CSU Management presented a very disappointing offer on Wednesday (Aug. 30). On the surface, it looks as if the employer made significant movement: Increasing the general salary increase (GSI) in the first year from 3% to 5% and offering a lump sum (the amount to be negotiated) to employees who would not get a raise in the second and third year because they would be over the top of the scales. But that doesn’t change the fact that CSU negotiators did not offer any improvements on the steps proposal in the second year. They still insist on using the Mercer table, unchanged, which would be over two years old when a salary steps structure gets implemented. The latest offer does tweak the bottom of some classifications to account for the minimum wage going up next year. This is not realistic. Our position is we must have a steps structure that works and is aligned to the market on the day it is implemented. More importantly, their proposal does not address a number of CSUEU members’ core issues, including classification reform; an appeal process for people who are not properly placed into the right step; wage adjustments for Bay Area employees; and whether satisfactory evaluations will be required to advance through the steps. Wednesday was the most important day of bargaining so far. We got to see if Management was serious after we presented a serious proposal last time. They failed the test and it’s time we show that we’re serious! More than 350 members and Labor Coalition partners turned out for the BIG RALLY at CSU Northridge this week to support our Bargaining Team. We will continue to stand together in our fight for pay equity! Dozens of members were also able to sit in and observe negotiations in person. What's Next? The next bargaining session will be on Sept. 19 at CSU Dominguez Hills. Our big and loud rallies, plus showing up for Board of Trustees meetings this year, have had an impact on the CSU. But now we prepare for the next phase: Getting ready for a strike if one is needed. In the coming weeks, we will be organizing and educating ourselves on how to strike and what that entails. We will go on strike only when we are fully ready to do so and the membership votes to authorize a strike. Starting next week, we will have discussions in chapter meetings and Bargaining Unit meetings to plan and prepare for a strike. Key to strike readiness is membership education: 1) Strike 101; 2) Surviving a strike financially; 3) The mechanics of striking and being a striker; and 4) The law of striking. A strike date hasn’t been selected yet, but rest assured, members will get plenty of notice so that everyone can prepare.