In October 2021, CFA learned that Cal Poly Humboldt had made a decision to hire TimelyMD to perform work that has been done by counselors represented by CFA. Timely MD is a company that hires medical professionals to earn extra money by paying per session. TimelyMD has been aggressively courting colleges to take over healthcare, including mental health.
Cal Poly Humboldt made the decision to contract with TimelyMD prior to giving CFA the opportunity to negotiate over the decision as required by law. If its contract goes unchallenged by CFA, TimelyMD will pay its part-time counselors to provide online counseling sessions to students. TimelyMD counselors are not employed by the CSU nor do they have any direct connections with the community.
On March 10, CFA filed an Unfair Practice Charge (UPC) with the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) stating that Cal Poly Humboldt violated the law by making a decision to contract out CFA-represented work before it bargained with CFA over its proposal. CFA is asking PERB to order the CSU to cease its contract with TimelyMD, to make any affected employees whole, and to provide CFA the opportunity to bargain over any contracting-out decisions.
Cal Poly Humboldt claims that it wants to make counseling services available in the evenings and weekends and that TimelyMD can facilitate weekends and evenings. However, as CFA has pointed out to the CSU administration, Cal Poly Humboldt can hire Bargaining Unit 3 counselors to perform counseling services during the evening and weekends. Since the services will be performed online, Humboldt management could even hire counselors that live outside the Humboldt area.
“CFA will always fight to protect the jobs our faculty perform. Cal Poly Humboldt’s scheme would put the role of counseling our students in the hands of gig economy workers who have not been vetted by the CSU,” said Molly Talcott, CFA Representation Committee Chair and CSU Los Angeles professor.