Dear Governor Brown,
As faculty of the University of California, we are writing to urge you to sign bill SB-376, requiring the University of California compensate its subcontracted workers at the same level as those who are hired directly, that is, requiring equal pay for the same work.
It is a disgrace that the University is seeking to balance its budget on the backs of its lowest-paid workers. Subcontracting increases the possibility of wage theft and generally exploitative treatment of workers. The recent case of Performance First Building Services, currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for such abuses, is but one instance in a long and shameful history. SB-376 would remove the University’s incentive to allow such exploitation to take place, ensuring that subcontractors be used only in the case of tasks that could most efficiently be handled externally, and not as a form of backdoor access to cheap labor.
The University administration has spoken against this bill, concerned that the costs will further imperil the fragile economic condition of the University. We share that concern and urge the state to take these costs into consideration in allocating future resources. However, we strongly reject the suggestion that the University should solve its economic problems by outsourcing to private contractors who have demonstrated that they have no regard for the laws of our state or the welfare of the employees they hire to work on our campuses.
The University of California is an important public institution and, as faculty members committed to its historic public character, we urge you to ensure that it uphold that public mandate by paying its workers both decently and fairly.
Joe Kiskis, Vice President External Affairs,
Council of UC Faculty Association