Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles City Hall and Department of Water and Power agree on union contract

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Los Angeles city officials and the union that represents employees for the Department of Water and Power reached an agreement late Wednesday evening, according to the Mayor's Office and the president of the Los Angeles City Council.

Details of the contract will be announced Thursday morning at a City Hall news conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti. Council President Herb Wesson told KPCC he believes the details of the deal are similar to what was leaked earlier.

“The deal today is better than the deal was at the end of July and that credit goes directly to him," Wesson said, referring to the mayor.

The Los Angeles City Council declined to vote on the terms of the deal Tuesday because it was more important for City Hall to show a united front, according to Wesson. At that point, the city was either 48 hours from a successful deal or from the contract completely falling apart, he said. 

“Fingers crossed that when I wake up this is not a dream," Wesson said. 

The news conference comes just hours after the mayor was spotted by a Los Angeles Times reporter with union boss Brian D’Arcy at a Silver Lake restaurant. It also marks the first news conference Garcetti will hold on the negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
A revised proposal between the city and IBEW Local 18 was leaked Tuesday while the Los Angeles City Council held a two-hour closed session meeting on the negotiations. The latest terms appeared to give Garcetti what he wanted from the union: the ability to reevaluate hundreds of work rules and pay codes throughout the four-year contract. The proposal would delay a scheduled October raise until 2016, at which time DWP employees would get at least a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment. Workers would not get an increase in pay between 2013 and 2016.
The proposal would continue the practice of free health care for DWP employees on the utility’s HMO plan. An earlier draft of the contract had employees’ paying for some of their health insurance by 2016. A provision that provides employees with overtime when the DWP seeks to contract out work would remain in place.
The news conference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at City Hall.

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