Nine Los Angeles city managers are getting raises of 3% or 5% from Mayor Eric Garcetti at the same time negotiators are trying to forestall salary increases for a wide range of other city workers.
The raises, given to a select set of top managers in recognition for their performance, are retroactive to Sept. 7 of this year, mayoral spokeswoman Molly Fowler said in an email.
Two managers – Ed Ebrahimian in the Bureau of Street Lighting and Tony Royster in the General Services department – are receiving 5% raises. Seven others are getting increases of 3%.
City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said the manager raises were within the budget for each department and were meant to recognize the work of those found to have "achieved and exceeded" their goals after being evaluated by the mayor.
"Unlike raises based on labor agreements, these merit-based increases result from performance evaluations conducted by the mayor," Santana wrote. "They are not automatic."
Santana said he was offered a raise as well but decided not to accept it because he acts as the lead negotiator for the city. He declined to provide further details about what he was offered.
The pay increases, first reported by the Daily News, come as city officials are trying to persuade unions that represent a wide range of civilian workers such as office assistants, tree trimmers and mechanics to forgo raises for three years.
In a statement released Wednesday, SEIU Local 721 President Bob Schoonover commended the city "for recognizing and rewarding good work" and said the raises "confirm that there is money to not only acknowledge the contributions of all employees but begin to restore the key services that our city workers provide."
"It's time we begin prioritizing and ensuring that our communities receive the level of programs and services they deserve and that the dedicated city workers who provide those services receive the compensation they deserve," Schoonover said in his statement, issued on behalf of the Fix L.A. coalition of labor, clergy and community groups.
The city push to avoid raises for many of its employees comes after an earlier series of increases: The Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which represents an estimated 20,000 civilian employees, previously received raises totaling around 25% over seven years.
The city also has been at loggerheads with the Los Angeles Police Protective League over raises: In September, union President Tyler Izen denounced a city proposal of no raises for two years, followed by a 2% raise that would go into effect on the last day of the second year of the contract. The union had earlier proposed three raises totaling 8%.
"We are pleased to see that the mayor has the funds for these raises and believe every public servant who earns it merits a raise – especially those who work to serve and protect the city while the rest of us are enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, as the members of LAPD are doing this holiday season, and each and every day," Izen said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday afternoon.
Times staff writer David Zahniser contributed to this report.