Photos by Whitney Howard, CSU Channel Islands Our path to winning a fair contract with salary steps continued this week with a bargaining session on Tuesday (Sept. 19) at CSU Dominguez Hills. CSUEU chapter leadership welcomed more than 150 union supporters to a noontime rally that included Student Assistants and our Labor Coalition partners from Teamsters, APC and CFA. And once again, our Bargaining Team got a big boost from a roomful of more than 80 observers! From the start of bargaining, CSU negotiators have ignored substantial proposals from our Bargaining Team. However, we want to recognize that in their last offer, CSU management did move from a 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) in the first year to 5%. Our Bargaining Team determined that it was time to make substantial movement from our side as well. Our counter-proposal delivered this week: Year 1: 6% GSI; the employer is offering 5%. Year 2: Implement the steps program by first adding 4% to the table that the employer is offering, and paying individuals who are higher than the top step $2,000 for each year they are over the top. Year 3: Each employee would move up a step (until they reach step 20) and the steps would also increase by 2% percent. All contract proposals from CSUEU and CSU are posted here (www.csueu.org/bargaining). ADJUSTMENTS TO CSUEU PROPOSAL This week's CSUEU proposal has the following adjustments: Move to 2% between steps Move from 7% GSI to 6% GSI Agree to require satisfactory or better evaluation (or no evaluation) to advance a step. This was the system used in the past and we have heard from a significant number of members that they agreed with this policy. What we refused to do: Concede on the employer’s proposal to allow additional salary increases at the sole discretion of the campus president. We want a more objective process. We also rejected the employer’s demand to eliminate the IRP process and emergency pay as well. Furthermore, we rejected the employer’s proposal to increase parking rates and to change the layoff language. We are also insisting on a rapid, objective process for reforming the classifications (especially procurement, athletic trainers, administrative support series ASA/ASC, AAS, EHS and information technology staff) that needs to be done to ensure a fairer, more equitable steps implementation. Finally, one significant adjustment from our previous proposal is that we agreed to let the employer use the state-wide wage table for the three Bay Area campuses and move people in the higher cost-of-living region to higher steps to compensate. We warned management that we think this will be a disaster in implementation and will result in inequities and not save the CSU any money, but if they were determined to do it, we weren’t going to stop them. We also told them that when it does fail, we will be ready to discuss implementing our proposal at any time. WE ALREADY WON STEPS! These modifications to our proposal were hard to make, but the Bargaining Team is determined to get an agreement that works. And we should remember one important point: We already won steps. Now we are figuring out what the new salary steps structure looks like and how to implement it successfully. There is still important work ahead - worth fighting and even striking for. But every CSUEU member should be proud of the victory we've already secured. Check out more photos from the day , with thanks to CSUEU Member Whitney Howard, from CSU Channel Islands!