My name is Maggie, and I’m a 4th-year PhD Candidate in the Sociology department. I’m on the GSWOC-UAW bargaining team, and I’m writing with updates from yesterday’s bargaining session. For details of each individual proposal, please consult the bargaining portal and tracker.
- Unbelievably and unacceptably, USC administration has again delayed its first proposals on wages, healthcare, and childcare. We’re nearing the six-month mark of bargaining, and admin still hasn’t made proposals on any of these key articles.
- Tentative Agreement (TA) on Fee Remission, giving GSWs the right to have five different fees waived, including the new Transportation Fee
- Moving closer on Union Access and Immigration
- Mass Membership Meeting this Thursday @ 5pm will be key in sending a clear message to admin: stop the delays and start bargaining in good faith. RSVP here.
To the bargaining team’s genuine shock, USC admin began yesterday’s bargaining session by again failing to meet their goal of finally making a proposal this month on wages and other important economic topics. To illustrate why we on the bargaining team were so dismayed by this additional delay, let me recount the plain facts of the situation:
- USC administration has had since December of 2022, since GSWs filed for union recognition, to begin preparing to bargain over core economic issues such as wages and healthcare. This was over 9 months ago.
- Even on a more lenient timeline, looking at February (over 7 months ago, when we officially won our union) or April (nearly 6 months ago, when we began bargaining), USC admin has had a substantial amount of time to begin putting together a proposal.
- We on the bargaining team made our first wages proposal on August 10th, over 6 weeks ago. It’s not uncommon for entire contracts to be bargained in a 6-week period.
- We on the bargaining team would have made a proposal even earlier, except that USC admin requested that the bargaining team wait to propose anything economic until everything non-economic was on the table — for the very purpose of giving both sides the time to prepare for economic bargaining.
- USC administration was under no obligation to wait to begin drafting proposals until we on the bargaining team made our proposals. In fact, admin could have passed economic proposals at any time, and we on the bargaining team would have welcomed this.
- USC admin knows that winning a fair wage is an absolute top priority for GSWs. We on the bargaining team have made that extraordinarily clear at the bargaining table, sharing survey data on GSW priorities and rent burden. USC admin also knows that they do not pay a single GSW a living wage, and they know we’re unified in demanding the contract be finalized this Fall.
Beyond wages, USC admin also continued to delay their responses to the bargaining team’s Requests for Information (RFIs), including a crucial one on the health insurance plan. USC admin has also decided to hold off on making a counterproposal on Nondiscrimination, after its insulting offer in August that proposed exempting harassment and discrimination from being enforceable under the contract. Admin has had over five weeks to respond to our latest proposal, and thus far have chosen not to. All GSWs are asking is that we in the private sector have the same protections as our public sector counterparts down the street at UCLA.
Sadly, it has become crystal clear that further escalation of our contract campaign is the only way we GSWs will be able to pressure USC admin to begin meeting their obligations to bargain with us in good faith. This situation was entirely avoidable, but USC admin has left GSWs with little choice but to turn up the pressure.
At this Thursday’s Mass Membership Meeting, hundreds of GSWs will come together to make critical decisions about next steps for our campaign. Please join me at 5pm this Thursday in the Amphitheater attached to the Old Annenberg Building in EF Hutton Park!