Leyva Bill Restoring Salary Steps for CSU Employees Passes Senate Education Committee

SB 566 Ensures CSU Pays Employees Fairly and Equitably

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, the Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 566 by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will restore 5 percent salary steps for thousands of California State University (CSU) support staff, including many of the lowest-paid employees at the university system—such as custodians and groundskeepers.

The Steps to Economic Parity in Salaries (S.T.E.P.S.) Act will help fix the CSU’s broken salary structure for CSU support staff that allows newly-hired employees to earn more than equivalent long-term employees, even while working side-by-side doing the same job at the same campus.  This measure will address these decades-long inequities by providing CSU support staff an annual merit-based 5% salary step contingent on their job performance—an opportunity that all other California state employees already have.

“SB 566 will again ensure that CSU support staff are able to earn a salary that is competitive and truly fair and equitable,” Senator Leyva said.  “There is no reason why the CSU should be any different than the many other state agencies that already offer salary steps to their employees.  It is time for us to fix this unfair salary structure that the CSU decided to unilaterally implement in the 1990’s and that clearly penalizes long-standing employees.”

After an impasse in contract negotiations, the CSU Board of Trustees took an unprecedented action in 1996 by unilaterally eliminating employee salary steps that were in place for five decades.  Since that unfair action, the CSU has not been willing to reinstate salary steps and now remains the sole state agency that does not provide salary steps for its support staff.  The inability of support staff to advance through salary ranges has resulted in new hires earning higher salaries than comparable employees that have been with the university system for many years.  On average, new hires earn $780 per month more than existing employees who work in the same classification.

The S.T.E.P.S. Act is jointly co-sponsored by the CSU Employees Union, California Teamsters / AFL-CIO and SEIU California State Council.