What a way to kick off 2020, CSUEU! Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis this month publicly put the CSU on notice that she has the backs of CSUEU members as we enter contract negotiations. The Jan. 8 letter to Chancellor White follows an equally supportive letter from Gov. Newsom on behalf of our union members in November. Click here to read the letter from Lt. Gov. Kounalakis. It is simply unprecedented for two statewide elected officers to write to CSU Chancellor White to advocate for fair and equitable salaries on behalf of CSU support staff. In her letter to the Chancellor, the Lt. Governor, who is also a sitting member of the CSU Board of Trustees, writes: “When I meet with CSU employees, I often hear from people who have served the institution for over a decade but have lower salaries than their more recently hired colleagues, a result of a lack of merit steps. As the CSU begins negotiations with its employees, I encourage the CSU to address this inequality head-on to ensure that we live up to our values.” During a Board of Trustees meeting last November when trustees were considering a policy for merit pay for campus presidents, Lt. Gov. Kounalakis advocated for a fair system for all classifications of University personnel. Her remarks can be viewed here, at the 1:50 minute-mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKumiUFggSM . Last year’s CSUEU-sponsored state audit of CSU’s finances proved the CSU has the funding it needs to provide 5% salary steps to CSU support staff. The CSU unilaterally eliminated 5% salary steps for CSU Support Staff 23 years ago. The 2019 state audit provided strong evidence that CSU campuses have continued their practice of accruing salary savings – savings that were previously used to pay for the costs of salary steps. In November, Gov. Newsom wrote to Chancellor White urging the CSU to address the issue of pay inequity: “The upcoming [contract] negotiations should result in an agreement with our labor partners that erases the inversion gap, provides salary steps, and fairly and justly compensates these staff for their hard work. It is my firm belief that addressing this wage inequity is long-overdue and in line with the institution’s values.” Click here to read the letter from Gov. Newsom. Our legislative advocacy is powered by member contributions to our Political Activities Committee . Please consider donating to help us be #StrongerTogether!