Cal Poly maintenance workers to stage walkout as part of Teamsters’ CSU strike

Teamsters Local 2010 will stage a one-day strike on Nov. 14 after the union and the California State University system failed to reach a contract, according to the Teamsters.

The Teamsters represent 1,100 maintenance workers across the CSUs, 80 of whom work at Cal Poly. In their latest round of negotiations, the Teamsters asked for salary steps of 2% per year and a general salary increase of 17% over three years. Salary steps give yearly raises based on tenure status and job type. General salary increases apply to all workers. The Teamsters represent trades and maintenance workers across the CSU campuses.

The CSU has counter proposed a salary increase of 15% over three years and no salary steps, according to the CSU.

Teamsters 2010 steward Evan Powels said that the union felt the CSU’s counter-proposals were inadequate in addressing the rate of inflation and the high cost of living in California.

“Here in San Luis Obispo, we, in the trades, don’t make enough to buy homes,” Powels said. “Everyone (in the trades) feels pretty stagnant … with no opportunity to really move up.”

The Teamsters have filed dozens of unfair labor practice complaints against the CSU, according to the Public Employees Relations Board. The complaints have been a major grievance for many Teamsters at CSUs and motivators to go on strike, according to Powels. Powels qualified that workers at Cal Poly have not been subject to any violations, but the Teamsters intend to strike in solidarity with those who have at other campuses.

Maintenance workers from Teamsters Local 2010 stage a picket outside of the Cal Poly Administration Building on Sept. 14, 2022. They have voted to go on strike on Nov. 14 after failing to reach an agreement with the CSU. Teamsters Local 2010
Maintenance workers from Teamsters Local 2010 stage a picket outside of the Cal Poly Administration Building on Sept. 14, 2022. They have voted to go on strike on Nov. 14 after failing to reach an agreement with the CSU. Teamsters Local 2010

On Oct. 30, the Teamsters voted 94% yes to strike. Workers across CSU campuses will walk off the job on Nov. 14 for the day. Powels said that Cal Poly students and faculty should expect deliveries to campus will be turned away and that more strikes may happen based on the CSU’s response.

“We are the first people they (the CSU) call,” Powels said. “We just want them to know we are serious. … We are willing to strike, and will strike.”

The CSU believes that the strike is unlawful, as bargaining efforts are still in process and currently in the impasse phase, the fourth of the six bargaining stages, according to CSU spokesperson Hazel Kelly. The CSU contends that a strike cannot be called during negotiations.

Powels said the strike is legal as it is being called on the basis of the unfair labor practice complaints not the contract negotiations.

Powels said that the Teamsters strike is legal and protected as it is in response to the CSU’s unfair labor practice complaints. Further, the Teamsters allege that the CSU is “bargaining in bad-faith” and “interfering with workers’ rights to engage in union activities,” according to Powels

CSU campuses will remain open during the strike, according to Kelly.