Campus, News

CSULB essential workers protest for higher wages

The Teamsters Local 2010 labor union advocated for California State University (CSU) skilled trade workers to receive fair wages on Thursday afternoon in front of Brotman Hall.

Long Beach State skilled trade workers, plumbers, electricians, and other facility staff briefly demonstrated during their lunch break and later returned to work.

Micheal Sherritt, Teamsters Local 2010 union representative, said the CSU system is not meeting their requests of a “5% [raise] increase from the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year [budget],” and for the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year they are proposing a 7% increase.

“So far, the CSU has offered zero for the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year and 4% for the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year,” he said.

Micheal Harris, a project services painter at CSULB said their current pay is not keeping up with their expenses or the economy.

“My paycheck is not worth the cost of living,” Harris said. “Not only do we not get any kind of raise, but we also can’t keep up with inflation.”

Sherritt said the CSU system should pay skilled workers fair wages after they received $1.7 billion in federal stimulus and a 5% boost in state funding.

“It seems like CSU wants to put the burden of the pandemic on the skilled trades, instead of paying us a fair wage,” he said. “They got all their money back in the bank from the federal stimulus, but they’re not willing to settle a fair contract with us.”

Teamsters Local 2010 plans to continue advocating for fair wages until they can settle an agreement with the CSU officials despite there not being a currently permanent CSU Chancellor to approve a pay increase.

“We went into the negotiations a week after Castro left,” Sherritt said. “The CSU Trustees doesn’t have a chancellor in place, so [they] can’t make any decisions [right now.]”

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