University Times

Calling the CSU Out!

Skilled trade workers from 22 CSU’s unite to protest in front of the Chancellor’s office.

Teamsters+Local+2010+protesting+at+the+CSU+Trustee+Meeting+Action+on+Jan.+31%2C+2018.
Teamsters Local 2010 protesting at the CSU Trustee Meeting Action on Jan. 31, 2018.

Teamsters Local 2010 protesting at the CSU Trustee Meeting Action on Jan. 31, 2018.

Teamsters Local 2010

Teamsters Local 2010

Teamsters Local 2010 protesting at the CSU Trustee Meeting Action on Jan. 31, 2018.

Ricky Rodas, Investigative Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Last Wednesday, 60 trade workers representing 22 of the 23 California State Universities (CSU’s) gathered in front of The CSU Chancellor’s office in Long Beach, where they voiced frustrations with the CSU administration. Teamsters Local 2010, the union that represents the majority of CSUs, excluding Cal State Maritime, organized the workers.

Demonstrators chanted rallying cries such as “no contract, no peace” and “Cal State you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side.”

Currently, the State Employee Trade Council (SETC) is in negotiations with the CSU on behalf of the workers to change portions of their contract that deal with work wages and benefits.

Throughout the protest, demonstrators held signs that displayed concise messages like “overworked, understaffed, underpaid” and “$2 billion failure.” The University Times (UT) conducted interviews with several CSU workers, and found that many were aggravated with the university system’s unresolved issues.

Jim Watson, San Francisco State (SF) building service engineer, spoke on his experiences of being overworked:

“I am the only building service engineer for San Francisco State’s housing; they have two vacant positions but we really need five minimum,” said Watson. “They don’t even know all the equipment we have to operate, from exhaust fans, HVAC systems and air handler units.”

When asked why SF State is unaware of the required maintenance, Watson cited the campus administration’s lack of understanding regarding campus buildings:

“After 17 years, I am at the bottom of my pay scale”

“They’re administrators, they don’t know how buildings operate. They came to me a couple months ago and asked how many boilers we have; I have fifty boilers.”

Christopher Thomas Rooney, Cal State Northridge metalworker, openly voiced his dissatisfaction with his campus’ tendency to contract out maintenance, which he explained was a common practice throughout the CSU system:

“At my campus, we’ll have a contractor get paid and leave, and the very next week we’re there fixing what they just did because it doesn’t meet our specifications and quality standards,” said Rooney.

Rooney also addressed the major $2 billion deferred maintenance issue that the CSU is dealing with, speaking specifically on how California State University, Northridge (CSUN) workers have been unable to keep up the workload.

“On our campus, there’s so much deferred maintenance that we’re handling and we have guys that are out injured because we don’t have enough staff, so we got guys doing the jobs of three to four guys.”

Dennis Sotomayor, Cal State LA maintenance mechanic, highlighted unfair wages as a significant problem:

“After 17 years, I’m at the bottom of my pay scale, so we’re stagnant in wages, we’re not moving through the range,” said Sotomayor. “At 17- 20 years, most of these trades workers should be at the top of their pay range, and that’s not the case for most of us.”

After their demonstration, the workers sat in the CSU Board of Trustees’ meeting and addressed their grievances during the public forum. Multiple workers spoke one after another, each bringing up the issues previously mentioned. When the workers’ speech concluded, they marched out of the conference room chanting “Safe Campus, Fair pay”.

Elizabeth Chapin, CSU spokesperson, issued a statement to the UT regarding the workers’ declarations during the public forum portion of the board of trustees’ meeting.

“We are currently engaged in bargaining with Teamsters 2010 over salaries and benefits. It is our hope that this will lead toward a negotiated settlement of the issues on the table.”

According to Twedell, Cal State LA Facilities director, the Physical Sciences building is being completely renovated, several elevators will be modernized this year, new housing and dining facilities will be built, have replaced numerous heating boilers across campus, and much more.

Mark Greenwald, Chico State electrician, advocated for a message of unity between the CSU administration and its workers:

“We can show what we can do here, and we can send a powerful message, but we need to send a collective message,” said Greenwald. “I encourage all the trustees, all the presidents to come together with us and let’s go to Sacramento and have our voice heard at the state legislature.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Calling the CSU Out!”

  1. Ben Shapiro on February 8th, 2018 3:20 am

    While the students cry about the high cost of their “education” at Cal State LA that offers degrees that provide opportunities no better than ones provided by a community college, the teamsters thugs are extorting the highest possible wages at the expense of the poor students. The teamsters don’t have a right to beat up people to promote their interest or terrorize somebody who is willing to work at a more reasonable rate.

    Management should show courage and get a much better deal for the University both in quality employees and cost. Call People Ready to get the job done right and, replace the criminal teamster parasites! http://www.peopleready.com/

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • News

    Roaches Continue to Raise Concerns

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    Who killed David Josiah Lawson?

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    Metrolink: Prices are Going Down!

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    Grad 2025: Initiating Success

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    Lucky For Us, We’ve Got the Luckman

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    Sports

    LAFC Claims the L.A. Throne

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    DACA and Deferred Action

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    Mental Health: Beyond the Stigma

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    Arts

    Ethan Russell: Rock and Roll’s Photographer

  • Calling the CSU Out!

    News

    Revealing the Hispanic Voice

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles
Calling the CSU Out!