My name is Jackie Johnson, I’m a 5th-year PhD Candidate in the Cinema and Media Studies Department, also on the bargaining team. I am overjoyed to announce that the Bargaining Team has reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with USC administration on a historic and transformative first contract! The Bargaining Team voted unanimously to approve the TA and send it to Graduate Student Workers for a ratification vote, which will take place from Monday, December 4th to Wednesday, December 6th.

In the face of Graduate Student Workers’ looming strike, USC administration made several major last-minute concessions and agreed to Graduate Student Workers’ key outstanding demands. In order to avoid an immensely disruptive strike, USC administration agreed to a wages article that provides a $400 wage supplement (1%+) for this year, sizable wage increases for the 2024-25 Academic Year (including increasing the minimum stipend from $35,700 to $40,000), and steady wage increases for subsequent years.

Over the 3 1/2 years of this contract, GSWs receiving the Graduate School minimum will see raises of 18.9%! This is on top of the 5% 2023-24 Academic Year raise announced by USC administration on the eve of GSWOC-UAW filing for union recognition – a total raise of up to 24.8% over four years.

USC administration also made a major concession on Nondiscrimination, agreeing to a process that guarantees enforceable protections for Graduate Student Workers who face harassment and discrimination in the workplace — including a timeline for enforceable interim measures. 

The complete Tentative Agreement is now available on the Bargaining Tracker. The Tentative Agreement will go into effect after a majority of Graduate Student Workers vote to ratify the contract.

This is an exciting and momentous day, and I can’t wait to celebrate the ratification of our first-ever union contract.

In solidarity,