At the University of California's San Francisco campus, 79 IT employees lost their jobs this week, some of them after explaining to their replacements at Indian outsourcing firm HCL how to do their jobs.
The union representing the employees, University Professional and Technical Employees [upte.org] CWA Local 9119, says it's the first time a public university has offshored American IT jobs.
In a statement sent yesterday, UPTE-CWA says the layoffs could spread, since the HCL contract can be utilized by any of the 10 campuses in the University of California system, the nation's largest public university. "US taxes should be used to create jobs in the US, not in other countries," said Kurt Ho, a systems administrator who was quoted in the union's press release. Ho was required to train his replacement as a condition of getting his severance pay.
In its statement on the matter, UCSF says that it was pushed to hire outside contractors due to "increased demand for information technology and escalating costs for these services." The university says it will save more than $30 million by hiring HCL, after seeing IT costs nearly triple between 2011 and 2016, "driven by the introduction of the electronic medical record and increased digital connectivity."
The university says 49 UCSF employees were laid off, and it will eliminate another 48 jobs that are currently vacant or filled by contractors. "UCSF will not replace UCSF IT employees with H-1B visa holders, nor will HCL," the university wrote in a statement e-mailed to Ars.
Of the 49 laid-off UCSF employees, 34 have either secured other employment or are retiring, the university said.