UPDATE: David Nahai resigns as DWP general manager. Find out more at OurLA.org
Councilman Bernard Parks recently described DWP contract negotiations with the IBEW union boss Brian D’Arcy in these terms:
Bully boy D’Arcy hands the DWP officials a list of dozens of demands and gives them five minutes to give him everything he wants or he’ll take the 95 percent of the utility’s work force — including most of the managers — out on strike and throw the city into chaos.
With the city now in the worse financial crisis in its history, D’Arcy’s union is due to get a 3.25 percent pay hike this month after successive 5.9 percent increases the last two years and he’s playing hardball.
Here’s a report to members (it will take some effort to read but it’s worth it) on how he’s demanded a lump sum payment for this year and a four-year contract extension with a guarantee of 2 percent and a maximum of 4 percent if inflation returns..
That’s what D’Arcy calls “shared sacrifice” for IBEW workers who are paid 20 to 40 percent more than city workers or other utility workers who do the same job. I don’t know the exact state of the talks but I have every reason to believe this is pretty much what the deal will turn out to be.
It’s why your water and power rates are soaring and will double and triple in the coming years, why LA has the least renewable energy of any big city in California, why water mains are bursting all over town and the rest of the DWP infrastructure is old and deterioriating and dangerous.
Frankly, we are all working for the IBEW, only we don’t get the same pay and benefits — just the bill.