CTA Cutting More Than 100 Jobs

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that it is cutting more than more than 100 jobs.

The move comes as the agency seeks to streamline its operations in advance of releasing its 2012 budget.

In total, cuts to more than 200 positions will save the CTA $22 million a year, when the agency’s deficit stands at $277 million. While some of the cuts will come from eliminating vacant positions, about two thirds will involve layoffs, the CTA said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

The cuts include positions that were eliminated in July, the CTA said. Many senior-level positions are among those that have been eliminated, among them vice presidents, general managers and directors, the CTA said.

The CTA has streamlined its management structure so that there are now 21 frontline staffers for every manager.

The agency’s workforce is now the smallest in its 64-year history, with 25 percent fewer employees than 10 years ago, the CTA said.

In addition to the cuts, the CTA has revised its sick and vacation policies, for a savings of another $15 million per year.

Last month, a Chicago Tribune analysis discovered that rampant employee absenteeism had led to long waits for CTA bus and ‘L’ train passengers. CTA President Forrest Claypool blamed the agency’s union contract and “work rules that are just absurd” for the problem.

While these changes do not affect union work rules, they do change the policy on leave and absence for non-union employees.

“Following Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, we have continued to make the CTA more efficient by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative positions, while creating sound and reasonable sick and vacation leave policies,” Claypool said in a news release. “As the CTA prepares to close one of its worst budget deficits in recent memory, it is incumbent upon us to find ways to do more with less.”

With the changes now taking effect, CTA employees will no longer enjoy some long-standing perks.

Non-union employees will no longer have six floating holidays, and birthdays and anniversary days off, but will instead have four paid personal days. Also, six months of annual six leave will be replaced with a 13 days per year which must be earned at a rate of half a day per pay period. The maximum number of six days to be accrued in a year will be 26.

Vacation will be accrued based on years of service and will be capped at 25 days a year, versus the current 35, and unused vacation days will no longer be bought back, the CTA said.

Also, female employees will be allowed four weeks of maternity leave, while spouses and domestic or civil union partners will get two weeks. Adoptive parents will be eligible for two weeks of leave.

In total, about 70 percent of the CTA budget goes to labor costs, and 91 percent is unionized. The union contracts expire at the end of the year and must be renegotiated, the CTA said.

  • Larry

    As usual, absurd union contracts and work rules causing major financial problems. Pathetic!

  • Walter

    I think every union in the US should be disbanded. Employers should be able to pay workers whatever they feel and work them however they feel. Do away with paid vactions and health benefits. Think of all the things workers get that cost companies millions of dollars a year. The unions are responsible for all the benefits workers get, even those in non-union jobs. Because of unions, non-union workplaces have to have compatable wages and benefits to try to lure qualified workers. Disband the unions, let the companies drop pay and get rid of any and all benefits and watch the economy take off.

    • David

      That’s a little extreme. I work a non-union job and enjoy my vacation time and health insurance.

      • Walter

        You get that vacation and insurance because of the unions. If your employer doesn’t offer it, you’ll find yourself looking at a union shop that does. Unions over the years have set the level for what non-union shops can pay. Who would want want to work for a company paying 10 dollars an hour with no benefits, when you could do the same job, make 25 dolllars an hour with vacation and health insurance? That’s how unions have bled this country dry. The people who built this country and made it what it is ( once was) did not get vacations and health benefits. They worked six days a week for 10 to 12 hours a day, A lot died while still on the job. There was no pensions or retirement plans. You worked till you died. The unions came in and made a cry baby, pansy workforce and look where we are now. Break the unions and lets get back to the productive, prosporous nation we once were.

  • Gabe

    Yeah walter the same damn unions that decided to go on STRIKE WITH STIMULUS MONEY. OH ! People forget so fast. The same unions are costing Chicago money and loosing out of state convention businesses with their stupid rules. Like you can’t plug that fan Mr. I have to get paid 90 dollars an hour and decide when i do it after i read my paper. And the Goverment unoin workers are the worst . There is no more milk. The cow has been milked dry. But yet they insist on ridiculous pensions that just don’t add on my hard earned penny. I know I know it’s just me.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/10/11/claypool-still-hinting-at-possible-cta-fare-hike/ Claypool Still Hinting At Possible CTA Fare Hike « CBS Chicago

    […] The CTA says in total, cuts to more than 200 positions will save the CTA $22 million per year, when the agency’s deficit stands at $277 million. While some of the cuts will come from eliminating vacant positions, about two thirds will involve layoffs, the CTA said. […]

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