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Friday, August 23, 2013

Morning Briefs on the Los Angeles Political Machine for Friday

Did Mayor Eric Garcetti blink before reaching the supposed end game of DWP Employee Health Care Cost Reform?
Why can't Mayor Garcetti find any contributions from DWP Employees for their health care?
Angelinos can supposedly rest assure that the DWP Contract Proposal Crisis on Spring Street has been resolved by all the parties involve.
But as Mayor Eric Garcetti moves past the fifty day mark of his mayoral first term, what amount of political capital did he gain (or lose) with his compromise on the soon to be agree upon DWP Contract? Excerpts and links below.
From the "Old Gray Collectivist Hag on Spring Street" (aka LA Times) ............
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti emerged from his first labor showdown with some financial concessions on Department of Water and Power salaries but little progress on a key goal: getting employees to pay out of their own pockets for rising health insurance costs.
The deal is expected to save $6.1 billion over 30 years, in large part by cutting pension benefits for new hires and having workers go three years without raises, according to budget officials. But the DWP will continue its practice of covering 100% of employees' healthcare premiums, despite Garcetti's call for more concessions....

From Joseph Mailander at "MSMNBC City Watch" ..............

Team Garcetti's math-challenged scrubs failed to add two plus two in the new deal to compare it to the old one. 
The new agreement, for instance, supersedes an earlier agreement that would have called for a 4% raise after four years.  That meant that under the abandoned agreement, for the average DWP worker making $100,000 a year--and that is just a little below average for a DWP worker--the payout would be $100,000 for the first three years and $104,000 for the final year, totaling $404,000 over four years. 
But watch what happens with the new contract. 
The average DWP worker makes $100,000 for the first two years.  Then, with a prospective 2% hike, she makes up to $102,000 the third year.  And then she can go up to 2% of that, or $104,040, the fourth year. 
Total payout: $406,040 over four years.  Yes, she actually stands a good chance to make more money than under the stipulations of the contract Garcetti tore up to get this new "deal."

From Paul Hatfield at the "Village to Village Blog" ................

According to the Patch, the raise deferral from 2013 to 2016 amounts to savings of $385 million. That’s the net amount we will not have to pay to the well-compensated DWP workforce for three years.
The article goes on to say that the deferral will save $3.9 billion over 30 years.
It’s a very hypothetical calculation that appears to be based on the assumption of investing the $385 million at around 8.9% for the 27 years following the three-year deferral period.
Perhaps there are other factors as well, but the city seems reluctant to disclose them.
Ask yourself, who besides Bernie Madoff would guarantee 8.9% on your investment for 27 years?
City Hall, of course!

....... and from the reigning "Scribe of Wit" Downtown News Editor Jon Regardie on a certain "three letter sickness".

The Sickness of the DWP: Much has been made about the negotiations for new labor contracts for Department of Water & Power employees, with Garcetti trying for a more cost-conscious deal than the one Villaraigosa was pushing. The most interesting aspect of the process to date is that just as news of the negotiations erupted, so did a Los Angeles Times report revealing that DWP employees get essentially unlimited paid sick time. It was the latest black eye for the DWP and its union, and Garcetti’s office was quick to pounce, as he and other pols called for an investigation. A week later a chastened DWP altered its policy, requiring a doctor’s note for those out three days or longer. Call it a victory for Garcetti, even if it’s just a battle and not the war.

Judging from the commentary above, the "sickness" continues.

Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14


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