September 20, 2011

Toronto Transit to eliminate 482 positions

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) began notifying affected non-unionized employees that their positions at the TTC are being eliminated in an effort to help balance its 2012 operating budget. The TTC also announced a voluntary separation package for eligible non-unionized employees.

Earlier this month, the Commission approved the 2012 operating and capital budgets. The TTC’s 2012 budget process began with a $101 million operating budget shortfall, including its Wheel-Trans budget. A series of measures were recommended to balance the budget, including the elimination of 482 unionized and non-unionized positions.

Frontline, unionized positions will be eliminated through attrition, as those positions will not be required when the TTC adjusts service to achieve a balanced budget next year. Layoffs should not be necessary.

All non-unionized employees were also notified of an opportunity to apply to voluntarily leave the TTC, receiving four weeks’ pay for every year of service, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. Applications will only be approved if the position of the applicant can be eliminated; their duties consolidated; and/or if there is another employee that can be placed into the position, such as an employee whose position is being eliminated. Eligible employees have until mid October to apply for this opportunity.

With ridership projected to grow to 503 million in 2012, the TTC operating budget attempted to preserve all routes with service to accommodate the projected ridership levels next year, though it will revert to its pre-2004 loading standards.

While ridership grows at the TTC, staff worked hard to find savings, recognizing the City’s financial position going into 2012. The TTC’s operating subsidy of approximately $500 million in 2011 from the City, including Wheel-Trans, will be reduced by 10 percent next year. Savings, therefore, needed to be found through efficiencies, including organizational change.

The TTC will also review and make recommendations on contracting out for certain functions within the organization in an effort to achieve further savings. This work will continue into 2012.

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