AB 2361: University of California: outsource contracts.

After witnessing the lack of transparency by the UC regarding terms of contract work, AFSCME Local 3299 and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D- San Diego) took charge by introducing AB 2361. This bill would have allowed the Legislature to determine the extent to which UC outsources low-wage service work, how much low-wage contractors are paid compared to University employees doing comparable work.  The University would have been required to show that it is enforcing its own minimum wage policies, whether contractors used receive any health and/or retirement benefits and whether the University of California is following competitive bidding requirements by allowing vendors, in particular women- and minority-owned companies, to bid for services. 

By following similar disclosure requirements currently in place for California public employees, UC contractors would provide data that could help legislators and other policy makers tackle the issue of income inequality in the State of California. Additionally, more transparency could result in more economic opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses. Ultimately, an understanding of UC’s contracting out practices -- and the economic standards being set throughout the UC system -- will foster and promote a better California for workers. 

AB 2361 made its way through the State Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Brown on September 30th. AFSCME Local 3299 will continue to address the issue of outsourcing within the University of California system in the coming year.