LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the union for Department of Water and Power workers reached a deal for a new employee contract Wednesday night, ending months of negotiations over salaries and benefits.
“Today, I am pleased to announce a new DWP contract that contains tough amendments I fought for,” Garcetti said in a statement Thursday. “It delivers reform, saves the ratepayers money through further salary reductions, and clears the way for the further changes we need.”
In addition to salary reductions, Garcetti said the new contract will save ratepayers money by creating a new pension tier that will reduce pensions, increase the retirement age, and cut healthcare benefits.
DWP workers are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which campaigned against Garcetti.
The contract still needs to be ratified by the union’s members, which could happen in the next few weeks, according to L.A.’s chief administrative officer, Miguel Santana.
Once ratified, it would then need to be approved by the DWP Board of Commissioners, the full city council, and then ultimately the mayor.
The city council is expected to move to authorize this process to begin tomorrow, Santana said.
The deal comes following an all-day City Council session to discuss the four-year contract on Friday. A deal needed to be in place by Sept. 1 to avoid cost-of-living adjustments that were scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1.
City officials have estimated the total savings of the new deal at $6.1 billion over 30 years, with the biggest savings of $4.22 billion coming in salary savings, according to Los Angeles Daily News. These include a three-year freeze on raises, deferring the cost-of-living increase, and reducing compensation for new hires.