You think times are hard?

Try being an average-salaried Department of Water and Power worker, who takes home $96,805 a year of public money, according to a recent analysis by Bloomberg. Can you even, like sustain a Whole Foods-stocked pantry on that kind of money? Really, that's barely enough to handle monthly Prius payments for two.

Good think the L.A. City Council just approved a water rate increase:

For the next fiscal year your monthly water bill will go from $40.30 to $45.91.

We love the DWP's spin on this: “Water Rate Increase Will Fund Urgent Regulatory Compliance Projects While Keeping Rates Low for Customers.”

Credit: images money

Credit: images money

… While also keeping employees from having to shop at Trader Joe's or, God forbid, Ralph's.

Getting back to the matter of these measly salaries, Bloomberg found that DWP workers were often paid 40 percent more for the same job compared to other city employees.

Por ejemplo (uno of many), let's say you're a audio-visual technician (the guy who figures out how to run VCRs and projectors?). At the DWP you make only $147,853 a year, according Bloomberg. But if you have a similar title elsewhere in city government, you make $76,353.

No es bueno … for sucker who makes less!

DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo says comparing such job roles is like comparing apples and oranges (because everyone knows working a projector at the DWP is so much hader).

But Bloomberg was pretty quick to note that the union representing most of the department's workers also happens to be the third-biggest contributor to city political campaigns, right behind the all-powerful L.A. police union and the AFL-CIO.

So, people, keep paying those water bills (as if you have a choice). Your city employees need you more than ever.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

LA Weekly