The CTA and CTA unions are continuing to negotiate this week and next week, while the CTA prepares for service changes set to take effect Feb. 7. However, those talks have not been very fruitful.
Both sides have dug in with no compromise on positions: The CTA insists the unions give back their 3.5 percent pay increase set to go into effect this year. The unions say hell no — we made concessions in pension and health care two years ago, so forget about it. For its part, the CTA notes that nonunion employees this year have to take off more unpaid days, and will endure their fourth straight year without a pay increase.
Meanwhile, service cuts loom just 17 days away.
The CTA recently posted customer alerts on buses, trains and at other CTA facilities. Next week, CTA information specialists will distribute information at key at bus stops and rail stations about the service reductions.
This brochure lists the changes for each bus line, including shorter hours on 41 routes and less frequent service on 119 routes. All nine express bus routes are being eliminated. And less frequent service will be offered on all rail lines except the Yellow Line.
Frankly, I was surprised to hear that unions were still talking to CTA brass. So I suppose where there are talks, there is still hope.
Though it seems to be fading fast.