Photo by Carlos Pedraza | A group of demonstrators carry signs demanding a better contract.
Photo by Carlos Pedraza | A group of demonstrators carry signs demanding a better contract.

Teamsters Union demonstrate for better wages at Cal Poly Humboldt

Cal Poly Humboldt service workers fight with CSU over contract

by Carlos Pedraza

The Teamsters union marched across campus on Thursday, April 6 demonstrating against the California State University system offer, during union contract negotiations. The Teamsters union represents the service and maintenance workers in the CSU.

The demonstration began at the administration building at the quad. The demonstrators marched around the campus shouting slogans and demands. They ended their march in the quad where they continued to chant slogans until music was played from the stage in the quad.

During the pandemic, the union made an agreement with the CSU administration to avoid layoffs. The union will not renegotiate its contract with the CSU. Union member and housing maintenance worker Brian Wheeler spoke out on the issue.

“We asked for 15%, 5% for 2020, 5% for 2021, and 5% going forward,” Wheeler said. “They offered us 3%.”

He feels that with inflation increasing and the sacrifice the workers made during the COVID years, they deserve a higher wage increase.

There were other teamster demonstrations across other California university campuses. The Teamster Local 2010 held demonstrations on the UC Berkeley campus, San Francisco State University, and Chico state campuses demanding the same contract renegotiation that the Cal Poly Humboldt workers are demonstrating for.

When asked about the current negotiations, CSU spokesperson Kelly Hazel made it clear that the CSU organization is currently negotiating with union representatives.

“The CSU values its employees and is committed to providing appropriate levels of compensation. We continue to meet at the bargaining table with the teamster representative,” said Hazel. She continued, explaining that the CSU’s main goal is a balanced budget and that the CSU will work towards this in the negotiations.

The negotiations between the CSU and Teamsters are still ongoing, with the CSU offering a 4% wage increase for 2021-2022 but no wage increase for 2020.

Photo by Carlos Pedraza | Union demonstrators end their march at the university quad.

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