How real are the ‘cost savings’ in generous DWP union contract? We run the numbers

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How real are the ‘cost savings’ in generous DWP union contract? We run the numbers

Los Angeles Times

For nearly two decades, ratepayers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have pumped nearly $4 million a year into a pair of nonprofits created to improve employee training and safety at the city-owned utility.

The nonprofits paid top utility managers and union leaders six-figure salaries and provided plush expense accounts but never demonstrated they had much impact on either training or safety. When city leaders demanded financial records after a Times investigation of the nonprofits in 2013, union leaders went to court in a bid to keep the information secret.

L.A. City Council poised to approve raises of up to 22% for DWP workers »

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who campaigned on a promise to rein in costs and improve customer service at the DWP, is pointing to the elimination of the nonprofits as a key win for ratepayers in the new five-year contract he has negotiated with the DWP’s largest union.

But the annual savings from disbanding the nonprofits is more than offset by the estimated $56 million in raises and other perks union members would receive each year under the proposed contract, leading critics to question whether it’s such a good deal.

Lakeem Khodra
Lakeem Khodra
News Writer/Contributor at Tyranny News @lakeemk

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