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Rainbow MWD opposes pension increase

The Rainbow Municipal Water District (Rainbow MWD) has taken a position opposing the planned increase in employee pensions by the regional water supplier, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).

In a letter to MWD Board Chairman Timothy Brick, Rainbow Board President Rua Petty pointed out that as a result of MWD’s mandatory 30-percent water cuts for agricultural customers and recent double-digit rate increases for all ratepayers, Rainbow customers have endured significant financial hardship.

“The public perception of a 25-percent spike in retirement benefits concurrent with a 20-plus-percent increase in MWD water rates just doesn’t pass the smell test,” he wrote.

MWD recently passed on a 21-percent increase in water costs and has indicated they will follow with a 20-percent increase next year as well.

The initial hike resulted in an increase to the consumer of about $0.30 per billing unit. One billing unit equals 748 gallons of water.

The pension proposal, part of a five-year labor contract, was scheduled for a vote by the MWD board on September 15, but that vote was delayed after many retail agencies – including Rainbow MWD – voiced opposition to the plan. The delayed vote will allow the MWD directors adequate time to study the proposal.

Petty closed his letter by adding, “I strongly encourage you to send your negotiators back to the bargaining table with explicit direction to do the hard job of negotiating successor agreements that contain significant employee concessions without any substantial increases in employee benefits.”


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