Thursday, October 15, 2009

No increase on MWD benefits

Apart from wages, many employees depend on their benefits to help them through hard times. Any increase either in salary or benefits is mostly welcome.

However, any hope of increase in benefits for employees of Metropolitan Water District (MWD) in Southern California had been cut off.

In a memo, General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said that the current financial condition does not allow any increase in benefits. Moreover, the employees’ concession in a five-year labor pact would be more than sufficient to pay for the increased pension benefit.

Critics noted, however, that the concessions were short-term while the pension benefits were long-term.

The decision not to grant the benefit increase affected about 2,000 employees. Consequently, protests erupted pushing for the increase. Protesters alleged that since MWD had raised water rates by double digits, the proposed increase could be sufficiently covered.

In a public debate, MWD board Chairman Timothy Brick claimed that the labor deal in its entirety would help reduce water bills.

Employee-employer relationship could be very complicated. Issues on salary or benefit increase can be a sensitive matter to deal with. As employer tries its best to save on costs, employees, on the other hand, push on increase to make ends meet t during the hard times.

If employees feel like they deserve an increase in salary or benefits, an employment attorney may be consulted to pursue their cause. Any employer’s unfair practice may be a subject of a labor case.