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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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Union Solidarity Break: Staff Members Share Waves of Mutual Support, Cheers, and Resistance

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Panfleto de “Solidaridad ” (APC Credito) 

Faculty members who are a part of the CFA, APC, CSUEU, and Teamsters Local 2010, SUPA, and UAPD unions joined together at the “Union Solidarity Break” rally, to celebrate unity and the fight for equity.
Filled with smiles, cheers, conversation, and the aroma of fresh pizza, union members gathered in front of CSU Stanislaus’s Starbucks, building an environment of mutual empowerment.
Barbara Olave (Lecturer, Sociology) has been a CFA member for 10 years and attended the “Union Solidarity Break” rally, where she and other union members could make their voices heard. 
“What we’re really trying to do is to show our solidarity. It’s the only thing we have, right,” said Olave, “It’s our main source of power.”
She believes that anything that reminds the community that they are connected, speaks to people.
“As a lecturer, I’ve always kind of just shown up, done my job, kept my head down, you know, happy to be here,” she said, “But this is where, getting involved with the union, that’s where I really found like a sense of purpose.”
Olave also highlighted the importance of solidarity between the students, staff, and faculty.
“We’re modeling for students what showing up for your rights, demanding your rights looks like,” said Olave.
She also points out that, when reading about labor history, she found that labor movements on college campuses started with students in the 1960s.
Additionally, Olave emphasizes one of CFA’s core slogans.
“And when we say, one of the things we believe with all our core, is that, our working conditions are student learning conditions, and we just believe that so fully and so communicating that, I think is probably the most important thing for us,” said Olave.
Olave also noted that the CFA went to CSULB a couple of weeks prior to attend the rally where students and staff protested against the CSU Board of Trustees raising tuition costs.
Alongside CFA members, the SQE also protested at the rally and Olave highly reccomends checking out this student-run organization.
“I think that’s the best resource for students . . . I really feel like that’s a way that students can really feel like they belong and that they have a role to play, right, and that they can raise their voice, so SQE absolutely,” said Olave.
Jesus Jimenez (Alumni, Counseling) is a full-time Professional Academic Advisor in the ASC who is also an APC member.
Jimenez also attended the “Union Solidarity Break” gathering and he thought there was a great turnout.
“I hadn’t seen so many people kind of come together. We’ve had, like, a couple unions come together before, but this was definitely the biggest showing so far, and I felt, I felt pretty good. I felt like there is a voice and that we are kind of showing our prescence . . . The pizza was good too,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez also explained that APC is a union that serves the people in his classification level on campus, such as Student Support Professionals.
He went further in-depth about APC members values and what they hope to achieve.
“If we have issues that we’re going through, that we can kinda pull together our energies and therefore, you know, fight for those issues and then hopefully accomplish creating a better environment for ourselves and a better life for ourselves,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez also comments on the importance of having knowledge on the different types of unions and classifications at Stan State, since there are many different types of employees working on campus.
He also wants to make sure that students can have a great experience at Stan State and says the student workers are helping them with that.
“It’s good for us to be able to communicate with each other, share information with each other, and, ya know, help create that better environment. If I’m happier because my union is fighting for me, then I’m going to be able to provide better advising for my students and then hopefully my students are going to have better experience,” said Jimenez. 
Erin Littlepage (Student Success and Community Partnership Specialist), who attended the rally, is a member of the CSUEU and an alumni of Stan State, where she received her BA and MA in History.
She was first a graduate assistant and has been working on campus ever since, for the past 17 years.
The CSUEU is a staff union made up of bargaining unit 2 (Healthcare Support), unit 5 (Operations Support), unit 7 (Administrative Support), and unit 9 (Technical Support).
Littlepage recognizes the importance of solidarity between faculty members and why they must work together to enact change in the CSU system.
“We’re all on the same team. We’re working together for student success and, especially for the staff, we’ve been waiting for step increases for a very long time, so we hope that we’ll finally get the salaries steps put back in place,” said Littlepage.
Littlepage also acknowledged that there is a major push within the CSEU to support Student Assistant unionization.
Many student assistants across the CSU system have performed work without pay, benefits, or protections.
Student assistants are building unity between themselves and CSUEU members to further equity and opportunities available to those in the student workforce.
“I think one of the really great things about our campus, is over 80% of staff are in the union, so it’s important for us to stand together, to make changes, because when the union representation/the numbers of union members fell, that’s when we lost salary steps to begin with, so we have to make sure to keep those numbers strong, because it’s only together that we have a voice,” said Littlepage.

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Union Solidarity Break: Staff Members Share Waves of Mutual Support, Cheers, and Resistance