UC hospital system workers strike to protest outsourcing
- Workers at the University of California San Diego and at UC facilities across the state have walked off the job for a three-day strike amid a labor dispute focused on salary issues and demands for an end to outsourcing, the local Fox affiliate reports.
- More than 15,000 patient care technical workers and their counterparts represented by Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees were involved in the strike, Fox5 reported, with more than 9,000 AFSCME service workers and roughly 15,000 UPTE-CWA technical workers joining them in solidarity.
- Union officials said they have been trying to bargain in good faith with the system’s hospitals for more than a year to address members' concerns about outsourcing. In a statement, the university said union leaders are throwing a "tantrum" and that employees' 8% wage increase request is "unrealistic and unreasonable."
The subject of outsourcing has become a hot-button issue, especially as the labor market continues to tighten. Employers, already dealing with low unemployment, strict immigration policies and a skills gap, are simultaneously worried about economic volatility; to cope, businesses are increasingly turning to third-party vendors, temporary staffing agencies and independent contractors to maintain an adjustable headcount.
Aside from the workforce morale issues that outsourcing can create, employers also may want to carefully evaluate the risk that accompanies moves that, by nature, decrease employer oversight.
A recent Deloitte survey found that nearly 53% of respondents have little oversight of fourth or fifth parties (third-party outsourced relationships) or the risk that comes with that lack of oversight. The study, Focusing on the climb ahead, found that companies also are slow to manage their potential liability through extended enterprise risk management (EERM). Additionally, just 2% said they regularly monitor their subcontractors, while another 10% do so for subcontractors considered critical; and 88% either depend on their third parties to monitor subcontractors, have an unstructured approach or don't even know their own practices on the matter.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter