Weekly Report – December 14, 2015
The Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team (OIT) – the public/private partnership created by the L.A. Mayor’s Office, the Mayor’s Fund for L.A. and the L.A. Coalition, reached two milestones last week.
First, the six member team completed their initial six month assessment of the City’s real estate assets, procurement system and City-wide safety and wellness programs. (The OIT will brief the L.A. Coalition during our Feb. 2, 2016 meeting starting at 8:30 a.m. at Hillcrest Country Club.)
Second, L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu (4th District), the Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health, Mental Health and Education, introduced a motion last Friday that directs all relevant City departments to report to the Committee on the status of any current Citywide health, safety and wellness plan(s) that reduce workforce injuries, improves recovery times and keeps City employees healthy, as well as recommendations for implementing any new plans which may be needed.
On this initiative, the OIT’s objective is to develop a city-wide wellness and safety program that not only reduces costs, but leverages best practices and improves the City’s injury rates and safety record; and to develop the infrastructure for ongoing accountability, tracking, analysis, and robust safety training.
As we move forward, it is important to remember that research shows that successful public/private partnerships need more than capital to overcome cultural, institutional, infrastructure and other barriers to innovation; and one cannot change a complex system (such as city bureaucracy) by changing just one thing.
We will need a coordinated set of interventions by multiple parties to foster stronger relationships between the city’s bureaucracy, elected officials, the private sector, foundations, local communities, universities and labor, to achieve a common goal – building much needed public and private trust and confidence in the institution of city government and the decision-making process within it.
I am confident that the OIT is the best and most innovative model to lead this effort, and with the leadership, resources and network of the L.A. Coalition and 21st Century Fox behind this team and its agenda, we will not only help the city become the best run city in America, we will generate much needed economic opportunities and the jobs that come with it, for all Angelenos.
Motion of the L.A. City Council Committee on Health, Mental Health and Education – Chair David Ryu (4th District)
A healthy and safe workforce is a sign of a well-functioning City government. Because our City’s workforce is its most important asset, ensuring that the City is employing best practices with respect to employee health and safety is a top priority. However, today the City’s workforce gets injured too often and, once injured, remains out on injury leave for too long.
The City’s annual injury rates for civilians (11%), LAPD (32%), and LAFD (36%) all exceed state (7.5% civilian; 13% public safety), federal (6% civilian; 14% police; 17% fire), and other big-city benchmarks for civilian and sworn employees in a local government setting. Workplace injuries resulted in the filing of over 7,000 injury claims by our workers last year.
Last year, the City spent $223 million on injury-related costs as a result of workplace injuries, not including overtime and loss of productivity as a result of worker absence. More than $160 million originated from the City’s Police and Fire Departments. This expense alone could pay the entry-level salaries of approximately 2,640 police officers and 2,690 firefighters. Over the past five years the City has spent over $1 billion in workplace injury-related expenses and the annual cost is expected to rise to as high as $300 million by 2025. This reality presents an immediate need for the City to reexamine its systems and strategies concerning the wellness and safety of our employees. To support this need, the Mayor’s Office has partnered with the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs to develop an approach to solve this long-standing challenge.
The City must ensure that we are doing everything for our employees in the aftermath of a work-related injury, but it would be better to keep workers well and prevent injuries whenever possible. A comprehensive strategy to improving the City’s efforts should include leveraging the latest technological advances to improve our injury data and performance metrics; wellness, injury prevention, and return to work programs; and systems for ongoing oversight.
I THEREFORE MOVE that the Personnel Department, in consultation with the City Administrative Officer, City Attorney, Public Works Department, General Services Department, Mayor’s Office, and other relevant departments, be directed to report to the Health, Mental Health, Education Committee on the status of any current Citywide health, safety and wellness plan(s)
that reduce workforce injuries, improves recovery times and keeps City employees healthy
as well as recommendations for implementing any new plans which may be needed.
Committee Chair L.A. Councilmember David Ryu, 4th District
L.A. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, 13 District