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Public University Lays off 79 IT Workers, Outsources Work Overseas

The University of California, San Francisco, laid off 79 IT workers this week after making the decision to outsource their work to a firm in India.

The University of California, San Francisco, which offers various graduate-level programs, has elected to lay off 79 IT workers and offshore their responsibility to an Indian firm. According to the union that represents UCSF’s IT workers, this is the first time that an American public university has offshored IT work.

UCSF administrators claim that they were pushed to move the institution’s IT work offshore due to an “increased demand for information technology and escalating costs for these services.” After IT costs tripled at UCSF between 2011 and 2016, the university claims it will save more than $30 million by contracting work out to the Indian firm.

In November, Rep. Zoe Lofgren wrote a letter to the university, condemning their plan to “abuse” the H-1B program.

“The H-1B program’s intended purpose is to promote American competitiveness by providing access for U.S. employers to highly-skilled foreign nationals to fill critical skills shortages,” Lofgren wrote. “It is meant to supplement – not replace ­– the American workforce. Congress never intended that the H-1B program be sued to undercut wages for domestic workers or to facilitate offshoring of U.S. jobs.”

“I urge you to reconsider using the H-1B program to outsource American IT jobs,” she continued. “Not only will this protect American workers, it will avoid unnecessary risks to patients and California’s taxpayers caused by offshoring the University’s critical IT enterprise.”

Several of the laid-off employees are reported to be considering suing the University of California for “discrimination.”

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