My name is Anand, and I’m a PhD Candidate in the Computer Science department. I’m emailing you to share why I’ll be joining a majority of Graduate Student Workers (GSWs) voting “Yes” to ratify the Tentative Agreement as our first-ever union contract.
I’m excited to ratify this agreement because it will directly benefit me and others in my department. In addition to the 5% raise that USC admin announced in response to GSWs filing for union recognition, and the $400 lump sum signing bonus, this Tentative Agreement secures consistent and guaranteed wage increases over the next three years for every GSW, which we’ve never had before. These guaranteed increases will help me pay rent and breathe easier as I finish out my program.
Also, in every union meeting I went to, a major priority for GSWs across campus was to close the gap between the lowest and highest paid departments. Despite making well above the minimum in Viterbi, I’m glad that every GSW at the lower end of the scale will see a big raise, from $35,700 to $40,000 next year.
Beyond the wage increases, this Tentative Agreement also includes new benefits and protections. As an international GSW, having enforceable protections guaranteed by the contract will make me and other international students feel safer in our workplace. The legal fund for international GSWs and the re-hiring protections were major priorities for me before bargaining, and I’m happy that we won these in the Agreement! I’ll be proud to pay dues to support the enforcement of these protections in the new year.
I agree with the Bargaining Team’s unanimous endorsement of ratification, and I’m excited to celebrate ratification next Wednesday.
If you want to learn more, RSVP to an info session, taking place on
- Wednesday, Nov. 29, 4-5pm (Zoom)
- Thursday, Nov. 30, 10-11am (Zoom)
- Friday, Dec. 1, 1-2pm (Location TBD)