Once again, we see that what the CSU leadership professes in public is not supported by its actions in private when it comes to pandemic-related issues that affect the livelihood and well-being of its Support Staff. On Feb. 1: Chancellor Joseph I. Castro participated in state budget hearings and tweeted that faculty and staff are “the lifeblood of the CSU, who devote their lives’ work to our students’ success.” On Feb. 5: University negotiators met with our CSUEU Bargaining Team and refused to extend protections for vulnerable employees and those with dependent care needs. The CSU also is not providing campus emergency pay for employees even as multiple campuses have reported employees’ exposure to Covid while working on-site. Support Staff kept the University operating when many parts of the economy were shutting down. Whether caring for quarantined students, disinfecting workspaces, or creating online services to replace in-person transactions, our efforts kept the institution functioning under the most catastrophic circumstances. Emergency Pay Our Union’s position on emergency pay is simple: Continue the pay so long as the risk remains high for staff working on-site in healthcare, facilities, IT, public safety, business, finance, and academic and student affairs. The University implemented emergency pay in March 2020 and inexplicably stopped in May even as pandemic work hazards continue. In fact, we are bargaining on emergency pay only because the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) supported CSUEU and issued a complaint against the University. Some campuses have spiked COVID-19 infections after limited return of students for instruction and athletics. If CSU paid when smoke from fires made work hazardous, exposure to a deadly pathogen merits the same compensation. Instead the CSU has gone so far as to threaten layoffs if the Union continues to ask for emergency pay. Extended Covid-19 Relief Leave (ECRL) The University’s paid administrative leave program (CPAL), which allocated 256 hours of paid time off for vulnerable employees and those with dependent care needs, ended on Dec. 31, 2020. The University is now employing a “Rob Peter to pay Paul” tactic, telling us it would grant extended Covid leave if the Union commits to not pursuing emergency pay for employees. “When the CSU increases executive salaries and hides reserves, they are betraying the public trust and shows they have learned little about how to work together during the pandemic,” said CSUEU President Catherine Hutchinson. “Employees are the foundation of the CSU, not an expense to be minimized.” We must do everything to reduce the risk to staff lives. Our proposals on emergency pay and vulnerable employees are separate and will remain separate. We have informed PERB of the CSU’s lack of cooperation and the unfair labor practice is being scheduled for hearing.