PAF Victories

Public Higher Education: Governor Brown signs AB 848 (McCarty) the “Stop Offshoring Abuse” bill into law 

October, 2017—Governor Brown today signed a bill aimed at preventing public educational institutions from transferring taxpayer funded jobs to overseas corporations, after a coalition of unions representing workers at the University of California and the California State University called for it.

AB 848 (McCarty) is known as the “Stop Off-shoring Abuse” bill, due to the abusive off-shoring behavior of management at the University of California, San Francisco campus. UCSF off-shored 97 information technology (IT) positions in July of 2016 to a company called HCL, whose business model is to bring Indian workers to the US on H-1B visas, and engage in a “knowledge transfer” process where US workers are forced to sit next to their replacements and teach them to do their own jobs. The UCSF IT workers lost their jobs after the “knowledge transfer” was complete on February 28, 2017, but they kept up the fight to change the law for future employees. 

“We want to sincerely thank the brave IT workers who stuck through this legislative process with us,” said Jelger Kalmijn, which co-sponsored the bill. “While they were looking for new jobs and a way to provide for themselves and their families, they also took the time to go to the Capitol and fight for what was right. They are heroes,” he said.

“We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. His focus is to build the U.S. economy, specifically the tech and STEM economy in the U.S. and in California with this bill,” said IT worker Kurt Ho. “As I stated in my 60 Minutes interview, our public tax dollars should be going toward building up the US middle class, not corporate interests elsewhere. Off-shoring jobs in the public sector is wrong,” Ho added.

Twelve years before the UCSF IT workers were affected, UCSF off-shored its medical transcriptionist services to a company in Pakistan. The owner of the company did not think she was paid fairly, and threatened to release private medical data onto the open web, which would have been a HIPPA violation had she been in the US and subject to US law. Luckily, this event was resolved without incident.

UCSF IT worker Robert Harrison said: “It is best not to facilitate a global race to the bottom where workers are pit against each other. It is best not to even put them or us in that position.”