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CTA Postpones Unveiling Budget Amid Progress In Union Talks

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The CTA was supposed to unveil its 2013 budget Thursday – but canceled the presentation minutes before a scheduled news conference because of overnight progress in talks with its two major unions.

Union work rule changes and contract concessions have been a focal point of CTA’s efforts to step back from its own fiscal cliff. CTA spokesman Brian Steele said the two sides have been meeting face-to-face since early Thursday.

“They are making enough progress, and we are close enough to agreement to warrant staying at the table,” Steele said.

CTA President Forrest Claypool and his counterparts from Amalgamated Transit Union Divisions 241 and 308 are among those at the table.

Late Wednesday, ATU 308 President Robert Kelly issued a statement in which he also said an agreement appeared close, although he cautioned members that he “will not give away the house.”

CTA entered the negotiations hoping to incorporate $80 million in work rule changes and concessions into its new contract, with any fares and service levels pegged to what was obtained.