My name is Bryan, I’m a PhD Candidate in the English department, helping out with our union and serving as our union’s interim Treasurer.

In early March, every grad worker in the bargaining unit should have received a ratification bonus of $400 (~$271, after taxes). If you were an RA, TA, AL, or internally funded fellow in a STEM department during the Fall 2023 semester, you are eligible for and should have received the bonus, which we won in our first contract.

Under the contract, USC agreed to send these bonuses by March 8. Although many late payment cases have been resolved, some grad workers have still not received the bonus. An important process by which we hold USC accountable to the agreements they made in our first union contract is by filing a grievance. A grievance is a formal complaint about a contract violation, and requires the University to respond and correct the violation.

Because tomorrow is 21 days after the March 8th deadline, and some grad workers have yet to receive their payment, some of us have collectively decided to file a grievance to correct this violation. If you are a) eligible for the bonus and b) have still not received your bonus, please fill out this form by 4pm tomorrow (Friday, March 29th).

In the meantime, join me in signing up for membership if you haven’t already, before the April 10th deadline! When we’re all signed up as union members, USC knows that grad workers are united behind the contract. High membership projects power to USC, and incentivizes them to respond to our grievances quickly and not fewer errors in the future.

In solidarity, 
Bryan Byrdlong