Monday, December 14, 2009

Non-union employees to face 10 percent pay cut

As the MTA looks to seal an unexpected $343 million gap in its budget, we know that last year’s Doomsday cuts proposal is back on the table. Today, Sewell Chan of The Times reports that the MTA’s non-union employees will take a pay cut as part of the gap-closing measures. The authority’s 6000 non-union workers will see their salaries slashed by 10 percent across the board. The agency says these pay cuts could last indefinitely and will either take the form of mandatory furloughs or an indefinite payroll lag.

For the MTA, this announcement comes at a time of labor unrest as its unionized workers fight for a four-percent raise. Although these pay cuts are a necessary component of any gap-closing proposal, it certainly helps the MTA’s arbitration appeal if the authority can point to problems covering payroll. TWU officials have already warned against any efforts to cut unionized workers’ salaries.

In the end, Chan also confirms that the service cuts but no fare hikes will remain on the table, and I have to question the wisdom of that decision. With these payroll cuts — and perhaps some management trimming — the MTA will still face a gap of $250 million. A fare hike of around 5 percent across the board will cover that, and for me, at least, that’s a more palatable solution than service cuts. Unfortunately, the MTA promised not to raise fares in 2010, and the state legislature appears more than willing to hold the authority to its word.

But if I might add, who was it that came up with the figures used in the original scenario presented as part of the recovery here? Whoever it is should be fired because they apparently lack the skills to forecast that payroll taxes were going to fall WAY below expectations. For the love of God we're in a recession so why wasn't this taken into account by the members of the MTA who worked out this formula? Any other company or organization when planning their budgets and the like have to at least forecast where they see things heading and well what was the MTA thinking - that things were getting better and that we'd be back on our A-Game by what say New Years 2010? Where they calling Mrs. Cleo and getting some information on the economy that the rest of us were missing out on?

I think what we need over at the MTA is full transparency. This organization runs amuck and it's the little guy who is left paying the piper. Believe me, I know several people who work for the MTA and work very hard and are honest at what they do but this organization could use a real good enema!

1 comment:

  1. In talking about this today I felt some compassion for MTA workers who now are forced to fork over 10% of their salary all at once. That's a pretty big hit for anyone to have to take. But then a bit of reality set in. For most of us we've been without raises for the past three years, our healthcare costs have gone up just as their have been rate increases for transit costs and many of us have already given back 5% or more to our employers to starve off any further cuts. I heard today from a single mother of three since loosing her husband to cancer last year and she's paying more in insurance now and has taken a 5% cut in pay along with her company revamping it's contributions to it's medical plans. I guess what I'm saying is that it's hard all over and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.