Wednesday Must Reads: East Bay MUD Approves Huge Rate Hikes; Oakland Teachers Reach Tentative Deal for Pay Raises



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. East Bay MUD board members approved huge rate hikes on water and sewer services, saying that the public agency needs the money to pay for maintenance and repair costs, the CoCo Times reports. The board raised water rates by 9.75 percent effective July 1, with another rate hike of 9.5 percent kicking in later this year. The board also raised sewer service rates by 8 percent this year and 9 percent next year.

Gary Yee
  • Gary Yee
2. The Oakland teachers' union has reached a tentative deal with the school district that would increase teacher pay by at least 4 percent, retroactive to the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, the Trib reports. The deal, which rank-and-file members will vote on this Friday, includes a one-time 2.35 percent pay increase and a 1.5 percent ongoing raise. Oakland teachers also stand to receive another 0.5 percent bump from the state budget deal that directs more money to schools in low-income areas. It’s the first pay raise in several years for Oakland teachers, who are the worst paid in Alameda County. Incoming superintendent Gary Yee credited outgoing superintendent Tony Smith for being instrumental in reaching the tentative deal.

3. The ACLU has sued Obama administration officials over the massive phone-data collection program, contending that it’s unconstitutional, the LA Times$ reports. In addition, a bipartisan group of US Senators has introduced federal legislation that would require the National Security Agency to be more transparent about its sweeping surveillance programs.

4. Environmentalists remain upset at Governor Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders after they reached a budget deal that includes Brown’s plan to borrow $500 million from California’s cap-and-trade program for the state’s general fund, the SacBee$ reports. The cap-and-trade funds are supposed to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, but the Brown administration contends that those proposals are not ready yet.

5. And the elevator company that employed an elevator worker who died during a construction accident at the new 49ers stadium yesterday in Santa Clara has a long history of worker-safety violations, NBC Bay Area reports.