Roy Lyle

Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation on Oct. 9 that would have guaranteed UC full-time contract employees the same minimum wage that UC employees earn. Currently, full-time contract employees earn up to 53% less for the same jobs as their officially employed counterparts.

Senate Bill 376, introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara last February, attempted to amend existing provisions to the competitive bidding process, wherein the UC’s contracts are given to the lowest responsible bidder. Essentially, UCs select private contracting companies based off the company’s ability to provide the best quality service for the lowest price. The bill would have required private contractors to provide a written statement to the UC that their employees would be paid at a comparable rate to UC workers for all contracts over $100,000 in total.

Senate Bill 376 attracted support from labor groups such as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3299 — UC’s largest labor union and one of its heaviest sources of criticism. According to research conducted by AFSCME Local 3299, the UC’s reliance on cheap contract labor drives increasing numbers of workers, particularly immigrants and persons of color, into poverty.

“The effort to provide increased compensation to those who work for UC — either directly or on a contract basis — is well-intentioned, but I’m not prepared to embrace the provisions of this bill,” Governor Brown said in his veto message.

The governor also noted efforts by the UC to benefit workers in response to criticisms of its wage and contracting practices.

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[Source]: New University