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CSU student assistants vote to unionize

California State University student assistants voted Friday to join the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), making it the largest undergraduate student union in the U.S.

The school system’s 20,000 student assistants now join the 16,000 university staff members represented by CSUEU/SEIU Local 2579. The undergraduate students’ new role in the union will give them bargaining power for

Currently, student assistants are capped at a 20-hour work week and earn minimum wage. They have few benefits and an absence of sick time.

Efforts for the union picked up steam last April when a petition was submitted to state authorities seeking their approval for students’ union election. Students across 23 Cal State campuses voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining the staff’s union.

In a statement, a Cal State lead said the institution respects the students’ decision.

“The CSU has a long history of providing on-campus jobs to students through student assistant positions, which give our students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while they pursue their degrees,” Leora Freedman, CSU Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, said in a statement. “The CSU respects the decision of student assistants to form a union and looks forward to bargaining in good faith with the newly formed CSUEU student assistant unit.”​

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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