While most government workers are facing layoffs and furlough days, LA Department of Water and Power workers have just won raises.
At a time with the city of Los Angeles is bleeding red, DWP workers are getting more green.
The LA City Council unanimously approved raises for DWP workers for the next five years. The city has already cut 2,400 jobs through an early retirement program and trimmed salaries for thousands of workers by adding furlough days.
LA police officers and fire fighters are not getting any raises. They are facing cuts in overtime. And still, the city has to grapple with a nearly $100 million dollar shortfall left this year.
Across California in local and state government and in school systems, workers are taking cuts.
Past raises for DWP workers have sparked criticism that the union amounts to a politically connected patronage army. IBEW Union leaders representing nearly 9,000 workers make the point that the DWP brings money to the city’s coffers amounting to $200 million dollars a year that helps pay for fire and police.