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University of California staff staged a three-day strike

University of California staff staged a three-day strike against austerity and privatization to support service workers. “One of the main battles AFSCME workers face is the constant threat of seeing their jobs outsourced to nonunion workers employed by for-profit companies. As the university increasingly privatizes aspects of its operations, workers employed by the institution are always looking over their shoulder, fearful that their jobs will evaporate overnight and they’ll be replaced by workers who answer to a different boss. ‘Every day we’re paying attention to when we see new faces on board,’ said Maricruz Manzanares, a custodian at the University of California at Berkeley. ‘Suddenly we see a new group of workers and we don’t even know who they are, until we talk to each other and the union and we find out they belong to a company. Lately the university has developed shady techniques. They used to do it openly, but now they’re finding ways to do it in the dark.’ Either way, she said, ‘the university does not behave as a public institution.’” Kathryn Lybarger, president of UC AFSCME 3299 and California AFL-CIO reported on the history of the local, on the effort to privatize and outsource university services, and on systemic racism.

Source: www.jacobinmag.com

The Trump Administration's Budget Is a Highway to Privatization

Trump submits the most extreme right wing budget in decades, lining up savage job cuts, a national public asset selloff, and a massive privatization agenda for infrastructure, education, immigration detention (a 66% increase, including for private detention and deportation contractors), and health services. AFSCME President Lee Saunders said “President Trump’s budget is a moral and economic disaster. The cuts proposed in this plan will not only hurt children and the elderly, but also diminish the quality of life for millions of families nationwide, all to give massive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. (…) It eliminates or slashes funding for dozens and dozens of programs and services, including infrastructure, transportation, health care, education, and even Social Security. It even punishes those who want to give back to their communities by eliminating a student loan forgiveness program that thousands of public service workers have already planned their household budgets around, and that encourages more young people to pursue careers in public service.”

Source: Common Dreams

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Fact Sheet: Higher Education. Outsourcing Higher Education Support Services: The Wrong Choice

State funding for higher education has been on the decline for decades. Administrators believe that outsourcing support services will save money while maintaining quality and accountability. They’re wrong. Privatization leads to a loss of accountability, fails to save money and lowers the quality of services, while harming workers and the local economy.

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Fact Sheet: Schools. Privatizing School Support Services: The Wrong Choice

Some officials and commentators believe that outsourcing school support services will save money while maintaining quality and accountability. They’re wrong. Outsourcing generally leads to a loss of accountability, fails to save money and lowers the quality of services, while harming workers and the local economy