MTA to lay off 1,100 workers
Published 2:42 pm, Wednesday, February 24, 2010
In another effort to close an $800 million operating budget deficit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will lay off more than 1,100 workers, including 15 percent of all administrative positions throughout the agency, the MTA's chairman announced Tuesday.
The plan includes letting go approximately 600 administrative staff members throughout the New York City subway and bus systems, and Metro-North and Long Island railroads, from union and nonunion positions. Also among the cuts are 500 New York City transit station agents who were originally intended to be eliminated through attrition.
The decision to shed the jobs was made as the cash-strapped agency deals with the double impact of a $383 million deficit that emerged in December. It includes a $192 million shortfall in a new payroll tax meant to support transit and $91 million in raises and other benefits awarded to transit workers by an arbitration panel last August, according to MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Walder.
A $1.2 billion rescue bailout package for the MTA approved by the New York State Legislature in May of last year is also expected to total only about $800 million because of lower-than-expected state tax revenues, according to the MTA.
"The state's economic crisis demands that the MTA move quickly and decisively to cut costs, and that is exactly what we are doing," Walder said Tuesday. "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."
Walder is expected to address additional details of the plan at the MTA's regular board meeting Wednesday in New York City.