University of California workers plan May 16 strike over job outsourcing

University of California service and patient care technical workers plan to strike May 16 to protest job outsourcing by the school, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The strike involves university professional and technical employees represented by the UPTE-CWA 9119 union, as well as members of the AFSCME Local 3299 union, which represents the university's service and patient care technical workers. Together, the unions represent 39,000 UC workers.

On its website, the AFSCME claims the university is outsourcing patient care, service and skilled craft jobs to low wage for-profit companies. UPTE's website claims UC also is outsourcing jobs of its members to private companies.

"First we learned about the Rehab Hospital [in Sacramento, Calif.], where UC plans to eliminate nearly 40 jobs by contracting out work to a 'joint venture' with for-profit Kindred Healthcare. UC is refusing to bargain, and longtime UC employees will be forced to reapply for their current jobs with the new company, losing their UC pay and benefits, or be reassigned elsewhere at UC Davis outside the areas of their specialties," UPTE wrote.

Union leaders claim the university also plans to outsource $56 million in IT services at its five medical centers and more than $150 million of clinical and nonclinical jobs.

"UC entered into this agreement with no notice to the union, and already, departments are starting to outsource UPTE work to the private contractor," union leaders said.

UC spokesperson Claire Doan told The Sacramento Bee there is false information being disseminated by union leaders regarding outsourcing and job displacement. She also said union have grown substantially at that university, along with service contract protections.

AFSCME members' pay increased 21 percent, on average, between 2013 and 2018, Ms. Doan said.

"UC’s contracts with AFSCME bar the university from contracting out for the sole purpose of saving on wages and benefits," she added. "UC also can’t lay off any AFSCME-represented employee because of a service contract. We are not looking to change those prohibitions."


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