CHICAGO (CBS) — CTA says it’s cracking down on absenteeism which should mean better service for riders, reports WBBM’s Brandis Friedman.

With the mayor at his side, CTA President Forest Claypool explained how excessive absenteeism was costing the agency $40 million in 2011.

“Some workers were taking excessive sick leave and some managers weren’t properly reviewing that time off. Additionally, many employees had been injured in accidents that could have been prevented with proper training procedures,” said Claypool.

That year, absenteeism was over 7.1 percent across the agency and now it is down to 5.1 percent, a reduction which Claypool says should save the agency more than $10 million.

“Absenteeism costs us money but it has a direct impact on service,” said Claypool.

Claypool says initiatives to reduce absenteeism include requiring doctor’s notes when employees are sick more than two days and approving safety training to help avoid injuries and time off the job.

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