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mark1447

Protesters say the M.T.A. has money for pay and service increases, and the M.T.A. begs to differ

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Three Occupy Wall Street protestors joined union workers at Wednesday's morning's M.T.A. board meeting, urging the cash-strapped authority that oversees New York City mass transit to tap into a $500 million retiree fund in order to restore service cuts, rehire laid-off workers and underwrite wage hikes.

 

"The transit workers serve the 99 percent," said Tony Murphy, from "Occupy for Jobs," in a call-and-response "mic check" in the M.T.A.'s fifth-floor Madison Avenue boardroom. "It is beyond ludicrous for the M.T.A. to claim a retirees fund as an excuse to deny justice to the transit workers."

 

The Transport Workers Union is currently in negotiations with the M.T.A. over a new contract, which, depending on its outcome, could imperil the authority's ability to serve its capital program debt.

 

The two remain far apart, at least publicly, with the M.T.A. demanding a three-year wage freeze, and the union demanding cost-of-living increases. The union also wants to tap into an M.T.A. retiree health care fund designed to offset future shortfalls, known as GASB 45, which now holds some $500 million.

 

Continues...

 

Protesters say the M.T.A. has money for pay and service increases, and the M.T.A. begs to differ | Capital New York

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Guest lance25

Before I say anything else, let me preface this post by saying I'm very pro-union, so please don't think otherwise. With that say however, these people's requests are kinda stupid. For starters, you can't pay for a recurring cost with a one-shot amount of money. That means that in about a year, we'd be back in the same position we were in June of 2010 with employees and the reversed service cuts cut again. That's why it's called an operating budget; you have to pay to operate the business continuously. You can't simply pay for service, employees, what have yous for, let's say a year, and then hope for the best when that money runs out. Secondly, they're asking to take money from their own dedicated retirement/healthcare fund, one that is supposed to offset any budget problems the agency may run into, to do this. Yeah, it may be good for the short term, but it doesn't help when you're trying to reach a certain goal ($13 billion) or when your regular budgets keep getting cut every so often by the government.

 

I get that we should get service levels back to pre-2010 levels and the agency should rehire the employees let go in this budget crisis, but the way this union is trying to get that accomplished is once again, kinda stupid. At least based on what I'm seeing.

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Before I say anything else, let me preface this post by saying I'm very pro-union, so please don't think otherwise. With that say however, these people's requests are kinda stupid. For starters, you can't pay for a recurring cost with a one-shot amount of money. That means that in about a year, we'd be back in the same position we were in June of 2010 with employees and the reversed service cuts cut again. That's why it's called an operating budget; you have to pay to operate the business continuously. You can't simply pay for service, employees, what have yous for, let's say a year, and then hope for the best when that money runs out. Secondly, they're asking to take money from their own dedicated retirement/healthcare fund, one that is supposed to offset any budget problems the agency may run into, to do this. Yeah, it may be good for the short term, but it doesn't help when you're trying to reach a certain goal ($13 billion) or when your regular budgets keep getting cut every so often by the government.

 

Thank you for posting this eloquently before I said something poorly worded and stupid instead. ;)

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Well the biggest of the service cuts actually made service better, which were the (W),(V) & no (Mx) via West End going away. Lets see, (R) service is running better with no (W) trains in the way on the Broadway & no (Mx) in the way via 4th Ave. to cause delays. (V) trains were not even packed with 600' trains, so having 480' trains is being more well used with the (M).... So these service cuts IMO actually made service better. Beside all the F*** the (M) train rants. So the protesters can go screw themselves!!!

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I don't think cutting the (W) did anything. (N) trains slows down the line at Prince St to merge back with the (Q) to go over the bridge. Trains are still switching at 34th St. I still say the (W) would've been fine rush hours only and they left the (Q) alone at 57/7th. Middays, they could run the (N) local and over the bridge so it doesn't slow the (Q)(R) lines down.

(M) is better than the (Mx) and (V) and finally provides that area of Brooklyn an additional direct to Midtown line.

 

Thank you for posting this eloquently before I said something poorly worded and stupid instead. ;)

 

Lol, why would you think that? The stuff you post are always good and enlightened :)

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Before I say anything else, let me preface this post by saying I'm very pro-union, so please don't think otherwise. With that say however, these people's requests are kinda stupid. For starters, you can't pay for a recurring cost with a one-shot amount of money. That means that in about a year, we'd be back in the same position we were in June of 2010 with employees and the reversed service cuts cut again. That's why it's called an operating budget; you have to pay to operate the business continuously. You can't simply pay for service, employees, what have yous for, let's say a year, and then hope for the best when that money runs out. Secondly, they're asking to take money from their own dedicated retirement/healthcare fund, one that is supposed to offset any budget problems the agency may run into, to do this. Yeah, it may be good for the short term, but it doesn't help when you're trying to reach a certain goal ($13 billion) or when your regular budgets keep getting cut every so often by the government.

 

I get that we should get service levels back to pre-2010 levels and the agency should rehire the employees let go in this budget crisis, but the way this union is trying to get that accomplished is once again, kinda stupid. At least based on what I'm seeing.

 

Agreed. Let the MTA save up and grow in money. Once theres enough, then restore SOME stuff, while continuing to save. Otherwise, your gonna get hit again.

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Well maybe the outrage isn't being placed in the right place, but I'm glad it's there. Folks need to wake up and see what's going on with our transportation in this city. Maybe the rage needs to be placed at our politicians to get them off of their @sses and doing something to help restore some of the lost service. :mad:

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I'm so happy this topic came up.

 

First, it's stupid and dangerous to raid the pension fund to cover operating costs, unless you plan to tell retirees their pension is being cut.

 

I'm posting some information I put on the NICE service adjustment board.

 

The County's comptroller reviewed the NICE contract with Veolia and came up with a variable fee rate of $87.12/vehicle hour. The comptroller estimated MTA vehicle hour cost of $128 hour.

 

If Veolia and MTA operators are paid the same rate, how is Veolia able to operate NICE for significantly lower cost.

 

I sent this question to Veolia through the NICE website.

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Probably cuz NICE is far younger than the MTA's old and crusty Bureaucracy.

 

“The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.”

― Oscar Wilde

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When "cuts" are meant, they don't mean the whole lines like the (V)(W)(Mx) as that's another argument, they mean more those bus lines that disappeared, and some of the frequency cuts around the fringes of rush hour and on weekends (remember 8 min headways weekends that are now 10). Just about all the operating employees (bus drivers, cleaners, agents) were rehired in some sort, its just the 2 Bway people that are still laid off.

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It is only natural for the MTA to regularly analyze service to see where cuts can be made and where service can be enhanced as neighborhoods throughout the city change. Cuts are not necessarily bad things. If a bus line is not well utilized, it has to go. The MTA has increased service on the well used L line. The MTA sources of funds is not unlimited. I still think some express buses should be cut.

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In addition to those that are saying that it would be a "one shot" bail out to the cause what is going to happen when it comes time for retirees to draw from the fund? This robbing Peter to pay Paul concept would not work.

 

While I don't know specifically what this fund is made up of, I will say this: I am required to pay 3% of my earnings into the MTA Defined Benefit Pension Plan. I'll be darned if I'm going contribute funds that are to be ear marked for retirees to restore service cuts and cost of living raises.

 

As it stands Metro North unionized employees have been working with out a contract for two years with no new contract in sight. No matter what it takes to ratify a contract tapping into retirement funds is not the way to do it. If there would to be another round of mass job abolishments I would not want tapping a retirement fund to save these jobs.

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I don't think cutting the (W) did anything. (N) trains slows down the line at Prince St to merge back with the (Q) to go over the bridge. Trains are still switching at 34th St. I still say the (W) would've been fine rush hours only and they left the (Q) alone at 57/7th. Middays, they could run the (N) local and over the bridge so it doesn't slow the (Q)(R) lines down.

(M) is better than the (Mx) and (V) and finally provides that area of Brooklyn an additional direct to Midtown line.

Yes, the loss of the (W) did more harm than good. (Q) trains consistently get held up at 34th to let ®'s, then (N)'s pass them before they finally leave the station and switch onto the local tracks. Not much point in passing up a local train for an express at Canal if that local train and the one behind it are going to pass you at 34th.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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I'm not even surprised when at Union sq I get on a (Q) to Dekalb and I barely catch up to the (R) I passed up a few minutes earlier*. I would've been better off taking the (R) and getting a seat vs standing in a crowded (Q) to get to Atlantic.

 

*I'm pretty sure it was the same (R), but in any case going over the bridge is just so painfully slow.

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