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California’s Deal With Union Over Contracts ‘Fatally Conflicts’ With Law, Court Rules

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The statewas barred by law from telling an employee union that it would not contract out architecture and engineering work to private contractors, the California Supreme Court ruled.

The court unanimously held that a memorandum of understanding between California and the Professional Engineers in California Government "fatally conflicts" with the Fair Competition and Taxpayer Savings Act, which states that nothing will "limit, restrict or prohibit" the state and local governments from hiring private contractors for "architectural and engineering services for all public works of improvement."

The Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California claimed the Legislature's approval of the memo violated the Act and the state constitution. The Supreme Court found that the memo contradicts the Act's goal of giving state agenciesthe choice between private contractors and civil service employees. See ruling.

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