment

We’re excited to pick back up with a longer session on April 25th and start creating proposals to improve the working conditions of GSWs, but to win at the table, GSWs must show up, participate, and take action en masse. USC administration has made it overwhelmingly clear that they will fight us on the improvements we want to see. So, if you haven’t already, please sign on to the initial bargaining demands here, and if you have, ask 3 of your colleagues to sign on! By our first proposal session, we want to be able to tell USC administration that 2000 GSWs want — and will fight for — improvements in all these areas so we underscore our position of power. As always, please reach out if you have any questions.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team