CTA's Claypool sharpens his budget ax, whacks 54 non-union jobs


CTA President Forrest Claypool

After being on the job for a scant six weeks, CTA President Forrest Claypool already has cut 54 non-union jobs, saving about $7.6 million in salaries and benefits.

And that's just a start.

Claypool yesterday announced a total budget whack of $15 million annualized.  And of those 54 jobs cut, 26 were manager-level positions. The job cuts also represent a 10 percent reduction in senior management. All but three of the 54 jobs were vacant.

In doing some "back-of-the-napkin" math, I estimate that the average annual salary of those 54 jobs was about $108,000.

How do I get that figure? Divide the $7.6 million by the 54 job cuts and you get nearly $141,000 in salary and benefits. Assuming CTA spends the industry average of about 30 percent of total compensation on benefits, each job paid about $108,000 annually.

That's a nice salary.

More from the CTA press release:

Additional savings of $900,000 in labor and benefit costs will be
achieved by delaying hiring for open positions that have been deemed
necessary. A reduction in materials, utilities and contractual services
expenses will further reduce costs for 2011.

"The CTA faces severe financial challenges and cannot wait for next
year's budget to begin making cuts," said CTA President Forrest
Claypool. "By reorganizing and streamlining, we gain immediate savings
with no adverse effect on the current level and quality of service
provided to customers."


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  • There hasn't been any indication what they were and why that 10% of management was once thought needed but no longer is. I guess we'll have to wait for the next org. chart.

    Also, reading the press release, I don't see any reference to "All but three of the 54 jobs were vacant" (including doing a Control-F for "vacant" on the page). Source, please.

    As far as the average salary, one can assume that the just under one-half (26 of 54) that were senior management were making way more, if the other 28 were administrative assistants or the like.

  • In reply to jack:

    Sorry Jack. I added this source above:


  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I see it now. Other news has had my attention the past day. ;-)

    In the meantime, Hilkevitch is starting to show, what Geoff Peterson calls "balls," with, for instance, "The move, however, raises questions about why the managerial streamlining wasn

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    If 51 of the jobs were vacant than how is this saving money? They wouldn't be paying anyone in those jobs anyway.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Cheryl, even though the jobs are vacant they are still in the budget. So now they are out of the budget and thus the budget is cut by that amount.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I know that is the technicality, but that just reinforces my R.Rod point that he saved that money up to then, and the most that can be said is that Claypool is not spending that money until the end of the fiscal year by not filling the positions.

    It is always much easier to say that there is a "hiring freeze" instead of layoffs. One company at which I was employed said that they didn't lay off, but had several hiring freezes, but somehow my manager said it was "not good" that our department was under budget on personnel. When the company was sold, things changed, including that manager being laid off, but then rehired in a different capacity before his severance period had expired.

    As the fuel budget showed, conformity to the budget is not real savings, so I agree with Cheryl on that point.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I don't know how Claypool expects CTA to be able to function without these 54 positions. As we learned in February of 2010, CTA is not buses and trains moving people around the city, CTA is high paid executives talking about moving people around the city.

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