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City union ratifies 9%, 3-year raise

January 11, 2007|Joe Mathews | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles' Engineers and Architects Assn. announced Wednesday that its members had ratified a contract with the city that will provide them a 9% raise over the next three years.

The agreement ends a bitter labor battle and sets the stage for contract talks with other civilian employee unions this spring.

EAA, which represents about 7,500 city workers, held a two-day strike last August and a series of spot strikes, protesting the city's unilateral implementation of salary terms for the years 2004 to 2007.

The contract does not change those terms, as EAA had demanded.

But it does include bonuses and incentives for about 1,000 EAA members that are retroactive to 2005 and 2006.

All six bargaining units voted for the contract. Support was weakest among professional employees -- 61% -- and strongest among those with technical jobs, receiving 86% approval.

"This is an historic agreement we have achieved," EAA Executive Director Robert Aquino said in a statement.

At a City Hall news conference Wednesday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was called a scab during the labor dispute, said the contract would reward city employees while also "allowing us to live within our means."

"The long nightmare is over," he said.

Times staff writer Patrick McGreevy contributed to this report.

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