From today’s CalMatters:
California State University is the largest public university system in the country, so when sophomore Delilah Mays-Triplett decided working on the San Diego State University campus as a library assistant would be the best thing for her education, she didn’t expect to be paid less than the local minimum wage.
But when Mays-Triplett’s check came, she saw she was paid $15.50 per hour, nearly a dollar lower than the San Diego minimum wage of $16.30.
That reason, paired with others, is why Mays-Triplett decided to sign a union authorization card when organizers approached her. Undergraduate student assistants at the university are mounting a union organizing campaign, calling for more work hours, paid sick time and higher wages. The campaign could potentially affect more than 13,000 library assistants, clerical workers and other non-academic student employees across the system’s 23 campuses and comes at a time of heightened campus labor activism.
“There’s a lot of things that are kind of unfair about our job,” said Mays-Triplett. “So just being able to organize and address some of those issues would be really helpful,” she said, adding that she finds power in “just being able to have a voice.”
The California State University Employees Union, which represents non-student workers in similar roles, filed petitions with the state’s Public Employment Relations Board in 2021 to add student assistants into its existing bargaining units, and has been working with student organizers to collect union authorization cards since last fall.
Read the complete story here.