My name is Bryan Byrdlong, and I’m a third-year student in the English Department, also on the Bargaining Team. I’m emailing with a brief update after today’s half-day bargaining session  the final one before the Strike Authorization Vote opens tomorrow. Full proposal language can be found on the bargaining portal and tracker.


  • New GSWOC-UAW Economic Proposal: Fair wages, childcare funding, accountability for late pay

  • New USC Admin Proposal: Barely any movement on wages, still offering 0% additional increase for this year, below-inflation increases for next three years

  • Strike Authorization voting opens TOMORROW 7AM – It’s clear that an overwhelming YES vote will be necessary to get USC admin to move from their unacceptable positions

In today’s bargaining session, the bargaining team passed a new economic counter-proposal that included significant wage increases, additional childcare funding, accountability for late pay, and paid leave. USC admin replied with a wages proposal that once again fails to provide any meaningful economic relief, and fails to keep up with inflation. This time the offer from USC includes a raise this year of 0%, followed by raises of 2.5%, 2%, and 2.5%, almost identical to their previous proposal.

USC justifies these insulting offers with the same old arguments: you are paid well for a “50%” appointment, you aren’t considering the value of your tuition, you already got a raise this year. These arguments are all some combination of weak and misleading, but more importantly, they’re irrelevant. The fact is that GSWs are underpaid and struggling to make ends meet, and we are united in demanding economic relief now. 

In addition to their unacceptable wages proposal, USC admin failed to offer a counter on Nondiscrimination, maintaining their insulting position that harassment, bullying, and discrimination should be carved out of the grievance process. They also again delayed their counter on Union Security, maintaining their position that GSWs should be prevented from choosing to form a union shop that would provide GSWs with resources necessary to enforce our contract.  

It is time to tell USC admin that their bargaining behavior is completely unacceptable. The Strike Authorization Vote opens tomorrow at 7am. An overwhelming yes vote is the only way to keep the pressure on USC admin and push for fair compensation and real recourse for GSWs. They need to know that their continued failure to make proposals that meet the needs of GSWs would result in 3000+ Graduate Student Workers walking off the job.

The next bargaining session will be extra spooky, taking place this coming Tuesday, October 31st. RSVP here to attend. 

In solidarity,
Bryan Byrdlong