SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco State University staff members gathered outside the campus on 19th Avenue to protest after 131 laid-off workers were presented by Teamsters and Representatives of California State University Employees Union. 

On social media, demonstrators called the event Today is the Rainy Day was organized by workers who received layoff notices, students, individuals and CSUEU. They invited people to bring an umbrella or a sign to participate in the protest to tell the California State University to use the rainy day fund to help the laid-off workers. 

SFSU Worker Defense Coalition released a statement on their social media: the CSU has a 1.5 billion rainy day fund, which was the state audit subject last year. Nick Wirz, who’s a representative of CSUEU, said that union members are still angry that this pot of money was not used during the previous state budget crisis in 2009 when CSU instituted systemwide furloughs. “If it’s not raining day, when would it ever rain?” Wirz said.

During the protest, Kat Alvarado, who’s a staff from the math department and received layoff notices, said from an interview that she and her co-worker found themselves being laid off on Tuesday. She doesn’t know what to do and where she can find another job during the current pandemic. She said her last day at work is November 9, and the school didn’t provide her any compensation, only health insurance is provided until the end of this year. The California State Legislature has permitted the CSU to use their 1.5 billion funds to keep all CSUs workers employed, Alvarado said. Still, CSU has not taken action. 

According to an interview with Wirz, they have already expressed their demand to the school’s board supervisors, but they don’t have the authority to solve it. In terms of the next step, Wirz said they will continue to fight by asking the legislature to do the right thing and call the CSU to save the unemployed. “We have no lack of work but there’s a fault plan to say that there’s no fund to keep these unemployeds,” said Wirz