Teamster Bargaining Team to CSU: We Are Heroes, Not Zeroes!

Our Teamster Unit 6 Bargaining Team rejected CSU’s inadequate initial proposal in our reopener negotiations last Thursday.

Our team made it crystal clear that, after nearly two years working on the front lines through the pandemic, risking our lives and foregoing raises to keep the University running through the crisis, we expect the University to be fair with us now that its financial situation has improved – and this offer doesn’t cut it. Our team will be calling on members to be ready to take action to demand CSU improve on this inadequate proposal.

In our previous meeting with the CSU, our team passed our opening proposal for fair raises and pay for our members’ essential work over the past two years.

Our wage proposal, linked below, includes raises for the prior and current fiscal year to catch members up and compensate us for our essential work keeping campuses safe and open despite the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes an in-range increase to begin addressing the fact that the vast majority of our members are below the median of their salary ranges despite many years of dedicated service to the CSU.

On Oct. 28, CSU management responded to our proposal with a single 3% raise that would be effective July 1, 2021. CSU refused to bargain with us, or to offer any increases, for 2020, when Skilled Trades workers continued to keep campuses safe and operational for faculty, staff and administration in the wake of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

CSU negotiators incorrectly claimed that our wage reopener, linked here, only applied to the current fiscal year despite there being no language in the reopener to that effect. Their response rejected our proposal for an increase effective July 1, 2020, to catch our members up for the year of missed raises due to the pandemic and offered nothing to address the longstanding issues of salary inversion and Unit 6 workers being trapped at the bottom of their salary ranges.

CSU made this proposal despite our crystal-clear data, linked here, showing that the cost of living has increased far more than 3% since our members last got a raise. CSU claimed that the reduction in their state funding last fiscal year justified this offer despite the fact that this year’s state budget restored their funding going forward AND gave them a 5% base increase on top of that. CSU’s proposal would effectively lock in no raise for fiscal year 2020/21 going forward, and we Teamsters will not stand for that.

“The CSU is more than happy to ask their workers to sacrifice when times are bad, like they did in 2020 when the pandemic hit. But then when things turn around, and their budget and revenue improve, CSU refuses to restore our wages to where they should be, and instead is trying take advantage of the crisis to make the zero from 2020 permanent. Teamsters reject CSU’s shameful attempt to exploit our members in this way, and we will fight until CSU comes to the table with a fair offer.”

Members of the bargaining team spoke out powerfully against CSU’s unfair proposal and made clear that it was an insult to our members who have risked and sacrificed so much to keep CSU running. Team member Carlos Sanchez (SDSU) asked how they can claim difficulty in providing our members the pay they deserve as we see new and expensive buildings being built on our campuses. Matt Mason (Sacramento State) further noted that each of these buildings adds more square footage our members are then asked to maintain even in the face of worsening staffing issues and inadequate pay.

“This is the CSU’s standard response to our demands to be paid fairly for our work. We responded with action during the pandemic. We worked out systems to keeps ourselves AND our campuses safe. The CSU’s proposal for us to just skip cost of living increases for 2020 in the face of skyrocketing inflation is unacceptable.”

CSU has made it obvious that they’re not going to just hand us the fair pay we deserve. We will have to stand together and fight for our rights and fair wages—AGAIN.

Our Essential Work is Worth More than ZERO!

Be on the lookout and keep in contact with your Union Steward or Bargaining Team member to find out about upcoming actions to win the pay we deserve.

In Solidarity,

Matthew Mason, Sacramento State
Raymond Montoya, CSU Dominguez Hills
Robert Olson, San Jose State
Carlos Sanchez, San Diego State
Christopher T. Rooney, CSU Northridge