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Globetrotter

The Long-Awaited "Big Move" of Train Operators (Mass Retirements)

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Does anyone know how many Train Operators are expected to retire within the next 3 years?

 

I've noticed that A LOT of new people are being hired. Is the TA doing this because they're expecting many T/O's to retire soon?

 

Can anyone shed some light on this? I've asked several people this question (including TSS's and Dispatchers), and I get different answers.

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Does anyone know how many Train Operators are expected to retire within the next 3 years?

 

I've noticed that A LOT of new people are being hired. Is the TA doing this because they're expecting many T/O's to retire soon?

 

Can anyone shed some light on this? I've asked several people this question (including TSS's and Dispatchers), and I get different answers.

This big wave of retirements you speak of sounds like wishful thinking to me. Why would there be an increase in the rate of retirements in the RTO, Surface, Stations, or Car Equipment compared to any other time?  There wasn't a great increase in NYCT hiring 25 or 30 years ago so why would there be an uptick in retirements on the horizon? In my personal experience individual retirements are due to the age of the retiree and their civil service status (tier). In other words it's an individual thing for the most part. Even if the TA hired a few more B/O, C/R,,S/A or T/O people in the past retirement is an individual's decision and each person is different. I also doubt that there is a large group of operating personnel approaching a mandatory (Fed, State) retirement age because I've seen people appointed to their title ranging from 18 years of age to over 40 years of age on the same day.  My M/M class ranged in age from 19 to 59 years of age. That's what I've seen over the years. Carry on.

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This big wave of retirements you speak of sounds like wishful thinking to me. Why would there be an increase in the rate of retirements in the RTO, Surface, Stations, or Car Equipment compared to any other time? There wasn't a great increase in NYCT hiring 25 or 30 years ago so why would there be an uptick in retirements on the horizon? In my personal experience individual retirements are due to the age of the retiree and their civil service status (tier). In other words it's an individual thing for the most part. Even if the TA hired a few more B/O, C/R,,S/A or T/O people in the past retirement is an individual's decision and each person is different. I also doubt that there is a large group of operating personnel approaching a mandatory (Fed, State) retirement age because I've seen people appointed to their title ranging from 18 years of age to over 40 years of age on the same day. My M/M class ranged in age from 19 to 59 years of age. That's what I've seen over the years. Carry on.

Damn, 19 years old and already a M/M! Is that still possible today? What's the youngest someone can finish school car nowadays?

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Damn, 19 years old and already a M/M! Is that still possible today? What's the youngest someone can finish school car nowadays?

Well the minimum qualifications for the new T/O exam was a high school diploma, a driver's license, and at least 1 straight year working in one spot, so if you can do all of that at 18 then you good.
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^That sounds like a bit of an exaggeration lol. Considering they usually don't start calling your list for at least a few years, even if you met the requirements at the time of application for the new exam, you'd likely be in your 20s by the time they called you in.

 

I can't speak to the requirements back when TM5 hired out, so for all we know, things were drastically different back then.

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^That sounds like a bit of an exaggeration lol. Considering they usually don't start calling your list for at least a few years, even if you met the requirements at the time of application for the new exam, you'd likely be in your 20s by the time they called you in.

 

I can't speak to the requirements back when TM5 hired out, so for all we know, things were drastically different back then.

I wouldn't call it an exaggeration. I would call it a possibility depending on what age you receive your high school diploma.

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Considering the legal working age is 16, and the fact that if you are in high school, there's no way to hold down a full time job, you would need to be working part time from 16 to 18 with one employer and complete high school on time, or finish high school ahead of schedule and work a full year with one employer, it is more likely the case that someone with that academic talent would not be applying for the type of job that the T/O position falls under.

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That mass retirement would have been, if the 20/40 plan had gone into effect, but that's fallen off the radar after being tossed around for a few years.

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That mass retirement would have been, if the 20/40 plan had gone into effect, but that's fallen off the radar after being tossed around for a few years.

Are you referring to the one that governor Patterson was going to enact, but was disrupted due to the financial crisis?

This big wave of retirements you speak of sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Then, what is the reason for the hiring blitz?

Also, I read in a recent TWU publication that over 40% of TA personnel will be eligible for retirement within the next couple of years. Not sure if the same percentage applies to RTO, but it's likely similar.

Edited by Globetrotter

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I'm just curious. Do any of you actually work for the MTA? Because it seems that everyone is keen to discuss topics that don't affect them, and ignore the ones that do.

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Well the minimum qualifications for the new T/O exam was a high school diploma, a driver's license, and at least 1 straight year working in one spot, so if you can do all of that at 18 then you good.

You have to remember that when I was appointed there were many M/M and C/R who I'm sure didn't have or need a HS diploma. Even the requirements to take the tests were different back then. I'm not sure if Sanitation even required a HS diploma back then although I'm sure one would need a driver's license at the time of appointment. I personally knew of two men who started at NYCT when they were 18 and 19 years old respectively and retired as M/M having never worked another job. They may have started as C/Rs because that was the only path to M/M back then. The rules were later changed to allow people from Stations and Track to take the promotional exam to motors M/M or today's T/O titles. Looking at the requirements you've posted compared to the late 60's-mid 80's era and from what I've heard about the Sanitation, Court Officer, and NYPD exam requirements these days is really eye-opening to someone like me. Are these the qualifications to take the exam or to be appointed? I see an easy way to limit or eliminate many applicants before the test is even given. I graduated from HS when I was 16 years old and I sure didn't have a driver's license but I did work at Alexander's Department store P/T while going to school. Heck, I took and passed the NYPD test when I was 18 years old, thanks to my relatives and the Guardian Association. Still have my results card that was mailed to me, 100% that mom has kept to remind me what I could have been. Coming from a family of civil servants I was lucky enough to be able to do something I liked rather than something that was just another j-o-b.  As someone pointed out earlier there is a gap between the test date(s) and the first appointments from the list. Perhaps someone can help clear this up for me. Back then we didn't have overlapping lists as a rule. I obviously wasn't paying too much attention to the status of the lists before my retirement but because I always had student T/Os that I broke in on the (5) line for a period of over 25 years I never noticed an unusual increase in the amount of students from year to year. That would have meant an increase in hiring of T/O's and C/R's in a short period but even then age and personal agenda influence the amount of retirees. Just my take although I'd like to hear more if I'm overlooking something here. Carry on.

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So after talking with my C/R after my previous post let me clear some things up for the newer forum members. After HS graduation I went to college first.  While a student my next door neighbor and I got provisional appointments as Railroad Porters (today's station cleaners) through his father's connections and I worked overnights while a student in the daytime. I was 18 and he was 19 and no one asked either of us for a HS diploma. We paid our 15 cents and were sworn in as employees on the spot. That job lasted for about a year and I went on to NY Telephone followed by the Post Office. Finally I did 10 years of construction and rehab work before I returned to the TA as a C/R. NY Tel and the Post Office did require a HS diploma IIRC but I think the PO may have waived that requirement for the returning Vietnam veterans. NYCT  may have also waived the HS diploma for the returning vets, too. In my permanent career as a C/R and as a M/M in the beginning many train dispatchers would ask me to write or rewrite G2s which are reports on incidents a train crew would have to write for the trainmasters to read at the Command Center at 370 Jay St. Some of those reports, I'm sorry to say, would be ridiculed by my sixth grade class they were so poorly written. Sometimes one or both crew members would actually incriminate themselves in improper actions or rule breaking which I was allowed to correct by the dispatchers before they were submitted to the Command Center folks. This wasn't a practice along racial lines but it seemed to be an age thing, at least to me. My C/R wants everyone to know that this didn't apply to the females, lol. At the risk of being called sexist she's 100% correct. The women I met as a C/R and then as a M/M were more educated then the men I met when I went to RTO. The first dispatcher that had me writing and rewriting those reports was the first female M/M and the main reason the title was changed to T/O.. She was in the room when an old timer told me that to be a good M/M one needed "good eyesight, a good Conductor, and common sense". That's when she told me that he left out "brains" as an attribute. As my C/R points out a HS diploma couldn't have been a requirement when those folks were appointed so the requirement must have been instituted in the mid 80's. Looking back the M/M or T/O job did involve heavy physical work especially for the new jacks and the old timers in the yards. I would guess that while over 75% of the railfans I've met over the years could pass the civil service test for T/O probably less than 40% could do the physical work the job involved back then. Ask any of the active RTO folks on the forum about moving couplers or drawbars on the older equipment like the R17s, R26s or R32s back then. Many people went back to Stations, Track, or Surface just because of that. It just appears to me that since the days of the R44-46s and especially the NTT, coupled with ATO, OPTO, the physical part of the job is lessened somewhat so they threw a HS diploma, work experience requirement in the mix to weed out some applicants. When a NTT can tell you what a problem is and where it's located on the train consist why would you need a HS diploma or work experience ? For what it's worth the only outside work experience I had that even remotely resembled my train work was because I had a Class 1 license which used the air brake supply theory. I can remember that when the NTT came to the IRT we were taught everything the instructors knew and then were told do not touch anything if the train had a problem. The only exception was cutting out defective doors. Why would a person need a HS diploma and outside work experience for that ?  As I said maybe an active RTO member or a union rep can help out here. Carry on.

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Any perceived bump in hiring over the past 3-4 years is to cover the increase in jobs created by Hurricane Sandy "Fix & Fortify" work and to beef up service both for second avenue and on other lines due to demands of high ridership.

 

There is no "mass retirement", rather at any given time there are a number of people who are fully eligible, and they generally go out based on their own personal timetable...although some end up being forced to by circumstance.

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There is no "mass retirement", rather at any given time there are a number of people who are fully eligible, and they generally go out based on their own personal timetable...although some end up being forced to by circumstance.

So, all the rumors of an expected exodus of Train Operators are unfounded? What about all the promotions to TSS and Dispatcher that have been going on? Perhaps that has something to do with the wave of new hires?

Also, I've read that gov. Cuomo recently signed a law that allows military time to be added to TA time*. If this is true, it will likely exacerbate employee turnover.

 

* I don't know the specifics of this new law

Edited by Globetrotter

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So, all the rumors of an expected exodus of Train Operators are unfounded? What about all the promotions to TSS and Dispatcher that have been going on? Perhaps that has something to do with the wave of new hires?

Also, I've read that gov. Cuomo recently signed a law that allows military time to be added to TA time*. If this is true, it will likely exacerbate employee turnover.

 

* I don't know the specifics of this new law

 

They have been saying that every year since I came down here. Yes, there are promotions, but there haven't been a ton of TD or TSS classes lately. Honestly, there was more movement 3 years ago. But it continues. The wave of new hires is for the reasons mentioned in my previous post.

 

The new law means military time is pensionable, and can be bought back. It can be added to TA time for purposes of calculating pension benefit, but not for purposes of meeting service time minimum requirements for full pension eligibility. It may help some people who buy back their time in terms of securing a larger benefit in retirement than would have otherwise been possible, but it doesn't make anyone eligible for retirement earlier than they would have been before the new law.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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They have been saying that every year since I came down here. Honestly, there was more movement 3 years ago.

Let's just hope this changes within the next 5 years. If what the union says is accurate, and over 40% of employees systemwide will be eligible for retirement soon, there will be an exodus at some point in the not-too-distant future. These old geezers can't hang around forever.

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And someday, when you're an old fart trying to boost your pension, I can't wait to see the crying when some young whippersnapper is trying to cut your throat over OT, and telling you that you should retire every few weeks.

 

Everyone's circumstances are different. This country's economy and priorities are f**ked up. People will retire according to their own timetable. There's no rule telling people they need to go the day they're eligible. That's up to their own means. A lot of the "old geezers" you're talking about would love to go, but they have a mortgage, kids in college, final expenses to square up before retiring, trying to boost the numbers, healthcare situations with family members.

 

And hell, some of the "old geezers" have no time on the job. You have a guy who started as a conductor a few years back at 78 to start a second pension. You have another guy who's older who's only here for the benefits for his wife, who got sick.

 

Have some respect for your coworkers, and maybe you can learn a thing or two from those "old geezers" about the job.

 

It takes decades to get that kind of seniority. Even if 40% of people in title did retire, it's not like you're going to be picking a switching job with two years in title anyway. Just be patient, you'll get there. And take care of the "old geezers" by supporting union initiatives they want because some day that will be you and the big cozy nest you're looking up at, you will get to live in someday before you retire, and you don't want to be the guy that thought it'd be a good idea to take a dump in it now, and 25 years from now you're reaping the drawbacks of that decision.

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And someday, when you're an old fart trying to boost your pension, I can't wait to see the crying when some young whippersnapper is trying to cut your throat over OT, and telling you that you should retire every few weeks.

 

Everyone's circumstances are different. This country's economy and priorities are f**ked up. People will retire according to their own timetable. There's no rule telling people they need to go the day they're eligible. That's up to their own means. A lot of the "old geezers" you're talking about would love to go, but they have a mortgage, kids in college, final expenses to square up before retiring, trying to boost the numbers, healthcare situations with family members.

 

And hell, some of the "old geezers" have no time on the job. You have a guy who started as a conductor a few years back at 78 to start a second pension. You have another guy who's older who's only here for the benefits for his wife, who got sick.

 

Have some respect for your coworkers, and maybe you can learn a thing or two from those "old geezers" about the job.

 

It takes decades to get that kind of seniority. Even if 40% of people in title did retire, it's not like you're going to be picking a switching job with two years in title anyway. Just be patient, you'll get there. And take care of the "old geezers" by supporting union initiatives they want because some day that will be you and the big cozy nest you're looking up at, you will get to live in someday before you retire, and you don't want to be the guy that thought it'd be a good idea to take a dump in it now, and 25 years from now you're reaping the drawbacks of that decision.[/quote

 

Wow just wow at that person let's see how he likes tier six 30/62

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And someday, when you're an old fart trying to boost your pension

That won't be me, as I plan to retire early (by 55 at the latest).

Also, I have 8 years in title-- not a senior by any measure, but not a rookie either.

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@ SubwayGuy, RTOman, and Globetrotter

 

     Obviously I don't care about Tiers any more but aren't pension benefits still determined by time of service plus age ? In other words going by Globetrotter's last post if he/she started at 20 years old and worked 30 years he could theoretically retire at 50 years old but wouldn't receive a pension until reaching the age specified in his Tier? If that was a 30/62 Tier you would have to wait 12 years to start drawing a pension. In that case one would have to hope that for that 12 years his/her lifestyle including health never changes for the worse. Just speculating here so feel free to correct me. Carry on.

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That won't be me, as I plan to retire early (by 55 at the latest).

Also, I have 8 years in title-- not a senior by any measure, but not a rookie either.

 

Ok, and do the math on how your pension works. If that's true, you're Tier 4. It pays to hit the overtime as hard as you can at the end to get the numbers up. Remember, you'll never get a COLA increase on your pension once you start collecting it. You don't want to end up poor in retirement. This is why so many people don't retire the day they're eligible. Gotta get the numbers up.

@ SubwayGuy, RTOman, and Globetrotter

 

     Obviously I don't care about Tiers any more but aren't pension benefits still determined by time of service plus age ? In other words going by Globetrotter's last post if he/she started at 20 years old and worked 30 years he could theoretically retire at 50 years old but wouldn't receive a pension until reaching the age specified in his Tier? If that was a 30/62 Tier you would have to wait 12 years to start drawing a pension. In that case one would have to hope that for that 12 years his/her lifestyle including health never changes for the worse. Just speculating here so feel free to correct me. Carry on.

 

Yes, if retiring before the minimum distribution age, your pension benefit is frozen and payments will start once you reach the minimum distribution age (so for 25/55 that's 55). But remember if you freeze that inflation is still happening, costs of things are still going up but your pension is frozen, so it won't match those.

 

If you freeze your pension before hitting 25 years of service, you cost yourself a percentage of the multiplier for years of service for not doing 25 years, and fall under 62/5 which means you can't collect 'till 62.

 

There are drawbacks to rushing out the door, especially if you haven't completed everything you need to do. Additionally, for older employees, once you hit 65 you go on Medicare. There is an application and wait to get Medicare. There are people that want to go right now but have to wait for Medicare to kick in before they can retire since because of their age, they will lose healthcare the day they retire.

 

There is a lot to consider before making the decision to go out.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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@ SubwayGuy, RTOman, and Globetrotter

 

     Obviously I don't care about Tiers any more but aren't pension benefits still determined by time of service plus age ? In other words going by Globetrotter's last post if he/she started at 20 years old and worked 30 years he could theoretically retire at 50 years old but wouldn't receive a pension until reaching the age specified in his Tier? If that was a 30/62 Tier you would have to wait 12 years to start drawing a pension. In that case one would have to hope that for that 12 years his/her lifestyle including health never changes for the worse. Just speculating here so feel free to correct me. Carry on.

I got ten years maybe 11 to go fifteen years in the trenches glad you able to enjoy your retirement Trainmaster.

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A lot of the big move of T/O's can also be attribute to an increase in promotions within the past few years. Being that they are calling of the bottom of the list (8098) only about 70% are passing school car and out of that only about 65% are making it past probation so it it will be hard to keep the ranks filled when that's happening. A lot of he veteran T/O's I know are now TSS's, Dispatchers/ATD's now. Retirements are always happening so that really isn't the long awaited "big move".

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A lot of the big move of T/O's can also be attribute to an increase in promotions within the past few years. Being that they are calling of the bottom of the list (8098) only about 70% are passing school car and out of that only about 65% are making it past probation so it it will be hard to keep the ranks filled when that's happening. A lot of he veteran T/O's I know are now TSS's, Dispatchers/ATD's now. Retirements are always happening so that really isn't the long awaited "big move".

 

Man they are letting YXs go  left and right...

 

Im hearing horror stories and i have seen some cray cray chit...

 

65 percent making PAST probation is a horrible Number....

 

That is why they are asking extra extra "Volunteers" from the A Div  to come over to the B Div...

 

Soon it wont be that they will just take em from the Bottom of the extra extra list, and they wont have a thing to say about it....

 

Sigh :(

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