SAN DIEGO — More than 1,000 trade workers at California State University campuses, including CSU San Marcos and San Diego State, walked off the job on Tuesday in a one-day strike amid stalled negotiations over a new contract.
Members of Teamsters Local 2010 — the union that represents skilled trade employees like electricians, mechanics and facilities workers at CSU schools — voted to initiate the strike at 22 campuses in October after going nearly nine months without an updated contract.
“After months of bad faith bargaining, stalled negotiations, and clear violations of state law by the CSU, our members have had enough and are taking to the picket line to strike,” Jason Rabinowitz, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 2010, said in a release on Nov. 6. “We’re ready to demonstrate the strength of our solidarity and to fight for the fair contract we deserve.”
Lagging salaries and restoring “steps” have long been an issue for CSU workers, with the union arguing that current structures have upheld wages for trade workers on these campuses that falls short by about 23.6% compared to their University of California counterparts.
In a statement, the CSU Chancellor’s Office says that all universities will remain open and have “contingency plans in place” to continue full operations with “minimal disruptions” for students, faculty and visitors to the campus.
The office added that the “CSU remains committed to the collective bargaining process and reaching a negotiated agreement for increased compensation with the Teamsters, as we have done with five of our other employee unions in recent weeks.”
According to the system, Teamsters were offered a 15% compensation pool for a three-year period as part of the negotiations that led up to Tuesday’s strike.
This comes about two weeks after the union representing faculty within the system voted to authorize a one-day strike in December if a new contract is not settled by then.
Members of the California Faculty Association — which represents 29,000 lecturers, librarians, counselors and other employees — voiced similar concerns as Teamsters Local 2010, citing low pay, growing workloads and “systemic inequities” as focal points for their contract negotiations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.