Some LA councilmen unhappy with new DWP measure promising raises

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Some city council members were unhappy about the alleged secrecy behind the Wednesday approval of a new contract giving raises to Department of Water and Power employees.

The L.A. City Council approved, by a vote of 11-3, a measure that could raise around 9,000 LADWP worker salaries as much as 22 percent by 2021.

"It's not lost on the citizenry of Los Angeles that the average salary is over six figures of a DWP employee" said councilman Mitch O'Farrell

Some councilmen complained about the cost of the new contract, as well as the secrecy surrounding it.

"There's still information I feel I don't have," said councilman Mike Bonin.

Even though the public had little say in the deal, Council President Herb Wesson thought the agreement was not rushed. He admitted it was negotiated with the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers labor union behind closed doors.

Critics approve of some parts of the LADWP measure, such as annual performance reviews for union members. The bill also received favorable reactions for some of its cost-saving measures, including ending an annual $4 million payment to a couple of controversial nonprofits.

City Controller Ron Galperin praised efforts to save LA some money, but said he would continue to scrutinize the operations and costs of the DWP.

"I'm not convinced that all of the across-the-board increases were justified by the need to attract and retain employees at the DWP," he said in a statement.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.