Contracting Out

UC Davis is committed to maintaining a strong in-house workforce and supporting living wages and benefits for employees.

The UC Board of Regents Policy 5402 generally prohibits contracting for services and ensures equitable treatment for any allowable contract workers.

In addition, the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement ratified on January 31, 2020 contains language that reinforces, and in some cases goes beyond, the Regents Policy. Article 5 of the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement takes precedence over the Regents Policy, and the resources here reflect that.


Regents Policy 5402 and AFSCME Service (SX) and Patient Care Technical (EX) collective bargaining agreements impose significant limitations on the use of third-party supplier services. Under the requirements, contracting out can only be used as a last resort to address temporary needs.

Departments must explore all UCD staffing options before contracting out unless the circumstances meet one of the rigid exceptions outlined in the collective bargaining agreements./contracting-out

In addition, Departments must secure Employee and Labor Relations approval to contract out for Covered Services before a purchase order, change order or master services agreement is issued.

  • Covered Services: "work customarily performed by bargaining unit employees, whether in whole or in part, including but not necessarily limited to the following services: cleaning, custodial, janitorial, or housekeeping services; security services; billing and coding services, sterile processing, hospital and nursing assistant services and medical imaging services.”

Employee and Labor Relations will assist Departments seeking to contract out services to determine whether the services are Covered Services within the meaning of Article 5.

Contracting out should be used sparingly and treated as an option of last resort to address temporary needs.

Departments shall explore all options for completing work with UCD staff before requesting to contract out with a third-party supplier. Staffing options include per diem pools, overtime, creation of additional FTEs, and temporary reassignment of work. Employee and Labor Relations can provide assistance with exploring alternatives to contracting out.


Contracting out for work customarily performed by SX or EX covered employees is only allowed if the circumstances meet one of the rigid exceptions contained in Article 5. 

  • An emergency which creates a safety risk or jeopardizes University operations. 
  • Equipment and/or employees with the necessary expertise to perform the service are not available at the University location.
  • Services are incidental to a contract for purchase or lease of real or personal property.
  • Urgent, temporary or occasional need so regular processes cannot be used.
  • Remote facility – not within 10-mile radius of campus, medical center or lab.
  • Services are performed by registry personnel in clinical operations to address short-term staffing needs.

Wage Benefit Parity

  • Service contracts require supplier employees be given wages and benefits of equivalent value to those provided to SX and EX bargaining unit employees performing the same or similar work at the location where the work is being performed or the nearest University location if there are not bargaining unit employees performing the same or similar work at UCD. This is an hourly composite rate of labor and benefits.
  • Suppliers who provide benefits to their employees can use the cost of those benefits, in addition to the wage rate, to match or exceed the UC wage and benefit parity rate. In no case can the wage rate be less than UC’s Fair Work/Fair Wage minimum, which is currently $15/hr. 
  • UC Office of the President provides the wage and benefits parity rates for all SX and EX job titles annually. Procurement and Employee and Labor Relations determine appropriate wage and benefits parity rates in the contracting out approval process. (See Approval Process) During the procurement process, the supplier is required agree to pay Wage & Benefit Parity to their employee. See Procurement website for more information

Approval Process

A Department can only proceed with contracting out for SX or EX work after all staffing options have been determined to not be feasible and approval by the local Labor Relations Office has been received. 


Davis Campus process 

For detailed instructions related to hiring an Outside Contractor for Davis Campus and academic units on the Sacramento campus (School of Medicine, School of Nursing) please see the following link:



UC Davis Health process

The Contracting out Justification Form should be submitted to prior to contacting procurement. This form is used to collect specific information from the department regarding their service needs, including:

  • A detailed explanation of all staffing options (e.g. overtime, stipend, recruitment) considered and why they are not feasible,
  • Contract duration
  • Supplier Scope of work
  • Work location, if known
  • Dollar value of contract
  • Specific exception(s) used to justify the request and a narrative justification explaining why the exception(s) applies.

See UC Davis Health Approval Process 

In-sourcing & Employment Conversion

  • Workers who have worked for the contractor performing work at a University location for 1000 hours over a rolling twelve (12) month period or 35% time over a rolling thirty-six (36) month period, shall be deemed a “qualified individual” (QI) for conversion to UC employment.  QI’s should be offered UC career employment at the same location or at a location within ten miles of the campus where they performed the work under the contractor.
  • UC locations have one year from the date of contract ratification (January 2020) to complete required in-sourcing. 
  • Campus and Health have separate processes for Tracking Hours for QIs.
    • Health requires both Departments and suppliers to track hours worked for individual contractors. See full workflow.
    • Campus process coming soon.

Notice Requirements

The University shall provide notice to AFSCME prior to entering, extending, or renewing a contract that includes Covered Services at or above $100,000. This notice requirement exists when the contract is anticipated to be $100,000 or more, OR when the total spend (across multiple contracts) with a single vendor is expected to be $100,000 or more.

  • When a Request for Proposal (RFP) is to be issued, the University will provide a copy of the RFP to AFSCME at the time it is issued.
  • When a RFP is not issued, the University will provide non-privileged information pertaining to the contract at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to entering into, extending or renewing the contract. 

AFSCME will have fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the Notice to request a meeting to provide alternatives to mitigate or avoid the need to contract out or present such alternatives in writing.  If they do not request to meet or submit a written request in response to a Notice within fourteen (14) calendar days, the University may proceed with the contract. 

If AFSCME provides alternatives to contracting out, the University has fourteen (14) calendar days to consider any alternatives proposed by AFSCME and adopt where feasible. If the University considers the alternatives proposed by AFSCME and adopts them, where feasible, the University may proceed with the contract.

Should AFSCME request to hold a meeting or provide a written response to the notice issued, the University will hold the meeting and/or respond to any written request from AFSCME within forty-five (45) days. The University may not proceed with contracting out until the University holds the meeting and/or provides a written response.

Grievance Process

There are two separate Grievance processes in Article 5. 

  • Article 5.C Grievances- or grievances specifically relating to the justifications for contracting out- will go directly to UCOP. See grievance chart.
  • Any other alleged violations of Article 5 go through the normal grievance procedures.

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