Bad news: The CTA and its unions haven’t made much progress on negotiating new work rules.
Good news: The CTA has saved enough money from not having to fund a 3 percent raise that it won’t have to raise fares on July 1, as was feared.
That’s according to a report by Greg Hinz at Crain’s Chicago Business:
According to Mr. Claypool, the agency saved some money with this winter’s mild weather, which made it much easier to keep buses on the streets and trains moving on the el. But the biggest reason, he suggested, is that the agency budgeted for — but has not yet begun to pay — 3 percent raises to union workers.
In other words, no contract. No raises paid. More cash flow. Doomsday delayed.
And here’s the word from the union boss:
“Is (Mr. Claypool) going to get these concessions? Probably not,” Mr. Kelly says. “Are there things that would be mutually beneficial that could be done? Maybe.”
“I’m an optimist,” he adds. But it may be inevitable that the talks end up in binding arbitration, where they often do when it comes to negotiations between the CTA and its unions.
All-in-all, this is good news.