Members of our Skilled Trades Bargaining Team and student supporters spoke to the CSU Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Nov. 20, and made clear that it’s time for CSU to restore salary steps and pay our members fairly. We presented Governor Newsom’s letter calling for CSU to bargain fairly and bring back steps to show that the Governor and legislature have joined us in saying that it’s past time they addressed these critical issues.
Bargaining Team members Chris Rooney, Drew Scott and Alex Vermie addressed the trustees.
Chris Rooney, Metal Worker, at CSU Northridge, said: “At our campuses, we have more and more people leaving for other State agencies for higher pay at a time when square footage and maintenance needs are already escalating dramatically. CSU cannot afford to continue undervaluing the work we do to keep our campuses safe and operational for the campus communities.”
Our team members pointed out that some highly experienced and long-time CSU trades workers actually earn less than newer workers due to the lack of salary steps and, thus, stagnant wages. The CSU has hired newer workers at higher pay because they cannot attract new workers at the rates at which longer workers are stuck.
“… 69% of our full-time Skilled Trades Teamsters with 10 or more years of service are stuck below the median of their salary range,” said Drew Scott, Bargaining Team member and Skilled Trades Director. “This is not an issue that can wait. We’ve already waited more than 20 years, the time for action is now.”
Student supporters were Samantha Gonzales, incoming transfer student from Fresno, Fabia Salazar, current CSU Los Angeles student, and incoming Fresno transfer students Camila Rivera and Fernanda Tortoledo.
Camila Rivera, an incoming transfer student at CSU Fresno, said: “The State Auditor’s June 2019 report makes one thing clear: CSU has built a massive surplus by overcharging its students and underpaying its workers. The report uses words like ‘excess tuition’ and ‘salary savings’ as euphemisms for the fact that this institution has far too often seen its students as a revenue stream and its workers as an expense to be minimized rather than as vital parts of the community that the CSU exists to serve. A start to rectifying these wrongs is to bargain fairly with your Skilled Trades employees and return the annual salary steps that CSU staff have been fighting to restore for more than 20 years now.”
“We are proud to have the support of Gov. Newsom and CSU students in our battle to win fair pay for CSU workers,” said Jason Rabinowitz, Local 2010 Secretary-Treasurer. “Students and workers are united in demanding that CSU fulfill its mission to create good jobs in our communities and affordable education for our kids.”