The issue of the MTA not offering raises to blue collar employees first became public four days ago due to an exclusive report by the New York Daily News’ Pete Donohue. He followed that up with a report which talked about the MTA’s intention to lay out this proposal at a meeting on Tuesday. Now Crain’s has picked up the story with a report of the TWU slamming the MTA for planning to put raises this year on ice. Daniel Massey has more in this report:
The Transport Workers Union fired back Friday at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to shelve 1.5% raises this year by calling for a formal investigation into the agency’s finances.
“For sure the MTA is in deep financial trouble and the economic downturn has played a big role in this situation,” the statement read. “But we believe that the evidence is also clear that hundreds of millions of dollars has been wasted and misdirected at the discretion of the agency.”
The TWU called on the City Council and state legislature to conduct hearings on the MTA’s finances as soon as possible. The union cited $350 million in cost overruns at the Fulton Street Transit Center and the MTA’s handling of interest-rate-sensitive dealings, such as variable-rate debt. It also said the agency’s investment program and pension-fund allocations deserve scrutiny.
Click here for the complete report.
The TWU is taking the correct stance for the workforce they represent. While public sentiment will be hard to come by if at all, this does not change the fact that they make some excellent points about the MTA’s wasteful ways. The one point I will bring up is that they have improved in this area under the leadership of CEO/Executive Director Elliot Sander & MTA Board Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger. However when you are engaging in a P.R. war as part of your tactical process, you focus on the facts that support your side.
I will say that I disagree with the TWU boycotting the meeting as creating more tension between both sides does no one any good. Before both parties conclude on a solution, they should see what Albany will come up with in terms of a financial aid package. While I have my doubts of any long term sustainable solution coming from them anytime soon, they might as well take a short term wait & see approach.
xoxo Transit Blogger