Well, the CTA is almost halfway toward filling that $300 million budget gap. Unfortunately, $90 million of the $122 million in cuts and "efficiencies" announced Wednesday comes from transferring eligible capital funds to the operating budget.
Here's how the CTA found $122 million:
- $21.6 million -- eliminating at least 70 non-union jobs, reducing intern and fellows programs.
- $10.5 million -- scaling back contracts, cutting expenses and hedging fuel.
- $90 million -- transferring the capital dollars.
The CTA again will defer pay increases for non-union workers. They also will be required to take extra furlough days and won't be paid for the CTA's six regularly scheduled holidays.
The number of required furlough days will be determined on a sliding
scale based on salary, with higher earning employees required to take
12 days and other employees required to take either eight or four
furlough days depending on their salaries. [CTA President Richard] Rodriguez said that the furlough days and unpaid holidays are equivalent to a 10% salary reduction for non-union employees.
Rodriguez also reported that personnel costs account for almost 70% of the CTA's operating expenses. and "must be part of any budget balancing strategy." I hope that's a signal that he'll be asking the unions to come to the negotiating table to provide their fair of givebacks. To that end , the press release notesL:
Rodriguez said he is reaching out to the CTA's unions to ask their
cooperation in reducing costs for 2010. Union members received a 3.0%
wage increase in 2009 and are scheduled to receive a 3.5% increase in
2010. Nearly 90% of the CTA's workforce is unionized.
Rodriguez is still looking for more job cuts, and challenging his management to cut deeper. The CTA said that with these latest job cuts, it will have reduced its non union workforce by 17% since 2007.