We have a Mayor going to bat for the ratepayers. Eric Garcetti threatened to veto the proposed contract with IBEW local 18 unless there were further concessions. Already, there appears to be some movement – mainly reducing the year 4 raise from 4% to 2% – but not much else seems certain. Regardless, we can thank the Mayor’s determination to deliver on behalf of the ratepayers for the possible concession.
Our City Controller is doing his best to support the Mayor by providing valuable data exposing the excesses of the DWP work force. We owe him our thanks as well.
I wish we could thank the Neighborhood Councils for stepping up.
To the credit of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition and the Budget Advocates, they organized an emergency meeting on very short notice to discuss the proposed contract. As you would expect, attendance was anything but robust. I could not attend because, as many Neighborhood Council board members – all of whom volunteer their valuable time, I had commitments.
Unfortunately, the momentum provided by the Mayor and Controller was lost.
After much discussion about the contract, the best the group could muster was an insipid motion.
According to an e-mail distributed by LANCC’s president Terrence Gomes it reads (note that it appears to be a LANCC motion. No mention is made of the Budget Advocates):
At a joint meeting with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) and the Los Angeles City Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates (NCBA), a motion was proposed and is being sent to their 95 member certified Neighborhood Councils for review.
The City of Los Angeles should have the best and most efficient Department of Water and Power (DWP) in the country. We encourage and support the efforts of our Mayor, Eric Garcetti, to bring about prompt and lasting reforms to our LADWP.
We have reviewed the available information related to the recent IBEW, Local 18, proposal to modify the current LADWP-Union Memorandum of Understanding.
After due discussion and deliberation, the LANCC recommends to its member Neighborhood Councils that the City Council and Mayor accept the IBEW, Local 18. offer with the caveat that the following concerns are also addressed:
1. There are some steps that must be placed in the agreement prior to implementation of the provisions of this agreement in time to effect the “Freeze of the COLAs” which is due to begin on October 1, 2013.
2. That specific action be started, immediately, to resolve the issues at the heart of the Romero vs. City of Los Angeles litigation. This will include negotiations to maximize the benefits of the establishment of a second Tier in the LADWP Pension Plan and the negotiations to equalize all DWP and City job descriptions and salary scales/common classes.
3. That the Work Rules of the LADWP be submitted for objective review and recommendations by an appropriate non-City-based organization (such as, PA Consulting or the Huron Group, etc.) and the IBEW agree to good faith negotiations within the next 12 months after approval of the MOU to resolve any inefficiencies.
4. That the City and the LADWP concurrently open discussions to reconcile the imbalances caused by the differences between the LADWP Employee’s Health Care benefits and contributions and those of other L.A. City Employees.
There is absolutely no demand for savings of any sort, only requests to “review” or “recommend” analysis or reconcile imbalances.
If this is the best LANCC can offer, its board should resign, starting with Terrence Gomes.
This is the type of motion I would expect from a useless body such as the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), whose spokesman Stuart Waldman fawned over the agreement at last week’s City Council contract hearings.
What is missing from this motion is a definitive recommendation for concessions well into the nine-figure range before any wage increase is granted in year 4.
What LANCC can’t seem to get into its head is that our City Council Members are not our friends. The Council has done everything possible to put the public unions, especially the IBEW, above the residents and ratepayers.
LANCC only provided ammunition to the critics of the NC system who claim it is nothing more than a debating society.
I would believe that, too, but I know enough members who believe the City Council has ignored us in favor of deep-pocket public union supporters. This motion never would have made it past the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils. It would have been ripped to pieces and sent down the hall to the restroom for final disposition.
I advice individual Neighborhood Councils to ignore the motion and insist on actual concessions beyond what are being considered and to admonish LANCC for its lack of leadership.
Please note: there is a press conference at City Hall tomorrow. Whether it announces an agreement remains to be seen. Regardless, Neighborhood Councils should support only those measures that call for clear and measurable cuts to the present proposal, not a meaningless motion as proposed by LANCC.