As Inyo and Mono officials wrangle with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power grasping at the water here, they found a Los Angeles Times story interesting this week. It suggests that while DWP may not want to spend more money to buy water, the utility is spending plenty on salaries. The LA Times story says a new report shows that LADWP salaries are “significantly” higher than those paid by other public and private utilities – 20% to 46% higher.
Some Los Angeles City Council members say DWP’s rate increases are costing citizens too much and wouldn’t have to if the DWP salaries were lower. They point to the salary study and say they will not support more rate hikes.
The report from PA Consulting, according to the LA Times, says “workers at DWP contact centers made an average of 20% more than their counterparts at 13 comparable utilities.” The Times story says the average top salary for a groundman /utility worker at DWP was 41% higher than salaries for that job at 15 other utilities. The story also reports that the average maximum salary for a DWP cable splicer was 43% higher than other utilities. Other jobs ranged from 28% to 46% higher than other utilities.
The DWP workers’ union dismissed the salary report as inaccurate. In the LA Times story, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa did not comment on the salary report.