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Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

Morning Headlines

LAUSD, Teachers Union Heads Vow to Work Together

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Roy Romer, teachers union President A.J. Duffy and school board President Marlene Canter on Tuesday pledged to work together toward the common goals of creating a more transparent budget process and improving instruction in the struggling district, the Daily Breeze reported. The leaders acknowledged the acrimonious relationship between the district and United Teachers Los Angeles and promised to move beyond the rhetoric that plagued contract negotiations. Both the union and school board members have criticized the district for not presenting its annual, nearly $6 billion budget in a user-friendly format something Romer said he would amend.

Outgoing DWP Board Puts Off Decision on Raises

The citizens commission that oversees the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power refused to take up a five-year package of pay increases for nearly 8,000 employees Tuesday, delaying action on the salary agreement and other high-profile proposals, Copley News Service reported. The four-member commission did not say when it will consider the proposed pay agreement, which had drawn fire from other employee unions that agreed to smaller pay increases. Commissioners said the pay package should be left to the new appointees of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who voiced his disapproval of the agreement Monday and is laying plans to announce a new slate of DWP commissioners.

Three Actors Vie for Command of SAG

The cast of major players in what could be the next civil war within the Screen Actors Guild began to take shape on Tuesday with the announcement of candidates for the union’s next election. The main attraction will be the showdown between Morgan Fairchild, Alan Rosenberg and Robert Conrad for SAG president, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Citing continual union infighting, incumbent Melissa Gilbert announced last month that she would not seek a third presidential term. Nearly one-third of the union’s 69 national board seats are open for election.

Insurance Chief Criticizes Health Savings Accounts

California’s insurance commissioner plans to issue a report today criticizing health savings accounts and other “consumer-driven” insurance plans as part of the problem of spiraling costs. Saying the state’s healthcare system is headed for a “complete breakdown,” John Garamendi attacked new insurance plans that offer reduced benefits to save money. These plans shift risk to consumers without solving the underlying problems, he said. Garamendi said the report by his staff, which examines the rising costs of healthcare in California and the growing numbers of uninsured, sets the stage for possible legislation to establish minimum coverage requirements for all health plans.

Police Commission to Expand Red-Light Cameras

Los Angeles police moved closer Tuesday to doubling the number of city intersections equipped with cameras to catch red-light runners, expanding the system beyond a pilot program. The civilian board that oversees the LAPD signed off on a plan to install up to 32 of the systems, which photograph the license plates of motorists breaking traffic laws so that citations can be mailed to them. The decision by the Police Commission to expand the program came after a rocky bidding process. Officials expressed concern about the contract, which could cost more than $15 million, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported.

Reality TV Workers Join Editors Guild

Some 80 motion picture editors and their assistants on three shows produced by reality TV guru Mark Burnett have been organized by the Motion Picture Editors Guild, the Los Angeles Times reported. The guild, part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said union authorization cards were counted for workers on the shows “The Apprentice,” “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” and “Rock Star: INXS.” Hollywood unions have been trying to organize employees in the reality TV genre. The Editors Guild has already organized “Big Brother” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

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