USC Graduate School
Further Progress, Including Three Additional Tentative Agreements, Marks the 17th Bargaining Session with Graduate Student Workers
USC and the union presented further proposals for their economic packages and reached three tentative agreements in this week’s bargaining session on October 31. Highlights of our progress include:
- Immigration: USC agreed to establish a fund for use by international students who lose visa status during their appointment.
- Union Access: USC confirmed procedures and guidelines for union access to students and facilities. This includes an agreement that non-USC union representatives must give the university advance notice before they enter university buildings for union business.
- Transit: USC agreed that graduate student workers will have continued access to the U-Pass Program, or any comparable future program.
- Stipends: USC increased its prior proposal by offering year-over-year increases of 2.5% to all existing minimum stipends each of the next two Academic Years and a 3% increase the final year of the contract. These proposed increases, in addition to this year’s 5% increase, total a 13% increase over a four-year period.
The union countered the university’s last economic proposal with an increased minimum stipend that is still 26% higher than the current minimum stipend. Their demand also includes 7% year-over-year increases, with 10% increases for those who have worked three years or more. Such demands are fiscally impractical when we are charged with investing in other areas of the graduate school, achieving our academic and research goals, and supporting the broader university community.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for November 7, and additional sessions have been scheduled for November 13 and 20. Our goal remains to reach an agreement that is fair, competitive, and in the best interests of our broader USC community, and we will continue to work diligently and in good faith to reach this goal.