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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is The Mayor & City Council Going To Settle With EAA, Or Is A Strike Going to Shut Down The City?

It's "Revenge of The Nerds", y'all!!! Remember when some of us were in college, drinking beer and blowing off classes? Well the people who work for the EAA (Engineers and Architects) were the geeks getting good grades in math and science and got the jobs guys like Zuma Dogg weren't smart enough, or disciplined enough to get.

They have been working without a contract since 2004 and the three year contract is almost up for renewal again (and they haven't even settled the old one yet).

But Mayor Antonio Villagrossa and Los Angeles City Council, are betting on the premise that "Joe Sixpack" -- the people making $8-$10 an hour in this City, are going to be AGAINST giving raises to the pocket protector wearing engineers and architects in this City.

Now, if the money wasn't there, and giving EAA employees raises would hit "Joe Sixpack" in the wallet, I might not be for the raises. But, Inspector Zuma Dogg feels the money IS there, if the Mayor and City Council want it to be there.

After all, the Mayor transfered over $300 million from the reserve fund that will be going to real estate and development interests.

The Mayor gave himself a raise, making him the highest paid Mayor in the United States. City Council gave themselves raises, making them the highest paid Council in the United States. DWP just got raises (the biggest slap in the face to EAA, because both parties do the same work, but DWP employees get paid more than EAA for the same work).

When hotel workers went on strike, the Mayor was quick to step in and give them raises. And ZD is always for the individual getting paid more for all the right reasons.

But, the EAA workers aren't as easy to replace as hotel workers. Or when grocery store workers went on strike, it's a lot easier to find checkers and baggers, than EAA employees.

And here's how it would impact the City and Nation if EAA goes on strike. (And the EAA doesn't want to strike and they hope to settle soon, as negotiations have been underway between EAA and City Hall.

But ZD already knows City Hall doesn't want to give them the raises, because they want to force EAA to strike, so they look like bad people, hurting the City...then the Mayor will give them the raise anyway...but he will at least be looking like he DIDN'T want to give them the raises, and he was forced to give it to them, so "Joe Sixpack" doesn't vote "no" on Mayor V in future elections.

Similarly, City Council doesn't give a hoot if EAA gets raises, but THEY don't want to look like they're giving raises to Ralph and Potsy when they're trying to impress Fonzie. So, it's a standoff...The Mayor hopes City Council approves the rasies (which they EASILY could, because again, Inspector General ZD says the money is there, if they want it to be. But the Mayor and Council would prefer to use it for their own special interest pet projects.

If EAA strikes, it would be the first time they strike in 120 years. So in other words: No strike in 120 years...Mayor V takes office and within six months they already have to start protesting and striking. (Something isn't right here.)

Here's how the City and Nation would be affected if EAA is forced to go on strike to get City Hall's attention for working without a contract or 2%-3.5% inflation/cost of living increase, which is what they are asking for (and I assure you George W. would probaly have to step in after about two or three days):

* Ports of Los Angeles, responsible for 40% of U.S. goods imported into America, could be halted.

* Airport Runway Superintendents could bring the airport to a halt. (No incoming or outgoing flights.)

* CSI people at LAPD would force Grismon-types to shut down the lab. (Sorry Brass...Criminal cases might be lost and the most dangerous criminals could go free.)

* You can give DWP raises, but if the chemists who test the water for dangerous chemicals in our water supply are on strike, hand me an Evian please.

* EAA has employees in about all the departments in the City...accountants, auditors, all the people you used to make fun of on the way home from school who keep this City ticking.

So, you can say, "How dare they threaten the saftey of the City and Nation if they actually strike when they are already making good money?"

Unfortunatley, the fact that it would create such a crisis if they do strike (the whole City shuts down), then maybe that's why the Mayor should give them the cost of living bump/respect they deserve because the money is there if you want it to be, you KNOW that...so a little less greed and give your own employees who keep the City moving the raise and don't hang them out to dry just cause you know people don't feel sympathy for EAA the way they would for the "Dogwalker, Janitor, Little Old Ladies" Union.

Zuma Dogg
Public Advocate of The Community

p.s. Walter, I have a feeling you and others will oppose this argument. So let's hear it, cause time is running out.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

(CBS) LOS ANGELES The city union that staged a two-day strike in August (EAA) announced Tuesday that the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor authorized a second strike, which other municipal employees may join.

The federation's executive board unanimously agreed Thursday to support a strike by the Engineers and Architects Association, and delegates from unions countywide approved the decision Monday night, according to the union's executive director, Robert Aquino.

October 19, 2006 9:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, I for one will carry a picket sign for them as often as I am able and did it during their two-day strike a month or so ago.

How dare the Clowncill and their Pollo leader pay themselves so handsomely and let their skilled people go with zero pay raises?

May they reap what they sow!

October 19, 2006 10:04 PM  

Blogger joseph mailander said:

Unfortunately for the EAA, their tactics have not captured the hearts of broadcast media. They are a little too heavy-handed for prime time.

It's too bad, because the EAA would find a lot of natural sympathy in the populace. But the media are the filter, and Aquino has not yet found a way to make broadcast media sympathetic to the cause.

That doesn't include bloggers. He's been great to bloggers. But the TV people just wont run the key clips, and radio is ignoring him too, and that's all that matters in these disputes: the way broadcast media frames the union.

October 19, 2006 10:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Now that Aquino and EAA have the blessing of "HIS POLLONESS" close friend MARIA ELENA DURAZO. They can have more of a impact with SEIU and others waiting for their piece of the pie. BTW, SEIU reorganization is still a work in Progress. The "SUPER LOCAL" is going to be led by ARNELLE GRAJEDA. GOOD REPORTING ZUMA!!!

October 20, 2006 9:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

For the record EAA has struck the city before, most recently when EAA employees at DWP went on strike. They now are in IBEW local 18 so the people who test the water won't be on strike.

Now to the real reason for the dispute. If EAA had accepted the paltry offer made to the other civilian unions (SEIU, AFSCME) they would have a contract. EAA is asking for what the DWP workers
got and the council won't give it to them. The City has almost always given the council controlled department employees less than DWP employees.

Strategy - the other unions contracts expire June 30, 2007. If EAA wants some real leverage they will join with the others and make up with IBEW Local 18. Currently EAA is a pariah among the unions because Aquino has publicly critized the leaders of both SEIU, Local 347 and AFSCME. In addition the leader of IBEW, Local 18 will not even talk to Aquino. Solidarity is strength.

October 20, 2006 10:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I carried signs for EAA a couple times and enjoyed the hecklers' droll comments.
I sympathize with my former brothers and sisters still trapped in EAA, but their problem is not CAO, His Honor or the clowncil. Their problem is Bobby Aquino; it's all about Bobby, all of it. It's not about parity, it's about Bobby.

October 20, 2006 11:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who let the "Dogg" loose? ZD is a real quick study. He may not have all of the facts 100% correct, but he understands the general issues very well.

The Mayor is trying to portray EAA members as being greedy by citing their salaries. This is the oldest "straw man" tactic anti-labor people use. The question should be: Do the qualifiations required for the job and the good they bring to the city warrant a cost of living allowance that allows EAA members to keep pace with inflation?

EAA members operate the Airports, the Port, the Department of Building and Safety, CDD, the Department of Aging, etc... These are the entities that are responsible for all of the funding needed to operate the city.

They're not even asking for a raise, but if their wages are based on what they bring to the city, or on what people in the private sector doing the same jobs make, the citizens couldn't afford the necessary work EAA members perform.

Neither Zuma Dogg nor anyone else is fooled by the PR campaign the Mayor's running.

We now have an extremely powerful tool in our hands, namely, the support of all of the City and County unions if we decide to walk out. We don't want to use this tool. All the City has to do is to sit down and negotiate our issues reasonably with us and they can keep the citizens from having to endure any hardship.

EAA members deserve to keep pace with inflation.

Robert Aquino, Executive Director
EAA, IUPA Local 8000, AFL-CIO

October 20, 2006 12:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

zuma dogg, your posts are TOO LONG!

October 20, 2006 2:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Screw EAA!

When the city proposed increasing the retirement multiplier for all city workers a few years ago, it needed 90% of city unions to approve it.

The proposal would have increased the multiple for workers serving 30 years. But most unions supported it because it was a first step. Once the 30-year workers were taken care of, then unions could push to increase the multiplier for 25-year workers, then later could do it for 20-year workers.

The multiplier hadn't been increased since the 1970's, so every city worker was excited to see it go up.

The morons at EAA took the short-term view and said the proposal wasn't good enough. They voted against it, and although 85%+ of city unions approved it, the proposal failed.

Now management will NEVER propose to increase the multiplier ever again. Hundreds of thousand of police, firefigthers, prosecutors, engineers, and other city workers will have less money in retirement because of EAA's short-sightedness.

Now go ahead and go out on strike--see if any other city workers care!

October 20, 2006 3:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

IF clowncil were smart they would have a standarized salary pay hike across the board with all unions so crap like this doesn't happen. Go figure LAPD officers only get 10% over 3 years and that's about 3% raise and it all goes to taxes. Then you have DWP which got 17% plus additional perks because our moron Mayor didn't have the balls to veto they are now the highest paid union employees. All unions should support EAA cause their time is coming. Send a strong message to clowncil!!!

October 21, 2006 7:50 AM  

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