CTA cuts 200 jobs to ease budget woes
Facing a $277 million budget deficit, the Chicago Transit Authority will eliminate more than 200 positions and will review sick and vacation leave policies. The move comes as CTA readies to release its fiscal-year 2012 budget. The cuts are expected to save the agency $22 million annually; sick leave and vacation leave could save up to $15 million over the next six years.
“Following Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, we have continued to make the CTA more efficient by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative positions, while creating sound and reasonable sick and vacation leave policies,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said. “As the CTA prepares to close one of its worst budget deficits in recent memory, it is incumbent upon us to find ways to do more with less.”
The 200 positions include the positions that were eliminated in July 2011, and include a mix of layoffs and vacancy eliminations. About two-thirds of the new cuts will come from filled positions. As part of these cuts, a number of senior-level positions have been eliminated, including vice-presidents, general managers and directors.
The CTA now has a lean management structure, with an average of 21 front-line staffers for every manager. In addition, the CTA now has the smallest number of employees in its history, with 25 percent fewer employees than a decade ago.
About 70 percent of the CTA’s budget goes to labor costs, and 91 percent of the labor force is unionized. The CTA’s union contracts expire at the end of the year and are up for renegotiation.
“Amid a deep and continuing recession, these changes will make the CTA more efficient and still provide fair and reasonable policies for our employees,” Claypool said. “I also look forward to working with our labor leaders to find common sense, rational and fair solutions that reduce our labor costs while providing stable employment for their members. It is time for everyone to step up so we can put CTA on solid financial ground.”