As a result of CSUEU advocacy to improve the salaries of CSU support staff, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom have agreed to add $2 million to the CSU state budget to hire an independent research firm to evaluate the current support staff salary structure. The comprehensive study will look at issues relating to salary inversion and provide recommended actions including but not limited to a salary steps model. The study’s findings will be reported to the Legislature by April 30, 2022, prior to the state adopting its 2022-23 state budget. The legislative intent is that CSU would incorporate the on-going costs recommended by the study into its 2022 state budget request. With cooperation from the CSU, our Union worked closely with our affiliate SEIU State Council and the Teamsters (plus support from UAPD and APC) to secure the study and its funding. CSUEU and SEIU had proposed to add money to the CSU budget to provide equity increases to offset inversion. As a result of this dialogue, the labor groups and the CSU agreed to support the independent study to ensure a comprehensive approach to overdue salary reform. The CSU and CSUEU will continue working together in the Workgroup on Salary Structure to provide guidance to the study. The study also became increasingly important after CSUEU-sponsored SB 566 (state Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino), to provide 5% annual salary steps for CSU support staff, was not approved by a Senate committee and is no longer viable this year. CA 2021-22 Budget The 2021-22 state budget provides $299 million to restore the CSU base funding that was threatened to be cut last year resulting in staff lay-offs, and adds another 5% budget increase of $185 million in ongoing funds for next year. The CSU will also receive an additional $81 million in ongoing funds to increase CSU undergraduate enrollment by almost 9,500 students, $15 million ongoing to expand student mental health services, $15 million ongoing to address student unmet food and housing needs. Other CSU budget highlights include $25 million to establish the Center for Equity and Innovation and Technology at CSU Northridge, $433 million one-time and $25 million ongoing to transition Humboldt State to a polytechnic university, $60 million one-time for CSU Dominguez Hills infrastructure needs and $325 million for systemwide deferred maintenance. The 2021-22 state budget also increases student financial aid awards, including adding $515 million beginning in 2022-23 to reboot the Middle-Class Scholarship program to include low-income and middle-income students and pay for the total costs of attendance. The new funding would cover an estimated 33% of the state’s needs with the goal of phasing in 100% over time, which would result in debt-free college attendance for CSU and UC students.