Do We Really Need All These Executives?

According to the MTA they do as the recently released 2009 preliminary budget plan by the MTA features calls for the elimination of approximately 500 jobs. Unsurprising to most, none of those jobs are “suits” within MTA Headquarters. Pete Donohue of the Daily News has the report:

The MTA plans on cutting hundreds of positions from its budget – but not one suit at authority headquarters apparently is expendable.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposed “Program to Eliminate the Gap,” part of its preliminary 2009 budget plan, trims about 500 positions, mostly from the NYC Transit bus and subway division.

MTA headquarters – the division at the top of the food chain – wouldn’t lose one executive, according to the preliminary budget. About 1,400 staffers are on the headquarter’s payroll, about half are members of the MTA Police Department.

All told – with positions cut and added to address new initiatives or programs – the MTA head count remains relatively flat at about 68,000, officials said.

Metro-North is adding more than 50 workers, for example, because it’s opening a new station near Yankee Stadium.

Some board members on Wednesday said the MTA needs to reduce expenses further.

“We really have to tighten our belts and look for other ways to save money,” board member Norman Seabrook said.

The MTA is cutting “controllable expenses” by 6% over four years, starting this year, MTA CEO Lee Sander said. That’s on top of 5% in reductions from 2004 to last year, he said. It will continue to look for more savings but can’t slice too deeply without reducing service and impacting the reliability of the transit system, he said.

NYC Transit reductions include trimming dozens of workers assigned to such tasks as cleaning subway cars as part of a pilot program on two lines, removing debris from tracks, doing preventative maintenance on turnstiles and MetroCard vending machines.

Officials said the agency will be more efficient and riders wouldn’t see a slide in conditions.

The agency also will reduce the number of property guards by 13 and rely more on surveillance systems and alarms.

It also is ending its participation in the Work Experience Program – where the unemployed toil for welfare benefits – that requires transit cleaners to fill supervisory roles.

I’m not surprised at the angle being taken in the report. However I must say it legitimately calls into question the positions that will not get cut. Should I & the rest of the riding public believe every single position at the job is more important than the ones proposed to be cut? I have a hard time believing these positions are more important than ones for cleaning subway cars, removing track debris, etc..?

Such positions are vital if you ask me as a clean subway car is never a bad thing. More importantly, cleaning track debris is a strong way of preventing track fires which cause headaches for everyone directly or indirectly involved. What does every single employee within the MTA Headquarters do on a daily basis that makes their job more important? I would love to hear the answers as I’m sure most would be quite comical.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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