MTA Files Alert To Layoff About 750 Workers

Earlier this morning, I posted a sample from the Q&A held between Streetsblog NYC Editor Ben Fried & TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen. In the Q&A, Mr. Samuelsen expressed his concern for the jobs that the MTA is looking to cut in order to attack the huge budget deficit it faces. His main talking point is that the MTA should use the legally allotted percentage of stimulus funds to save these jobs.

Yesterday, Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York Times wrote a report about how the MTA plans more rounds of layoffs by July 4th:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to lay off hundreds of bus drivers and subway workers by July 4, as the agency prepares to carry out severe service cuts to the city’s mass transit system.

More than 550 bus workers will be laid off by New York City Transit on June 27, coinciding with the elimination of dozens of bus lines and two subway routes, according to documents filed with the state on Tuesday. An additional 122 subway workers, mostly car inspectors, will lose their jobs on July 4, the agency said.

The transportation authority has resorted to layoffs for the first time in decades as it tries to close an $800 million budget shortfall brought on by reduced financing from the state.

Jay H. Walder, the new chairman, has described the layoffs as a painful but necessary step to rein in costs at the agency, which has long had a reputation as a bloated bureaucracy.

Under a previously announced plan, about 500 subway station agents will also lose their jobs in the next two weeks, and the number of administrative workers will be reduced by 600 through a mix of layoffs and buyouts. These cuts will save about $65 million.

The layoffs have incensed labor representatives, who argue that Mr. Walder should find alternative ways to close the gap.

John Samuelsen, the president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the bulk of the city’s transit employees, said the authority should use federal stimulus money to cover its operating expenses.

Click here for the complete report.

Today’s New York Daily News Report featured a brief report by Pete Donohue which talks about the MTA filing the legal alert with the New York State Labor Department for the approximate 750 layoffs that are upcoming:

Hundreds of bus drivers, mechanics and cleaners could be receiving pink slips from the MTA.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has filed a legally required alert with the state Labor Department about plans to lay off about 750 employees, the vast majority from the bus division.

The layoffs are the latest harsh cuts to emerge from the MTA’s severe budget woes

Click here for the complete report.

As I said earlier this morning, I strongly disagree with the major position that Mr. Samuelsen is taking. While I understand his desire to keep the jobs belonging to his members. However during these tough financial times, he also has to understand that the agency needs to save money & some of the cuts are for positions that are more a luxury instead of a necessity. Also he has to let go of this bogus idea of using a percentage of stimulus funds to help cut the budget deficit.

However I will say this, where are the reports about the MTA laying off the wasteful office & management positions? They have a lot of waste going on outside of the blue-collar workforce in terms of redundant positions. If they want to cut out wasteful union jobs, they have to follow the same set of rules & eliminate the office & management waste. This is the only acceptable solution.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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