New DWP pact includes pay and pension concessions; Echo Park gang injunction goes ahead; Fracking fracas

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DWP deal. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council have reached agreement on a new-four deal with the union representing DWP workers. The proposed contract calls for significant concessions by employees of the city-owned utility.

The new labor pact covers about eight-thousand Department of Water and Power employees. It postpones a two-percent raise that was due to go into effect October 1st for three years. It also reportedly calls for a reduction in retirement benefits for future workers at the utility.

Mayor Garcetti has called a press conference this morning to discuss the deal. He released a statement last night saying – quote “I’m pleased that we reached an agreement that pushes forward with DWP reform.”

Garcetti had made DWP salary and benefits a central issue of his mayoral campaign. He rejected an earlier deal reached between the union and some council members that called for a nearly four-percent pay hike in 2016. Garcetti launched an on-line petition earlier this week to build public support for his effort to win concessions from the DWP union.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the DWP labor pact tomorrow. The proposed deal must also be approved by rank-and-file members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18. That process is expected to take up to two weeks. L.A. Times

Streets fix. The L.A City Council is moving forward with a $3 billion plan to fix about a third of the city’s crumbling roadways. The Council voted yesterday to conduct a study of the taxpayer funded plan. Officials will consider at a handful of ways to fund the repairs, including property taxes and vehicle fees. Backers hope to put a bond measure on the November 2014 ballot. L.A. Daily News

L.A. gangs. An L.A. judge says Los Angeles can move forward with its pursuit of injunctions against gang members in Echo Park. Judge Abraham Khan approved a motion yesterday allowing L.A. to serve civil complaints against known members of half-a-dozen local gangs. The move precedes a formal injunction, which would bar the gang members from associating with one another. More than 150 demonstrators protesting the use of gang injunctions packed a downtown courtroom for yesterday’s hearing. The judge would not allow the demonstrators to address the court because none was named in the civil injunction filed by the city. Daily Breeze

Fracking bill. State legislation that would for the first time require oil companies to disclose details of the chemicals, locations and procedures involved with the controversial oil-extraction method known as fracking is splitting the environmental community. A bill by state Senator Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills has won support from many environmental groups, but not the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club says the legislation doesn’t give the public enough information, and is too weak to ensure that water and air won’t be contaminated by fracking. The practice involves injecting large amounts of water and chemicals underground to extract oil and natural gas deposits. L.A. Times

University assaults. California lawmakers have ordered an audit to gauge how the state’s public universities investigate allegations of sexual assault. The decision to launch the audit came after emotional testimony from women who said their claims of assault were met with skepticism and ignored by university officials. A federal law known as the Clery Act specifies how colleges and universities must respond to such allegations. But the students who testified said those guidelines were not always followed. Nine current and former U.C. Berkeley students have filed Clery Act complaints with the Department of Education. San Francisco Chronicle