September 5, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
San Francisco, CA – The University of California at San Francisco has agreed to rehire 24 custodians who lost their jobs after complaining about a pay cut in 2014.
The workers, most of them Chinese immigrants, had been terminated when the university cancelled its contract with custodial-services vendor Impec, which had slashed their pay from about $19 an hour to the city minimum of $10.74. AFSCME Local 3299, which represented the workers, filed a complaint with the state Public Employees Relations Board, charging that the pay cut had come after UCSF eliminated prevailing-wage requirements from its contract with Impec and asked for “an updated pricing schedule designed to lower university cost.” Under the agreement reached Aug. 29, the workers will be university employees in “full-time career positions,” starting at $17.25 an hour and eligible for health, vacation, and retirement benefits. Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger called the deal “an important victory that offers a ladder out of poverty,” but said thousands of workers face similar problems because University of California contractors “are encouraged to pay rock-bottom wages with no benefits in order to win bids.” Read more