Wednesday's vote shows that fairness is a non-partisan issue. At one point when CSU Sr. Legislative Advocate Andrew Martinez stated, "Steps were brought to the bargaining table," CSUEU Legislative Committee members in the audience gasped. Senator Pan commented, "By the gasp and reaction in the room, I would like to get clarification if steps were brought to the bargaining table." Legislative Director David Balla-Hawkins clarified and stated that steps were not offered at the bargaining table. Members of CSUEU Legislative Committee were sitting in the audience listening to the legislator's questions and comments ... how no steps affects morale, leads to inversion in salaries, and that the situation reaffirmed the need to have steps returned so employees can move through the salary range. Vicky McLeod Listening to the "Aye" votes of all six voting members filled the CSUEU team with enthusiasm, but it had to be contained until we exited the hearing. At the end of the meeting, Assemblymember Weber made sure to correct the CSU's position: In fact, the CSU unilaterally took away the steps. "If collective bargaining was at work, this [loss of steps] would not have happened," said Weber. "It's a most unfair and unjust situation," said Weber. "This is an inequity that we have to address. We as legislators need to do the right thing. Most of us understand what fairness is." Senators Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) and Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), both Republicans, agreed with the bill's author. "I see great inequity here and that needs to be fixed," said Wilk. Members of the Senate Education Committee are: Senator Ben Allen-D, Chair Senator Scott Wilk-R, Vice-Chair Senator Cathleen Galgiani-D Senator Connie Leyva-D Senator Richard Pan-D Senator Andy Vidak-R CSUEU at the hearing What other legislators said: Richard Pan: "We don't want to micromanage the CSU, but we are seeing disproportionately compensation going to the upper tiers. The inversion issue is significant - how do you retain people, how do you maintain morale when someone who is new gets paid more than someone who has been there that is not something that fosters long-term loyalty. (The current system) doesn't recognize the value of people who have committed to the institution." Connie Leyva said the no-steps policy has led to "blatant disregard for (CSU) employees and a morale issue. "What is the policy that has allowed that to happen? What is my incentive to keep working? I see that as a failure on the CSU part. Please don't allow that to happen anymore." AB 1231 cleared the Senate Ed Committee UNANIMOUSLY! Now onto the Senate Appropriations Committee, the full Senate ...and then the Governor!