LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council held a public hearing Friday regarding the Department of Water and Power’s contract negotiations.
The meeting comes after a new report found that utility workers make about 21 percent more than other city employees.
The new contract includes a deal that would delay October pay raises for DWP employees, restructure pension obligations and increase employee healthcare contributions.
“We’re going to have to a hearing this morning to go into all the details of this proposal and analyze the arguments for and against it and to hear from the public, most importantly, ” LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian told KNX1070. “It’s kind of an unprecented thing to have a proposed labor contract aired publicly like this. It’s unusual because the importance of this.”
Supporters, which includes several city council members, say the deal could save the city $7.9 billion over 30 years, with much of it coming through direct benefit savings. They also believe the potential agreement would lead to reduced rates for customers.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, who made an election promise to reform the DWP, said the contract doesn’t go far enough.
On Wednesday, the City Controller released an analysis of DWP employee earnings for the first half of 2013 and found that workers have been paid $77.3 million in overtime and bonuses. The report also found that DWP employees have a base pay of nearly 21 percent higher than other city workers.
According to the Controller, more than 58 percent of DWP workers are on track to make more than $100,000 in 2013, compared to 33 percent of city police and fire employees and 22 percent of its civilian employees.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at City Hall.