UAW strikes at CSU campuses postponed

Danielle Directo

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union announced strikes at CSU campuses will be postponed pending negotations over fee waiver benefits between the CSU and the union of Academic Student Employees (ASEs).

The UAW Local 4123, which represents the CSU’s 6,800 ASEs, announced Tuesday they would hold off on strikes after Senate President Pro-Tempore Darrell Steinberg urged both parties to meet again and attempt to reach an agreement.

In a letter to CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, Steinberg wrote, ‘ASEs provide much of the critical, face-to-face education that makes CSU such a great university system.’

Steinberg also said ‘ASEs took a 7% wage cut when fees increased this year… without a fee waiver, the average (academic student employee) earns a mere $1.80, after paying student fees.’

In a statement, the UAW Local 4123 said they ‘believe that Senate President Steinberg will be a helpful influence on negotiations and will move CSU administrators to bargain lawfully and help us reach agreement on a fee waiver.’

The AWU proposed full fee waivers for its student members, which the CSU estimated would cost $8 to $11 million a year, said the CSU.

‘Student fee hikes are funding a $111 million increase to the CSU budget this year.’ This has an inequitable impact on ASEs… (who) are the only group of unionized CSU employees that does not receive a fee waiver benefit,’ Steinberg said in his letter to Reed.’ ‘Fee waivers are a standard benefit for ASEs at universities across the country, including the University of California.’