Sen. Leyva introduces ‘Steps to Economic Parity in Salaries Act’

SACRAMENTO – To ensure that California State University support staff are able to earn a salary that is competitive and on par with their counterparts, State Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) has introduced SB 566 that will restore 5 percent salary steps for thousands of CSU support staff, many of whom are the lowest-paid employees at the university system – such as custodians and groundskeepers.

This legislation will provide parity with California’s other state agencies and over 210,000 state employees.

Also known as the Steps to Economic Parity in Salaries, or S.T.E.P.S., Act, SB 566 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 important measure will address these inequities by providing CSU support staff an annual 5 percent salary step contingent on their job performance – an opportunity already afforded to all other California state employees.

“It is long overdue that we fix this unfair salary structure that unjustly penalizes long-standing CSU employees and minimizes their important contributions to the university system and its students,” Sen. Leyva said. “SB 566 restores dignity to these employees – and their families – by ensuring that they earn the wages that they rightfully deserve.”

In 1996 – following an impasse in contract negotiations – the CSU Board of Trustees took an unprecedented action by unilaterally abolishing employee salary steps that were in place for 50 years.

For over two decades, the CSU has remained unwilling to reinstate salary steps and is now the only state agency that does not provide salary steps for its support staff.

The inability of support staff to move through salary ranges has resulted in new hires earning higher salaries than existing employees.

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.