Outsourcing on the Table

Source: Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, September 27, 2016

Information technology staff members across the University of California system are holding their breath to see if the layoffs and outsourcing at the San Francisco campus represent an individual cost-cutting measure or the beginning of a trend. The UCSF Medical Center told staffers this July that — because of decreasing federal health care reimbursement and cost increases associated with the Affordable Care Act — it would cut 97 IT jobs by Feb. 28. Some of the positions will be outsourced to the Indian IT services company HCL Technologies. The university has also contracted with Dell and FireEye for data center and cybersecurity services, respectively. … The layoffs affect UCSF’s IT office broadly, covering staff members responsible for application support and development, email and phone systems, and data center and network center operations and more, according to an email from university CIO Joseph R. Bengfort. Excluding contract and vacant positions, 49 career employees will lose their jobs. … Other staff members bristled at the thought of training the workers who will replace them. To aid the outsourcing efforts, some staff members have had their organizational goals updated with a target of completing the transition plan by Feb. 14, with a stretch goal of Jan. 31. A staff member with about 20 years of experience at the university said he feels as though the university is rewarding employees for making themselves expendable as fast as they can. …

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University of California hires India-based IT outsourcer, lays off tech workers
Source: Patrick Thibodeau, ComputerWorld, September 7, 2016

The University of California is laying off a group of IT workers at its San Francisco campus as part of a plan to move work offshore. 9 things to check after installing wireless access points Whether you’re upgrading equipment or building out a whole new Wi-Fi network, use this handy checklist READ NOW The layoffs will happen at the end of February, but before the final day arrives the IT employees expect to train foreign replacements from India-based IT services firm HCL. The firm is working under a university contract valued at $50 million over five years. … UCSF, which runs professional schools in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy as well as a medical center, has a 565-member centralized IT department. This layoff affects 17% of UCSF’s total IT staff, broken down this way: 49 IT permanent employees will lose their jobs, along with 12 contract employees and 18 vendor contractors. This number also includes 18 vacant IT positions that won’t be filled, according to the university. …

UC San Francisco Outsourcing IT Ops to India
Source: Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, September 9, 2016

The university is focused entirely on health areas, with four schools: dentistry, nursing, medicine and pharmacy. According to UCSF’s website, there are currently 3,114 students enrolled in degree programs, 1,479 residents and 1,127 post-doctoral scholars. However, that small student body belies the size of the overall institution, which is currently the second largest employer in the city. UCSF’s paid workforce comprises 22,000 staff and nearly 2,800 faculty. … The work being taken over by HCL primarily includes what some might consider “commodity” services: data center and network operations, as well as unified communications and application maintenance for PeopleSoft, C#, .NET and Java. University representatives told Thibodeau that the service provider would also deliver “application development augmentation services.” The individuals affected include 49 IT permanent employees, 12 contract employees and 18 vendor contractors, the article stated. Also, the university will stop attempting to fill 18 vacant IT jobs. … What isn’t being outsourced, Bengfort stated, were IT functions “that require direct knowledge of UCSF and its mission.” Those include jobs requiring skills in developing new programs for analytics and high-performance computing. Likewise, those jobs with a “direct and consistent interaction with end users” will remain with university employees; that includes the help desk. …

University of California’s outsourcing is wrong, says U.S. lawmaker
Source: Patrick Thibodeau, ComputerWorld, September 9, 2016

A decision by the University of California to lay off IT employees and send their jobs overseas is under fire from U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif) and the IEEE-USA. 9 things to check after installing wireless access points Whether you’re upgrading equipment or building out a whole new Wi-Fi network, use this handy checklist READ NOW The university recently informed about 80 IT workers at its San Francisco campus, including contract employees and vendor contractors, that it hired India-based HCL, under a $50 million contract, to manage infrastructure and networking-related services. The university employees will remain on the job until the end of February, but before then they are expecting to train their foreign replacements. … Peter Eckstein, the president of the IEEE-USA, said what the university is doing “is just one more sad example of corporations, a major university system in this case, importing non-Americans to eliminate American IT jobs.” This engineering association has some 235,000 members. … HCL, and other firms in the offshore industry generally, use H-1B temporary visa workers. HCL was one of the contractors at Disney, which cut around 250 workers last year. Two former Disney employees filed a lawsuit in January in federal court challenging HCL, a second contractor and Disney over the use of foreign workers. … The H-1B visa program was intended to provide people for specific workforce needs. But over the last 20 years, the program’s major users have been IT services firms that use visa workers to help outsource work overseas. U.S. IT workers have complained repeatedly about having to train workers on temporary visas as a condition of severance, and often accuse the U.S. government as being a party to their layoff. …