Ratepayer Alert: DWP Board Set to Approve New IBEW Labor Agreement

UNDER THE RADAR--At 12:56 on Monday afternoon, June 19, 2017, we were notified by email that the politically appointed Board of Water and Power Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 11:30 in the morning to approve a resolution authorizing Approval of Amendments to the Memoranda of Understanding for ten bargaining units represented by IBEW Union Bo$$ d’Arcy for the term October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2022. 


Not only were Ratepayers given notice of less than 23 hours, DWP has not provided us with any information about these new labor agreements even though negotiations have been ongoing for months, granted behind closed doors.  

We do not even know if the MOUs have been approved by the IBEW, although this is probably not an issue as the terms of the contract are most likely generous given campaign funding Union Bo$$ d’Arcy’s political clout and the round heels of the Mayor and the City Council.  

There are many issues that need to be discussed in an open and transparent manner, including the average compensation package of over $210,000 (a total of $2.1 billion), work rules, grievances, the Joint Training and Safety Institutes, the unfunded pension liability of $4.8 billion (71% funded), and the efficiency of DWP’s operations. 

Unfortunately, we cannot trust the politically appointed Board of Commissioners who owe their allegiance to Garcetti and not to the four million Angelenos who theoretically own the largest municipal utility in the nation. 

The Commissioners have failed to look out for the Ratepayers as they have punted on the settlement of the class action lawsuit concerning the Transfer Tax.  They also approved the above market $40 million Figueroa Plaza lease with the City, the overly generous Feed-in-Tariff program, the uneconomical solar roof top project, the investment in the La Kretz Innovation Center, and numerous other pet projects.  

Hopefully, the Commissioners will have the benefit of the Ratepayers Advocate’s analysis and findings of the amendments to the existing MOUs.     

Ratepayers are once again being left out in the dark, despite Garcetti’s pledge of an open and transparent Department of Water and Power. More later.

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.  He can be reached at:  lajack@gmail.com.)