By Sam Harnett
Heard on All Things Considered
In San Francisco, companies will pay six-figure salaries to entry-level tech workers from all over the world. So this might come as a surprise: A public university there is laying off some of its own IT staff and sending their jobs to a contractor with headquarters in India.
Until recently, Hank Nguyen’s daughter wanted to follow in his footsteps and work in tech. Last spring, she was accepted into the University of California system.
“She was inclined to take computer science and engineering,” Nguyen says.
But then the letters started arriving. The first was a hefty tuition bill. At about the same time, Nguyen got a layoff notice.
His employer, the University of California San Francisco, or UCSF, was outsourcing his job. Nguyen was stunned.
How would he pay for his daughter’s education? Would there be tech jobs for her when she graduates?
“I’m unsure about everything now,” Nguyen says. “And she’s unsure as well.”
Nguyen came to the U.S. from Vietnam. He thought tech would provide a stable, middle class life. So he learned how to do backend IT work, to handle servers and keep networks running.
Now, Nguyen and several dozen others at UCSF are training their replacements.
“I’m speechless,” Nguyen says. “How can they do this to us?”
UCSF has 565 full-time workers focused on core IT services. It is cutting nearly 100 IT jobs, full-time workers, contractors and unfilled positions.
UCSF spokeswoman Barbara French says the university can save $30 million over five years by outsourcing the work, “looking at what everybody else we’re competing against is doing.”
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Last modified: April 27, 2017