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Costa Mesa barred from privatizing workforce -- for now

July 18, 2011 |  2:30 pm

Photo: Costa Mesa maintenance worker Joe Ahlo pulls out information he was given after receiving a layoff notice in March. Credit: Don Leach / Times Community News An Orange County judge has issued a formal order barring Costa Mesa from laying off half of its workers and replacing them with private contractors until the city takes proper legal steps.

The written order, issued late Friday by Orange County Superior Court Judge Tam Nomoto Schumann, overruled the city's objections that it had the legal authority to outsource jobs to deal with perceived budget issues, including rising government pension costs. The injunction was sought by the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn., which represents 213 workers, in positions including animal control, bookkeeping and jail services, who received layoff notices in March.

The employee union had argued that the targeted jobs could not be outsourced and that the city did not meet with employee groups before issuing the notices. Costa Mesa City Attorney Tom Duarte said the order does not prevent the city from continuing to explore privatizing half its workforce.

"We are following the proper procedures," Duarte said in a written statement. "This ruling doesn't affect the City's ability to research outsourcing possibilities and, if it's prudent, to outsource City jobs down the road."

RELATED:

Judge halts layoffs in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa leader defends sweeping layoff plans

-- Gale Holland

Photo: Costa Mesa maintenance worker Joe Ahlo pulls out information he was given after receiving a layoff notice in March. Credit: Don Leach / Times Community News

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