A university in San Francisco, California has laid off some of its own IT staff and outsourced their jobs to contractors headquartered in India.
According to reports, these are not menial entry level jobs. Data management, data network administration, telecom operations including email and video conferencing and even payroll as first reported in July were some of the jobs leaving UCSF.
What is even more disturbing is employees at UCSF were directed to train their outsourced replacements. Unfortunately, this is not as uncommon as you may think. Anyone in the high tech or IT industry can attest to this common workplace function.
Six-figure salary potential, particularly in the tech world has always been touted as a reason why California is a great place to live. UCSF had 565 full-time workers focused on core IT services at the time this story was reported. It was estimated a minimum of 100 of those jobs were going overseas.
UCSF spokeswoman Barbara French at the time stated the university could save $30 million over five years by outsourcing the work, “looking at what everybody else we’re competing against is doing.” How much competition is there and should there be in a public university. This sounds more like the double talk we would expect to hear from a CEO of a major commercial corporation. Maybe they are one in the same in California?
The revelation of these layoffs last fall made headlines in California and the country. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-San Francisco) asked for time to “thoroughly examine” the public policy issues. Seems like not much change came from this request.
It is worth noting UCSF became one of three California Universities to receive a $600 million funding commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and UCSF alumna pediatrician Priscilla Chan, his wife. It is unclear how much of this money will go to hiring new American workers.
The school also ranks at or near the top in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research funding.
Congress has consistently failed to close a loophole allowing U.S. employers to send American jobs overseas. Instead, California has moved to expand the H1-B program on behalf of big money tech firms claiming, ridiculously, that they can’t find enough qualified employees in America. I know of plenty of qualified individuals who are never contacted. Some believe it is because they reside in the United States. Qualification for these individuals is certainly not an issue.
It’s hard to know how many IT jobs California alone has shipped overseas. The state doesn’t seem to track it. To get an idea though, the estimated number on IT workers abroad who re doing IT jobs for American companies is about 1.5 million. Bring back half of those jobs (which more than likely originated from a California based business) and American citizens may actually be able to pay the insanely inflated rent prices in California.
According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, one in five Californians live in poverty. Every job shipped overseas contributes to this fact greatly. More than actual words can describe.
Just take a Sunday drive through affluent areas of Los Angeles County such as Thousand Oaks or Westlake Village and you will notice something not seen prior. Homeless people. Mostly white, 50+ aged men and women standing with signs or gathered with their shopping carts on the side of a CVS store.
Many simply cannot afford housing because housing is no longer affordable in California, especially for many individuals 50 years of age and older who have seen their jobs, careers and future shipped overseas.
California dreaming? More like a nightmare.