Cav­ing in to the DWP union

Re “L.A. is on fast track to ap­prove DWP con­tract,” June 27

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

This line from the ar­ti­cle is par­tic­u­larly in­sult­ing: “City Coun­cil­man Paul Koretz, who serves on the com­mit­tee that ne­go­ti­ated the deal [giv­ing thou­sands of Depart­ment of Wa­ter and Power work­ers six raises over the next five years], said he opted not to hold a com­mit­tee hear­ing on the con­tract be­cause he felt any­one who wanted to speak about the deal could do so at Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.”

Two years ago, Koretz

held a hear­ing on chang­ing the city code to al­low Los An­ge­les res­i­dents to own up to five cats. Ap­par­ently, he be­lieves the num­ber of cats that peo­ple in L.A. can own is worth more time and dis­cus­sion to An­ge­lenos than the lat­est power move by the DWP work­ers’ union.

Koretz is a ge­nial, ca­pa­bale pol­i­cy­maker. How­ever, the de­ci­sion by him and City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Herb Wes­son to ram through this con­tract, which also pro­vides free health­care for these DWP em­ploy­ees, with the ac­qui­es­cence of Mayor Eric Garcetti is un­con­scionable.

One would sur­mise that the gi­ants who sat on the coun­cil years ago do not rec­og­nize the peo­ple who sit there now.

Howard P. Co­hen

North Hills

Bear in mind that it is not the “pow­er­ful” DWP union that is get­ting a raise. In fact, it is the thou­sands of men and women who work hard to pro­vide the peo­ple of Los An­ge­les their power and clean wa­ter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As pow­er­ful as this union is, it was un­able to ne­go­ti­ate any pay raises for its mem­bers over the last three years. This doesn’t sound all-pow­er­ful to me. Plus, the 13% to 22% raise will take place over four years, mak­ing the an­nual in­creases much more mod­est. And re­mem­ber that these em­ploy­ees, who have been faith­fully pro­vid­ing L.A. with wa­ter and elec­tric­ity, have re­ceived no raises at all over the last three years.

The Times im­plies that the public has no say in this mat­ter. Are you say­ing that the public is no longer al­lowed to at­tend and par­tic­i­pate in City Coun­cil meet­ings? If this is true, it should be a front-page head­line.

Owen Keavney Pomona

Why is the city giv­ing DWP work­ers mul­ti­ple raises when the util­ity is not do­ing a good job?

We’ve seen nu­mer­ous ma­jor wa­ter main breaks in the last few years, re­sult­ing in flooded streets and traf­fic night­mares. My neigh­bor­hood in the Hol­ly­wood Hills has lost power seven times in the last three years.

To re­ward DWP work­ers with big pay raises with­out de­mand­ing first that the city’s elec­tri­cal grid be up­graded, that old wa­ter pipes be re­placed and that the em­ploy­ees con­trib­ute to their own health in­sur­ance, is ridicu­lous. What are L.A. ratepay­ers re­ceiv­ing in ex­change for this? Wendy Dyt­man

Los An­ge­les

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