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DWP Wages Boosted More Than $77M By Overtime And Bonuses

(CBS)

(CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees were paid $77.3 million in overtime and bonuses for the first half of this year, according to a report released Thursday by City Controller Ron Galperin.

With extra earnings, DWP employees were paid on average 37.2% from January to June, more that non-police and fire dept. civilian employees, and 29% more than the average compensation for harbor and airport employees, he said.

Galperin revealed his findings, part of a comprehensive online database, Thursday outside City Hall.

“Making DWP and city employees’ salary information readily available to the public on an ongoing basis is vital to full transparency in government,” Galperin said.

According to the official, DWP employees receive 20.8% higher base pay before extra earnings as compared to other city workers generally. He also found that over 86% of DWP workers received extra earnings above their approved base and that DWP employees overall earned an average of 16.6% in overtime, bonuses and other supplemental pay.

By comparison, L.A. Police and Fire Dept. employees earned 9.2% in such extra earnings, while the majority of civilian employees earned just 1.2% over their base salaries from January through June 2013, according to the report.

The figures bolster the perception DWP workers are some of the highest paid city employees and  gives fuel to critics who feel a new labor contract proposed by DWP workers does not go far enough.

“If these extra earnings are paid out at the same rate in the second half of 2013, the projected cost for the year could be expected to exceed $155 million – or nearly $15,816 in average extra compensation for each DWP employee,” a spokesperson for the Controller’s office noted in a press release.

Other findings show more than 35% of DWP’s full-time employees earned more than $50,000 in base approved pay in the first six months of 2013.

Galperin also said more than 58% of DWP’s employees earned more than $50,000 in the first six months of 2013 – putting them on track to make more than $100,000 a year. This compares to 33% of L.A. City Police and Fire Dept. employees, and 22% of L.A. City civilian employees.

Galperin thanked DWP’s General Manager Ron Nichols for providing data requested to compile the report “and for his pledge to do so on a quarterly basis going forward”.

DWP currently has 9,820 full time employees, with a total annual payroll of $932,990,811.

Earnings posted by the Controller reflect actual earnings through June 30, 2013 and include overtime, bonuses, vacation pay, sick time pay and other compensation that would be reflected on employee W-2 forms.

In addition to the actual employee earnings, the city contributes to employees’ defined benefit pension plans and to health, dental and vision coverage.

For the year ended December 31, 2011, the city’s annual contribution to employee health plans averaged $10,608 for non-DWP civilian employees, $12,592 for the Police Dept., $13,368 for the Fire Dept. – and $14,224 for DWP employees. The Controller’s Office is in the process of compiling current figures.

Separate from the DWP, the city and its other departments had 36,082 full-time employees as of June 30, 2013 with a total annual payroll of $3.11 billion.

The Controller’s report and database was assembled to provide real-time and detailed information to the public as well as to the city’s Executive Employee Relations Committee (EERC) and DWP’s labor representatives, who are in the midst of negotiating a new contract that will set most of DWP employee salaries for the next several years.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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