The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced initial details Tuesday of aggressive plans to reduce costs and operate more efficiently, beginning with the elimination of more than 600 represented and non represented administrative positions.
These cuts represent 15 percent of administrative payroll across the MTA with deeper cuts at MTA Headquarters. The agency also said it will begin the process of laying off up to 500 NYC Transit station agents.
These actions were necessitated by the deterioration of the MTA’s financial situation over the past three months, according to an MTA statement. While the legislative rescue package passed in May 2009 was projected to balance the MTA’s budget, the forecasted revenues have failed to materialize. The MTA budget passed in December relied on a package of service cuts and these administrative layoffs to close a $383 million deficit. Since that time, an additional $378 million gap has developed this year based on revised State revenue projections.
“The State’s economic crisis demands that the MTA move quickly and decisively to cut costs, and that is exactly what we are doing,” said Jay H. Walder, MTA Chairman and CEO. “These layoffs are extremely painful, but we must live within our means and make the tough decisions that businesses and families across New York are making.”
In implementing the staffing reductions, the MTA will comply with applicable statutory and collective bargaining obligations covering its employees. In addition, non-represented employees who resign will be offered a severance package.
“This is just the beginning of a comprehensive overhaul of how the MTA does business,” added Chairman Walder. “We will be reducing overtime, consolidating redundant functions and working with suppliers to lower costs. We will not stop until I can say that every dollar the MTA receives is spent wisely.”
The MTA also announced that it would be initiating the process of laying off or reassigning more than 500 NYC Transit station agents whose positions were eliminated in the 2009 budget. These positions were originally to be eliminated via attrition, but the worsening financial situation required the MTA to move more quickly and include the layoffs in the budget passed in December.