My name is Dimple Sarnaaik, and I’m a third year in the Physics and Astronomy department. I’m writing to tell you that 400+ Graduate Student Workers (GSWs) participated in the Mass Membership Meeting yesterday and decided to escalate our campaign for a fair contract. I was proud to be one of hundreds of GSWs to show up and tell the bargaining team that USC administration has given us no choice: it’s time to move toward a Strike Authorization Vote.

USC administration has so clearly shown that they aren’t listening: GSWs demand real change, and we’re disturbed by USC’s behavior at the bargaining table, including:

  • Admin’s proposal that would prevent survivors of workplace harassment and discrimination, including international scholars, from being able to seek recourse under the union contract
  • Admin’s proposal that would deny GSWs a union shop, where we are demanding a strong union capable of enforcing our contract
  • Admin’s numerous delays, including no first economic proposal (detailed in Wednesday’s bargaining update), and an unlawful delay in responding to the bargaining team’s requests for information

The good news for admin is that GSWs are giving them plenty of time to come to the table with fair offers. The Strike Authorization vote won’t be until late October, and only then would bargaining team set strike dates for sometime later in the semester.

You might be wondering what exactly a Strike Authorization Vote is! Here are the basics:

  • A Strike Authorization Vote is a vote that authorizes the bargaining team to call a strike if circumstances justify
  • A ⅔ majority of those voting is required to authorize a strike
  • Voting will take place online

To learn more about the upcoming Strike Authorization Vote, check out this helpful FAQ or reach out to other leaders in your department!

If USC administration doesn’t want us to walk off the job later this semester, they need to come to the table and start bargaining in good faith. The clock is ticking. 

Please join me in signing a Commitment Card and committing to vote yes on Day One of the Strike Authorization Vote. Stay tuned for the Strike Authorization Vote dates, and let’s go win a great contract!

In solidarity,