June 16, 2023

I’m Stepp (he/him), a 5th year PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering. During yesterday’s session, Graduate Student Workers *packed* the bargaining room. Over 80 GSWs showed up in solidarity while the bargaining team proposed three key equity-related articles.

Yesterday morning’s massive turnout was incredibly invigorating. You could feel the energy in the room. As dozens of us filed in, you could tell by the look on their faces that reality was setting in for USC administration. We GSWs sent them a clear message that the proposals on immigration, reasonable accommodations, and non-discrimination are a high priority, and that we are willing to show up and do what it takes to win. It’s safe to say the message was received.

You likely received an email from Jackie Johnson on Monday, but for more information on the three equity proposals, check out this helpful infographic, or as always, use the tracker on the bargaining portal on the GSWOC-UAW website.

After bargaining team made these new proposals, USC administration responded to a few union proposals made in past sessions. After two rounds of counter-proposals, we reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on Discipline and Discharge. This article is perhaps the most important TA yet; it ensures that GSWs cannot be terminated without just cause. This is an exciting win, and it’s a direct result of the power we GSWs have built thus far.

Let’s keep the momentum going! The next bargaining session will be July 13th, from 10am-5pm, location TBD. If you’d like to attend, you can RSVP here. Additionally, the next general meeting will be held over Zoom next Friday, June 23rd at 2pm, please RSVP here. Fill out this form to get involved – and consider signing up to be a contract campaign coordinator.

In solidarity,
Stepp Mayes, Environmental Engineering