After their daily parking fees were more than doubled last year, and weekly rates more than tripled, Cal Poly’s largest employee union has reached an agreement with the university to significantly reduce those costs.
The California State University Employees Union — which represents 1,100 employees at Cal Poly — submitted a grievance last year contending that the new rates violated a contractual agreement stipulating the university couldn’t raise fees by more than $3 per month.
“It was a pretty easy argument,” said Joan Kennedy, Cal Poly’s employees union chapter president. “It’s a matter of counting to three.”
The CSUEU and the Office of the CSU Chancellor were scheduled for arbitration Aug. 4. But a day before the hearing was set to take place, the parties settled, union officials said.
The agreement has been reached pending signatures, according to the Office of the Chancellor, which said most employees buy monthly parking passes.
“The settlement agreement applies to a limited number of campus employees and will not have a dramatic impact on parking revenue,” the Office of the Chancellor said in a statement. “CSUEU daily and weekly parking pass fees remain at the lowest level paid by an employee group on campus and well below the daily and weekly parking pass fees paid by students.”
Citing a need to pay back costs for bond repayments on two parking structures near Poly Canyon Village, the university last year raised the employees’ daily rate from $1.88 to $5 and the weekly rates from $4.51 to $15.
The newly agreed upon daily parking rate for the union is $2 until Oct. 31, then $2.25 starting Nov. 1 and $2.50 from July 1, 2016 until the end of the contract in mid-2017, according to the CSUEU.
The new weekly rate is $5 until Oct. 31, then $5.50 starting Nov. 1 and $6 from July 1 until the end of the contract in mid-2017.
The CSUEU represents a wide range of workers, including librarians, nurses, landscapers, custodians and information technology specialists.
The rate reductions aren’t retroactive; the new fees took effect on June 1, 2014.
The California Faculty Association has separate pending grievances against the university regarding its daily and monthly parking increases, which jumped from $1.91 to $5 for daily rates last year. The faculty’s monthly group rates were increased by 21 cents from $15.39 to $15.60 last year.
Jere Ramsey, the CFA’s faculty rights representative for Cal Poly’s chapter, said that the parking fees shouldn’t have been increased more than the percentage increase for faculty pay, violating the contract.
The fees were increased in June 2014, before a new compensation contract was reached, also a violation, Ramsey said.
No arbitration date has been set. Cal Poly’s CFA represents about 1,500 faculty.
University officials declined to comment on the pending faculty case.
Cal Poly spent $37 million on the parking structures near Poly Canyon Village and pays $2.1 million annually on bond repayment costs.
The university contended the rate increases helped bring faculty and staff closer to students’ parking fees on campus.