In a continuing effort to balance the 2009 budget, 287 Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) salaried employees will see their wages reduced by 3 percent, effective May 31. The move will save RTA approximately $400,000, however, the agency projects a $12 million to $15 million decline in revenue from a one percent countywide sales tax.
Additionally, GCRTA has already reduced salaried positions by 5 percent, frozen wages for all salaried employees, instituted a partial hiring freeze, restricted travel, received supplemental funding from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, reduced overtime by more than $2.5 million over 2007 levels and started an energy management program that is expected to reduce costs by $5 million over projections.
"We realize that this move will not solve all of our budget challenges this year, but it will help," said Joe Calabrese, GCRTA's CEO/GM. "Before RTA can consider additional service cuts and/or another fare increase, we need to do whatever we can internally, to help balance our budget."
Additional steps GCRTA will take, include continuing to work with state and NOACA officials on supplemental funding, reducing inventory expenses, identifying "one-time" funding sources, and working with union officials in the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Fraternal Order of Police on reducing costs.