Appellate Court Blocks Layoffs in Costa Mesa

Hot off the press: Appellate Court upholds injunction blocking layoffs and outsourcing in Costa Mesa

SANTA ANA The Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld a preliminary injunction blocking the City of Costa Mesa from laying off more than 100 employees and outsourcing their jobs to the private sector.

“This is a huge boost for employee morale during a dark period in Costa Mesa’s history,” said Helen Nenadal, president of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, which represents employees who the Council majority had scheduled to be laid off. That Council majority issued more than 200 pink slips in March 2011 to employees as part of a scheme to outsource their jobs.

Last June, Superior Court Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto Schumann issued a preliminary injunction blocking the City from outsourcing to the private sector. The City appealed that decision to the Fourth District Court of Appeals.

On Friday, the Appellate Court rejected the City’s request to overturn the injunction, affirming Judge Schumann’s order in its entirety. The case could return to Superior Court in coming months, adding to the City’s mounting legal bills in connection with the Council’s outsourcing scheme, which have climbed well into the millions of dollars.

“Hopefully the City Council majority sees this as yet another signal that they should stop making taxpayers foot the bill to advance their politically motivated agenda,” said Jennifer Muir, Assistant General Manager for the Orange County Employees Association, which represents CMCEA employees. “This is a big win for Costa Mesa taxpayers. The justice system has repeatedly exposed the Council majority’s misguided agenda during the past two years and did it again today with this decision.”

  2 comments for “Appellate Court Blocks Layoffs in Costa Mesa

  1. cook
    August 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    It’s about time for the city governments in Orange County to reorganize and consolidate.

  2. Ltpar
    August 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

    In these tough economic times one can understand local government looking for ways to reduce spending and maintain a balanced budget. This is what citizens expect them to do. That said, there is a right way for government to do this and a wrong way.

    The right way would be a cost analysis of every area being considered for outsourcing or elimination and to identify to the public and the employees exactly what the savings would be and how it would impact service delivery. Once those critical areas were identified, the City should have then entered into discussions with the employee unions to explore cost saving alternatives, get input and then make an informed decision. The cuts or outsourcing should have been done in the context of contract discussions with employee groups during annual negotiations. While the employee groups might have vigorously objected to outsourcing, the City would have followed the legal process reqired under law.

    In Costa Mesa however, the union and employee hating Council majority did none of these things and thought they were pwoerful enough to ram the changes down the throats of the employees. Bottom line is that Costa Mesa was moved from a well run, highly motivated, group of employees, providing first class service the war zone of unhappy campers we now see. Anyone that doesn’t believe that service levels are declining as a result, knows nothing about municipal government.

    How do the citizens of Costa Mesa remedy this problem, one might ask? It can be easily and simply resolved in three months when the majority of the Council is up for election. Replace the existing hard line Council majority and return common sense leadership to Costa Mesa. It will be interesting to see how the Costa Mesa citizens react to this dilemma. Good luck to the dedicated employees of the city.

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