The PAT Board rejected $19 million in concessions from the ATU that would help stop the unnecessary 15% service reduction going into effect today (3/27/11). The ATU put forward a proposal to freeze and cut wages, limit overtime pay, and significantly increase workers’ contributions to their pensions and healthcare, effectively decreasing their annual incomes by thousands of dollars a piece. Onorato himself suggested these concessions, but apparently in bad faith because the PAT Board quickly decided to reject the offer—probably because they want more concessions and less union.
PAT workers were trying to be responsible to citizens, riders, and their fellow drivers, but the truth is that THE UNION IS NOT TO BLAME FOR THE ONGOING TRANSIT FUNDING CRISES AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE PAYING FOR IT. This is just another example of workers being made to shoulder an unfair share of the burden and the blame for a global financial crisis that they did not cause. There would be plenty of money for public services like transit, healthcare, and education if we only stopped spending so much on bailouts, wars, and tax subsidies for corporations. The cuts go into effect today, but we still need to keep up the fight against them. More transit, not less!
Read more about the failed Port Authority negotiations here:
Read more about the March 27 service cuts here: