USC Graduate School

USC Reaches Tentative Agreement with Union Representing Graduate Student Workers


The university agreed to a tentative contract with the union representing graduate student workers after bargaining sessions that began before and continued into the holiday weekend. Agreement was reached on Sunday evening, Nov. 26.

The terms of the tentative contract further affirm that USC Graduate School’s benefits and protections are among the best in the nation. The agreement demonstrates the university’s commitment to supporting its students and fostering a positive, professional learning environment.

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • Stipends
    Minimum stipend of $40,000, along with guaranteed increases to all minimum stipend amounts.  These increases will allow USC to remain market competitive.
    • AY 24-25: University-wide minimum goes up to $40,000, all other minimums go up 4.5%. 
    • AY 25-26: All minimums increase by 3% (university-wide minimum goes up to $41,200)
    • AY 26-27: All minimums increase by 3% (university-wide minimum goes up to $42,436)
  • Non-discrimination

    Protecting our students, faculty and staff from discrimination, bullying and harassment is a top priority for USC. The university’s robust policy and procedures are a model for best practices in higher education across the nation, and the graduate school offered to layer additional provisions to the policy. 

  • Paid Leave
    One semester of guaranteed parental leave, one semester of health leave, five annual sick days and five days of bereavement leave.
  • Child Care / Short Term Hardship
    A $400,000 annual child care fund as well as a $250,000 annual Short Term Hardship Fund to help defray unexpected financial burdens, such as health care costs for dependents.
  • Legal Fund
    A legal fund to provide financial support to international graduate students who lose their visa status.
  • Transportation and Parking Permits
    Free access to the Metro U-Pass program; opportunity for graduate student workers to purchase 2/3-day parking permits.
  • Tuition and Fee Remission
    Tuition remission of up to $67,000 a year (currently $66,640) and the remission of all Mandatory University Fees.


Voting to ratify the contract will take place Monday, Dec. 4 through Wednesday, Dec. 6.

We remain grateful to our students and faculty for their dedication to the teaching and learning mission of the university and share our appreciation to the union’s student-led bargaining committee for their commitment to negotiating in good faith. We look forward to a successful ratification of the contract and closing out our semester in the spirit of collegiality. 

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