UCSF IT Outsourcing

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February 07, 2017
Workers fight UCSF’s plan to move IT overseas, worry that UC will roll out program systemwide¬†
Information technology (IT) workers from around the UC system converged on the most recent regents’ meeting (WATCH VIDEO) to explain the irreparable harm that will come from management’s plan to send their jobs to India.

Nearly a hundred IT workers at UCSF will lose their jobs, after management signed a $50 million contract with multinational firm HCL, headquartered in India. UC is forcing the workers to train their own replacements, and employees fear the program will soon spread to other UC campuses.

“How would you feel if those who appoint you to your positions told you that someone in another country could do your jobs better than you are?” Robert Harrison, a senior telecom engineer at UCSF who joined his coworkers to testify before the regents.

Sharp criticism of UC’s plan has come from several legislators, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who told UC its decision to “lay off highly skilled workers and replace them with foreign workers” contradicts US law. The workers’ story has been featured in the New York Times, CNBC’s Nightly Business Report, Fox News, CWA News, and elsewhere.

Outsourcing IT likely to go systemwide
IT workers note that HCL’s contract with UC is systemwide and could be expanded. UC’s Information Technology Architecture Committee (ITAC) has noted that the system’s Chief Information Officers are “looking at the UCSF experience before others dip in.”

“Where will it stop? Where are you going to go with it? Is this just the beginning?” asked Mike Holford, a UCSB IT employee for over three decades, who spoke before the regents.

“UC is an engine for economic growth and sustainability and it sets employment standards for California,” Max Belasco, a programmer analyst at UCLA told the regents. “Offshoring is damaging to what the UC community is,” said Belasco.

How to stop UC’s off-shoring
Some IT classifications are among the only UC job titles not covered by union contracts. UPTE-CWA represents 15,000 researchers, techs, skilled trades workers, and health care professionals who do have strong, enforceable protections against outsourcing, and other UC unions represent tens of thousands more.

IT professionals throughout the UC system are getting involved to build a union and have the protections of a contract against outsourcing. Want to join us? Contact your local UPTE rep here.