FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 9, 2018
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(OAKLAND, CA) – As AFSCME represented UC service workers conclude a three day strike, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and State Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) joined the chorus of state leaders urging UC President Janet Napolitano to return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith to address workers concerns.
“The wage disparities amongst racial, gender, and socio-economic lines recently highlighted by UC’s own employment data is startling,” wrote De Leon, who joined striking workers today on picket lines at UC Davis Medical Center.
“I urge the University to return to negotiations with urgency, and in good faith,” wrote Newsom.
While imposing employment terms on its lowest wage service employees, Napolitano and UC administrators have yet to acknowledge workers’ chief concern: the outsourcing of their jobs, which a recent report suggests drives income, racial, and gender inequality at UC.
UC has suggested as many as 7,000 jobs have been outsourced to low wage contractors. As UC outsourcing has grown, research shows that African Americans are disappearing from UC’s directly-employed workforce, and are now more likely to work for low wage firms under contract with UC for a fraction of the wages and few, if any benefits. They also face higher risk of wage theft and other workplace abuses. In fact, UC’s own internal audits revealed that the University wasn’t enforcing its own contractor minimum wage, creating additional hardships for its most vulnerable workers.
“Disparities will only widen with the University’s continued outsourcing of low-wage work,” Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) and 24 other state legislators wrote in a letter to UC President Napolitano this week.
California State Auditor Elaine Howle has also confirmed that UC is displacing its own career workers through outsourcing while often violating its own competitive bidding rules in the process.
“This strike is about what’s at the heart of the growing inequality at UC: outsourcing,” says AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger. “Napolitano has the power to end this dispute by coming to the table prepared to pioneer a better future for the frontline workers who devote their lives to UC’s vital public mission everyday.”