New L.A. Mayor Standing Firm on Concessions from Power Co. Union

Baby steps.

Let me begin by saying that most bouts of stomach flu are preferable to dealing with anything that former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa did.

A day after Mayor Eric Garcetti appealed to the public to help him secure changes to a proposed Department of Water and Power labor agreement, city negotiators said they had won additional cost-cutting concessions from the utility's main employee union.

Under the latest proposed terms of a four-year labor pact, a pay hike of up to 4% in October 2016 would be reduced to about 2%, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, a high-level budget analyst, wrote in a confidential memo to the City Council.

After discussing the proposal behind closed doors, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said Tuesday that Garcetti and the council are "really, really, really close" to reaching agreement on the contract.

"The council is optimistic that there will be a partnership with the mayor," he said. "You can feel it on the hair on the back of your neck."

Garcetti said last week that he would not sign an earlier version of the proposed agreement, even though it included three consecutive years of zero raises and reduced pension benefits for future DWP employees. Compensation at the city-owned utility became a major campaign issue in this year's mayoral race when the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and its affiliates spent $2 million to defeat Garcetti.

Yeah, if you're going to drop a couple million expressly to defeat a candidate you should probably head for the hills if that candidate wins. We conservatives don't have a lot of fun watching L.A. politics, but this Garcetti/Big Labor feud has been fun to see unfold. Villaraigosa let the unions run roughshod over this city, helping to exacerbate its financial problems.

Any movement in the opposite direction is a good sign.