CSUEU SLO Vice President Erin Foote led protesters around Cal Poly's campus on May 1, 2023, to achieve salary reform. Credit: Owen Lavine | Mustang News

Unions across the CSU campuses held marches on Monday for salary reform. 

At Cal Poly, the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), Academic Professionals of California (APC), California Faculty Association (CFA) and Teamsters Unions marched across campus demanding salary steps. 

“The CSU is the lowest paid state agency without a salary steps program and what that has led to is wage stagnation,” said Erin Foote, the CSUEU SLO vice president. “We cannot retain people, we cannot recruit people. While the CSU may be a way for students to get ahead in the world, it is no longer that for the people who work here.

The unions marching represented IT workers, clerical workers, healthcare workers, gardeners, custodial workers, lab technicians and AV technicians, among others.

The CSUEU is currently in negotiations with CSU over salaries and benefits. 

Salary steps were acknowledged by the CSU as one of the main ways the CSU could retain employees, according to the 2022 Mercer Study. However, the CSU has yet to implement salary steps in employees’ contracts or agree to them in the current salary and benefits negotiations according to Foote. 

Salary steps increase the wages of employees on a merit-based system. The CSU Board of Trustees voted to get rid of salary steps for CSU employees in 1996. 

Foote said the CSU accepted the Mercer Study recommendations and acknowledged issues of wage stagnation and employee retention. Yet the unions have received “deafening silence” rather than action.

“We just want them to institute the Mercer study like they said it was needed,” Foote said.

For those interested in how to get involved with the CSUEU or learning more about the CSUEU, visit their website at https://www.csueu.org/