My name is Yongqin, and I’m a 5th year student in the ECE Department, also on the Bargaining Team. I’m emailing with a brief update after today’s bargaining session – the first after 2,158 GSWs – 95.1% of those voting – voted to authorize a strike. Full bargaining language can be found on the bargaining portal and tracker.
- New union proposal on wages
- Another unacceptable USC admin counterproposal on wages (raises of 0% this year, 2.5-3% for subsequent years)
- Tentative Agreements on immigration, union access, transit
- No movement on Nondiscrimination – USC admin still proposing a carve-out
- Last Chance Picket on 11/9: RSVP and show up with energy
During today’s session, the bargaining team and USC administration reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) on Immigration. This article delivers important new support and protections for international Graduate Student Workers, including the creation of an international GSW legal fund. International GSWs can apply for funding annually of up to $1,000 to cover fees and expenses incurred to reinstate an F-1 or J-1 visa. Crucially, this article also establishes that USC will be required to make reasonable efforts to re-employ any GSW that temporarily loses status.
To learn more about the Immigration Tentative Agreement, check out this helpful FAQ.
Finally, the bargaining team passed another wages proposal that demands what thousands of GSWs are fighting for: immediate wage increases for every GSW, year-to-year increases that keep up with rising costs of living, and timely and consistent pay. Unfortunately, USC admin continues to make unreasonable and unacceptable counters. They proposed a 0% additional increase this year, followed by raises of 2.5%, 2.5% and 3% in following years. There’s only so many ways to say it, these increases do not keep up with inflation and do not get us closer to a living wage.
USC admin again did not offer a counter on Nondiscrimination or Union Security, maintaining their position that harassment, bullying, and discrimination should be carved out of the grievance process – and that GSWs should be prevented from choosing to maintain a union shop. USC admin’s continued delay in response demonstrates their failure to take issues of harassment, discrimination, and bullying seriously.
The issues that we GSWs must continue to fight for are clear: meaningful wage increases, enforceable protections from harassment and discrimination, and a strong union. This is Our Fight (new webpage just dropped!), and we will win.
Let’s send a message to USC admin that if they don’t come to the table with fair offers, thousands of GSWs will be forced to walk off the job later this semester.
The next bargaining session will be the afternoon of November 7th. RSVP here to attend.