By: Miguel Angel Lomeli
Today, members of the California State University Employee Union, in a group of about 30 participants, marched through the Dominguez Hills campus in a rally against the low wages the faculty and staff receive.
They carried signs that read, “My family needs my benefits,” and “More work, less pay, NO WAY.”
The union looks to improve wages for faculty and staff at all CSU schools and improved benefits for themselves and their families. Some of the jobs these members do on a daily basis include registered nurses, cooks, gardeners, parking officers, and interpreters.
Although the sun was beaming down on a hot 90-degree day, the rally remained strong until the end. Many members ran around the food court and chanted in unison.
“One union! One voice!”
“What do we want? A fair contract! When do we want it? Now!”
“We’re fired up! We won’t take no less!”
CSUEU members made sure their voices echoed throughout the Dominguez Hills campus as students walked by.
Many students on campus gave positive feedback on the rally.
“The staff is an integral part of student life,” said rally participant Ivonne Heinze-Balcazar. “If they have fair pay, they are happier, more productive, and it’s a healthier campus. We’ve been saying for years that our working conditions are not proper and it affects the students.”
Some Dominguez Hills faculty are also supportive of the CSUEU’s efforts.
“The staff makes the university worthy,” said Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Vivian Price. “They are the front line with the students. If they are paid poverty wages how can they do their job?”
In addition, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee had a hearing regarding the increase in CSU management personnel, raises in wages of CSU executives, and troublesome budget practices in CSU. There, members of CSUEU were able to have their voices heard on the matter.
“It appears to be, by all of us witnessing this, that they are hiring managers that are doing analysts work,” said President of Chapter 311 of CSUEU Teresa Metcalf-Yzaguirre. “Which means that the accountability, the transparency, the injustice that is the cause of all this inappropriate behavior needs to stop.”