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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Cal State Skilled Trade Workers Strike Across All 23 Campuses for Higher Salaries

Skilled+trade+workers+at+the+San+Diego+State+University+march+across+campus%2C+conveying+their+frustrations+with+wages+and+the+salary+pay+structure%2C+according+to+KPBS.
Courtesy of M.G. Perez
Skilled trade workers at the San Diego State University march across campus, conveying their frustrations with wages and the salary pay structure, according to KPBS.

One thousand one hundred skilled trade workers participated in a one-day strike across all California State University (CSU) campuses on Tuesday, Nov. 14 to protest against stalled contract negotiations and rally for higher wages, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Over the past nine months, the labor union Teamster Local 2010 has negotiated with the CSUs for improved working conditions, arguing that CSU wages for skilled trade workers have stagnated, according to the Teamsters 2010 website. Not only have their wages fallen behind other states, but salaries are not sufficient enough to sustain the high living cost in California, according to KSBY

“As long as it’s non-violent, it’s justified with what they want from the system and to get their voices heard,” senior Rachel Park said. “Getting connections with higher people and authority will definitely help increase the probability of these strikes working.”

Skilled workers include plumbers, technicians, electricians and more, who maintain CSU campus infrastructure, according to current CSU graduate student and social studies teacher Taryn Sorrentino. Sorrentino agreed that collective bargaining and striking are necessary forms of civil disobedience to obtain better working conditions.

Teamster union leaders led picket lines starting as early as 5 a.m. at CSU Channel Islands. Similar situations of marching, chanting and sign-holding were planned in all 23 universities.

“It’s good that they are fighting for better working conditions and better pay because they are being treated unfairly,” sophomore Garan Gurusinghe said. “It makes me more hesitant to go to a CSU because it seems like a school that doesn’t treat its workers fairly.”

As of now, CSU skilled trade workers lag 23.6% behind University of California trade workers in wages, according to KSBY. Teamster Local 2010’s primary goal is to advocate for step raises to expand salary opportunities and reward experienced workers. According to the Teamsters 2010 website, these step raises were eliminated 30 years ago, a major hindrance that calls into question CSU’s fair labor practices.

“We have a history in this country of workers finding success in organization efforts,” Sorrentino said. “So I hope they have a successful negotiation because they deserve higher pay, pay that increases along with the cost of living.”

While it is not clear when negotiations will come to a close, the strike showed solidarity within the skilled trade workers of all CSU campuses, who proposed 7% and 5% increases in wages, according to KSBY

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About the Contributors
Nina Krish, Staff Writer
Nina Krish is a Photo Editor for her first year on the Portola Pilot. She is so excited to get to know her fellow writers and work with them this year. In her freetime, you can find her baking or buying overpriced drinks while blasting Harry Styles and Conan Gray. Her favorite part of the Pilot is spending time with her best friend, Olivia.
Elise Ngo, Features Editor
Elise Ngo is the Features Editor for her second and final year on the Portola Pilot. When not obsessing over Instagram labradoodles or harassing her older sister to buy Cha for Tea popcorn chicken, you can find her having existential crises during hikes in Shady Canyon while listening to her favorite musicals. In the newsroom, if not being mixed up with Maddie, she’s abusing em dashes and asking Tara for headline puns. She’s thrilled for another year with her divine Pilot peers.
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