The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 21, 2011
Engineers group says Bay Bridge concerns argue for privatizing

The American Council of Engineering Companies of California has put up a You Tube post to promote its take on questions raised by The Bee concerning structural tests of the Bay Bridge's new span.

The interview ACEC California's Executive Director, Paul J. Meyer and ACEC California's President, Eddie W. Kho is the latest shot in the long-running battle over privatizing public infrastructure projects between ACEC, which represents private engineering firms, and Professional Engineers in California Government, the union that represents state engineers in Caltrans.

ACEC says Caltrans is too big to manage. Privatization, the group contends, forces market discipline on contract engineers who can deliver projects quicker and more cheaply than public-sector engineers. PECG says that privatizing isn't cheaper and that the profit motive in private industry can entice contractors to take shortcuts that compromise public safety.

Worth noting: The Caltrans employee at the center of the Bay Bridge controversy, Duane Wiles, wasn't a state engineer before he was fired in November. Wiles was a transportation technician represented by SEIU Local 1000. He is appealing his dismissal.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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