PBS: A Close Look at the Costa Mesa Labor Dispute

As a dispute between Costa Mesa City Council members and labor heats up, PBS SoCaL’s David Nazar examines the latest developments.

After voters rejected a charter proposal that would have enabled privatization of city services, the conservative council majority and labor unions are at it again.

“It makes no sense for us to … pay prevailing wage to, say, do a sidewalk or curb and gutter and pay $41 an hour when we can do it for maybe two-thirds of that cost,” Mayor Jim Righeimer told PBS. “We can get a lot more streets done, a lot more alleys done, just a lot more work done.”

Meanwhile, the Orange County Employees Association said outsourcing government services usually doesn’t save money.

“We see it here just in the county where there’s tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars in waste just in the IT [information technology] projects,” said Nick Berardino, the union’s general manager.

“There are cases where it does save money. Generally that’s not what happens,” he added.

The segment aired this week on PBS SoCaL’s “Real Orange.” Click the video above to see the full report.

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