The New York MTA Faces A Budget Gap Over $900 Million Per Year

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 18, 2023 - 05:25 PM

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Once Covid-relief money runs out huge MTA fare increases are in store. Blame the unions...

The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) Analysis of the New York MTA’s Operating Budget shows a looming shortfall. That forecast does not include a union contract up for renewal.

In 2029, CBC projects the MTA will face a budget gap exceeding $900 million, once the benefit of federal COVID-related is exhausted. The MTA has wisely spread out the benefit of federal pandemic aid through 2028. Furthermore, after a short-term infusion of revenues from casino license fees, the recurring tax revenue is likely to be $300 million lower after the three licenses are issued.

The cost of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 collective bargaining agreement, extended across the MTA, exceeds budgeted raises by $330 million annually. CBC estimates that the cost of the TWU deal would exceed the budget by approximately $765 million in the first three years of the contract. Baseline costs will increase by $330 million annually thereafter.

To stabilize finances, the MTA should implement one-person train operation (OPTO) on subways and proof of payment on commuter rail, industry standard practices that would increase efficiency.

New York City Transit (NYCT) predominately uses two-person train operation, with an operator and a conductor on each train, while OPTO is standard operating practice in most other large systems, including Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

While ridership is down overall, changes vary across stations; an analysis by the State Comptroller found that some stations seeing higher levels than pre-pandemic, while others are significantly lower. Despite these shifts, the MTA has not yet made major service adjustments to either reduce or redistribute service to increase efficiency and provide high-quality, reliable service. In fact, a modest effort to align service with current demand was challenged and halted by TWU.

Contractual work rules and collectively bargained agreements should not stand in the way of adjusting transit service to align with ridership trends and evolving needs. The TWU and MTA should negotiate changes that provide the flexibility and adaptability needed to deliver cost-effective service levels aligned with transit rider needs.

      Public Unions Should Not Exist

      Public unions should not exist. Even FDR recognized that.

      For discussion, please see Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

      All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

      Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”

      Oakland Teachers Strike in 5th Day Over Climate Justice, Homeless Housing, Reparations

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      The latter example is at least private union. Unlike public unions, private unions can drive a company to bankruptcy. GM is an excellent example. The airlines are another.

      But no one negotiates the other side of public unions. Corrupt politicians get in bed with corrupt union leaders.

      It is nearly impossible to get rid of a bad teacher, even a child molester unless they are convicted criminally. The same applies to corrupt police officers.

      FDR had it correct: All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.

      Nonetheless here we are by executive order 10988, later expanded across the board.

      Executive Order 10988 is a United States presidential executive order issued by President John F. Kennedy on January 17, 1962 that granted federal employees the right to collective bargaining.

      Biden is cheerleading unions and more price inflation every step of the way.

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