From Phil Shuman:
I have mixed emotions about the controversy involving the DWP. Specifically whether they deserve to get paid about 21 % more on average than other city workers. Well, good for them and their savvy union negotiators. On the other hand, why should they make so much, relative to other departments and other cities, and the DWP still wants to raise the amount we pay for water and power? There is the dilemma.
Today the City Council almost broke their collective arms patting themselves on the back for holding an ‘unprecedented' public hearing with two Council Committees on the proposed new DWP contract. (Usually they do it in the proverbial smoke filled back rooms, which are now filled with bottled water and fruit. ) I was there, ( open to the public, go check it out, City Hall is spectacular by the way ) there were a lot of people there, the Council folks were very well meaning and earnest, as were those who spoke, and I'm sure at the end of the day nothing anyone from the public said will be considered at all.
On the table, a new four year deal for the all powerful IBEW, the union within the DWP that spent millions unsuccessfully do defeat Eric Garcetti. The deal is no raise for 3 years, followed by 4 % in the third, plus some concessions on pensions and health care contributions. Well, what to you know, Mr Garcetti says it's not tough enough, that more reform is needed in the many rules and benefits that pay DWP workers so much more. ( For example, one of the reasons they can get a huge amount of overtime is working in ‘'inclement weather''. Here ? Well, Garcetti is no doubt right that more concessions could be extracted, but it looks like it's politically motivated, when literally the entire City Council says ‘'make the deal". I spoke to Council Pres Herb Wesson today while the hearing was going on, and he said ‘no deal is perfect', which seems true. Neither side ever gets 100 percent of what they want. So, he's says do it. The only thing perfect, he said, are ‘'grandchildren, under three years old. ‘'