Statement on Recent State Audit of the University of California

August 22, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 22, 2017
CONTACT: John de los Angeles, 650-438-1961, comms@afscme3299.org

(OAKLAND, CA) – Today, the California State Auditor released a report on contracting out at the University of California (UC). The following is a statement on the findings from Kathryn Lybarger, President of AFSCME Local 3299.

“For the second time this year, a State Audit has revealed a shocking pattern of abuse and outright mismanagement at the University of California. In reviewing UC’s service contracting practices, today’s report from Auditor Elain Howell illustrates that UC is actively working to subvert the wages and labor standards it has negotiated with its frontline employees by replacing full-time living wage jobs with private contractors who pay rock bottom wages with no benefits. For the past several years, UC has sought to obfuscate this fact by denying responsibility when its contractors openly violate state labor laws, and by enacting a sham minimum wage policy that it hasn’t even bothered to enforce.

Ultimately, by outsourcing its full-time staffing needs to low wage contractors, the University is creating a permanent underclass of MediCal reliant workers who perform the same duties as directly employed UC workers for a fraction of the pay, few benefits, and no voice on the job. In doing so, UC is marginalizing a workforce comprised primarily of immigrants and people of color, even as it shells out half million dollar payouts to disgraced ex-Chancellors and hypocritically preaches equality and social justice inside the classroom.

The only solution for the abuses revealed in today’s audit report is proposed state legislation (SB 574-Lara) that would require UC service contractors to provide their workers equal pay with UC employees who perform the same jobs. Through its actions, UC has already shown that anything short of this standard—a standard already enforced in California state agencies, K-12 schools, and community colleges—would only result in more poverty and more abuse of California’s most vulnerable workers.”

Last modified: October 20, 2017

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