LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti threw down the gauntlet on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power contracts prior to an all-day Friday City Council session to discuss the subject.
Garcetti released a written statement saying that he would refuse to sign a proposed salary deal with the LADWP workers union, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He also announced his appointments to the LADWP board of commissioners on Friday.
Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents DWP workers, campaigned against Garcetti.
The union's support of former controller Wendy Greuel in the mayor's race was seen as a factor in her loss to Garcetti, who took office on July 1.
Garcetti said in the written statement that the union-endorsed contract proposal included cost savings worth pursuing. But he could not approve it "because it limits further DWP reforms, specifically to the department's costly and inefficient work rules," according to reports on the statement.
The City Council cleared its Friday agenda to spend the entire session discussing the LADWP's four-year contract. A deal needs to be in place by Sept. 1 to avoid cost-of-living adjustments that are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1.
LADWP compensation has come under fire from some quarters. In May, the Los Angeles Times reported that average DWP salaries rose 15% over five years, compared to an average 9% increase for other city employees in the same period, during which the median household income for all Angelenos declined.
The city's chief legislative analyst, Gerry Miller, released an analysis of the proposed contract that calls for three years of no raises and a number of pension reforms.
DWP commissioners are appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council.
The mayor appointed Jill Banks Barad, owner of a public relations, government and community affairs firm; Michael Fleming, executive director of the David Bohnett Foundation; William Funderburk, partner at the law firm, Castellon & Funderbunk, whose practice focuses on water regulatory litigation; Mel Levine, a retired partner in the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a former Congressman and state Assemblyman; and Christine Noonan, a senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle, a national commercial real estate company.