CSUEU’s Steps Proposal, as part of Contract 2020 negotiations, covers three elements: • 5% salary steps in each classification. • Contract language for annual movement based on service and merit. • Adjustment of salaries for long-serving employees to reflect where they should be based on past service. BACKGROUND Steps were an original part of the salary system for CSU employees. Like civil service employees, University staff progressed by service and merit from the bottom step to the top step through 5% annual steps. Classifications ranged over five steps and all employees were able to reach the top. Steps were integrated into campus budgets. Campuses banked vacant positions to fund service increases. Cost of living adjustments (COLA) were entirely separate from steps. In 1988, the CSU froze steps at the expiration of the CSEA contract. They were reinstated in 1989 after massive employee protests. The CSU froze steps again in 1992, later determined to be illegal in the courts. In 1996, the CSU Trustees took the unprecedented action to unilaterally remove steps from our union contract and impose open ranges. Since 1996, CSU employees have had no way to move from the bottom to the top. Campus hiring places employees in the lower salary range where they remain for years or even decades. Salary savings for campus positions are spent for other priorities. Pay ranges for CSU staff look very different than in 1996. Broad-banded classifications combined several classes and pay ranges. General Salary Increases were applied to the top pay ranges and bottom ranges remained in place. These factors resulted in pay ranges much greater than 1996 with employees further and further from the top. These were actions dictated by the CSU in bargaining. This situation is unacceptable. Despite repeated attempts to negotiate a return to the step system, CSU refused. As a result, we have taken legislative action and at the urging of the Governor, returned to the bargaining table for one final effort to restore steps (and sanity) to the CSU system.