Today’s Headlines

  • Oil Still Gushing Into Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Season Begins (NYT)
  • MTA, TWU Working on Deal to Avert Layoffs (News)
  • Bus Riders Left Waiting When Drivers Take Sick Leave, Vacation Time (Post)
  • Transit Smart Card Debuts This Week (WNYC, Post); "Swipers" Jam MetroCard Machines (AMNY)
  • Vincent Gentile, City Council Poised to Add Another Loophole to On-Street Parking Rules (Post)
  • Before It Becomes a Park, East Side Pier 42 Will Be a Parking Lot (Observer)
  • Bike Turn Lane Installed on Bowery at Prince (Cyclosity)
  • Van Cortlandt Park Users Still Waiting for Bridge Across Major Deegan (Riverdale Press)
  • Annual Bronx Stickball Tourney Returns to Streets of Soundview (NY1)
  • LAPD Officers Caught Pulling a Pogan (Streetsblog LA)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is tabulating how much it would cost to offer an early-retirement option so it can reduce payroll with voluntary departures instead of layoffs, sources said.”

    I thought allowing people to be paid for nothing in retirement for more and more years “saved” money, LOL. Sounds like the MTA is off the reservation.

    “The MTA wants Transport Workers Union Local 100 to cover the cost of such a program by agreeing to work-rule changes that would produce savings.”

    Would the work rule savings only apply to new hires? Or just new hires with less seniority? Of just those who would have been laid off.

    “Workers could get one month of additional pension service credit for each year of service, up to three years. Another provision allows workers who retire at age 55 with 25 years of service to suffer no reduction in benefits.”

    They already have that deal, don’t they? I’m pretty sure. Do you suppose this is 20/50 for those about to leave, at the expense of those coming after?

  • Larry Littlefield

    By the way, whether through layoffs of voluntary departures, there will be fewer workers. Which means less work. Which means less service. Ever less service, in all likelihood, for years.

    The majority of the people of New York City, who don’t have a contract but are bound by contracts signed by others to their mutual benefit, lose no matter what.

  • RE: Bike Turn Lane Installed on Bowery at Prince

    Hey! That was my idea but I’m glad to see DoT pick it up. I was calling for the use of “Bicycle Jughandles” on more projects here on Streetsblog a few weeks ago.

    I think that using them in a well engineered design can be much safer than Bike Boxes. A “Copenhagen Left” is probably the safest and least scary way for a less daring cyclist to make a left. Those with more guts can still make the left, VC style. All users are happy and a design hazard is avoided.

  • J:Lai

    Larry, isn’t the relative allocation of benefits between current workers and retirees, or between various levels of seniority, an internal issue for the union? As a rider, I’m just not sure why I care if the terms of the agreement are more generous to retirees at the expense of new workers. I really just care about the total amount going to labor, regardless of how it is divided up.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Larry, isn’t the relative allocation of benefits between current workers and retirees, or between various levels of seniority, an internal issue for the union?”

    Only if the union will guarantee and make good on the competence and motivation of the lower-paid workers that will be hired in the future. But they generally argue that isn’t their problem. And that less should be expected (from everyone) becase (new) workers are paid less (in cash) and staffing levels are down (not including the additional retired).

    The allocation between Tier I teachers who benefitted from the Lindsay pensions and the lowest paid teachers in the metro area hired in the 1990s certainly affected the quality of the NYC schools. I doubt the quality of the policing we’ll be getting from the $25,000 per year cops.

    Those who are happy with lower pay and benefits for new hires are those who believe public services are irrelevant. What matters is what the producer interests get, and how much the taxpayer pays. That’s the view of the political crowd, not ordinary people.

  • J:Lai

    Come on, you’re saying quality of service provided by MTA employees can actually get worse?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Come on, you’re saying quality of service provided by MTA employees can actually get worse?”

    Having worked there, in two eras, yes it can get worse. It was worse. And while there may be some titles where they could cut the pay of new employees without suffering for it, in other cases they have problems getting good ones at the top of the economic cycle. There are plenty of skilled jobs there.

    Shifting compensation from those working to those not working leaves you with incapable, unmotivated employees, and high labor costs. And yet that is exactly what has been done.