MTA = ATM? Not any longer, due to the steady rise in cost of living and transit employees getting left behind in the wage department.

ta worker

NYC transit employees lost a lot of traction in wages compared to other city agencies and many can’t afford to live in the city in which they serve.

What happen to the New York City Transit job? I remember when people said MTA stood for “ATM”, now employees will soon find themselves lucky to even withdraw funds from one.

Somewhere between the late 90’s till now, transit workers have fell drastically behind in wages, especially when compared to LIRR and Metro North. Let’s not even mention NYPD, FDNY, Sanitation, Corrections and how their salaries and overall packages tower over NYCT employees.

More and more transit workers are moving out of NYC because of the rising cost of living, mainly fleeing to New Jersey, upstate and Pennsylvania. I recently seen the NYPD making an ad campaign targeted at the public about how they were underpaid and can’t afford to live in the city in which they serve. The first thing that came to my mind was “if they can’t then MTA workers sure can’t either”

For example, base salary for a  NYCT train conductor is 66k a year, while a NYC corrections officer base salary is 94k after 5.5 years. The same is for train operators which make 72k a year, while LIRR operators make 87k. Even though both are under the parent company MTA, the NYCT system brings in most of the agency’s money, but tend to pay their employees significantly less.

Meanwhile the union that represents NYC transit workers, TWU local 100 top four officers John Samuelsen ($271,000) La-Tanya Crisp Sauray ($143,783), Angel Giboyeaux ($133,523) and Earl Phillips ($145,884), easily cleared 125k + according to 2015 LM2’s.

According to the American Community Survey NYCT has a workforce that consists of 68% minorities and 30% Caucasian, with 12% of the total work force having a bachelors degree and only 5% having a masters degree or higher.

Transit workers in operational titles sacrifice so much of their family life for the job. Many workers work as many as 10 years in title before they can pick the weekends off, and as many as 15 years in title before they can pick summer vacation. Weekends and the summer is when family time is most valuable being that children are out of school. Getting regular days off is difficult also. With a quota system in place, days off are only granted to only about 20 people a day out of 9,000 workers. This number has not risen with the workforce and makes it more challenging to get a day off. Not to mention in subways in order to be considered for the day off you have to put it in 20 days in advance and in buses it’s 30 days. Just to make ends meet, many transit workers spend a lot of time doing “late clears” and working overtime, if its available. That takes even more time from loved ones, but many employees do it to maintain a decent lifestyle.

All in all, working in NYC as a transit employee is a wonderful experience, but the question I ask myself every few months is “how long before I have to become a refugee to which the city I serve?”.

CHECK OUT THE ANTHONY STALEY SHOW ON MTA DISCIPLINE

– Tramell Thompson

Join the facebook group “Progressive Action”

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19 thoughts on “MTA = ATM? Not any longer, due to the steady rise in cost of living and transit employees getting left behind in the wage department.

  1. Not to mention all the increasingly meticulous rules, and tougher enforcement of them. That alone should give us more that the little increases we have to fight and wrangle over as it is in every contract.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do not forget the nepotism that plays out at the MTA, qualified people with bachelors and master degrees who are not getting the promotions. Instead being passed over and people with only high school diplomas getting those management jobs instead. Apply for positions that are already promised to who they want to have the job. Their friends, The head of sanitation daughter getting a high ranking job she did not earn during the layoffs, with transit works with 16 plus years being laid off and forced to come back as a cleaner. The union is a joke, half of the time they do not even call you back on the issue at hand, there are so many workers who do not know what is even going on. The literature is not being distributed to every TWU LOCAL 100 member. Also transit states they do not even have all the documentation for the workers who were forced to work at the WORLD TRADE CENTER cleanups. Forbidden to wear masks to protect our selves from that toxic dust, left out of the loop. Not even mentioned or considered as the police, firemen etc. Transit is making substantially huge amount of money being that sales are up from the commuters. What do i know…………we get screwed with every president that is in office of the union. The practices here at the MTA is not only unfair but hypocrisy

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  2. Mentality of the work force is one reason, while union representation is the other, it’s embarrassing while others on the outside see it very few of the workers see it. There haven’t been a substantial raise to this work force in over 20 years, while management talk of increased ridership over the same period .

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  3. We are one of the most disrespected jobs in the city. We take our lives in our hands daily, from assaults to discipline and it’s ridiculous. Management is allowed to run roughshod over us during disciplinary actions and we are always given sll the info we need to make an informed decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. FINALLY!!! The truth to combat public perception! Well said!! Family and relationships are sacrificed for “the good of the service!” The riding public despises us and management, in an effort to appease the public, comes hard down on NYCT hourlies. We are stuck in the middle, without any support. Even the TWU under John Samuelsen has been ineffective at providing support. When in reality, the leadership of TWU have become bedfellows with the political system that seeks to undermine us. I do not see myself doing this job for 25 years. Plan B, C, and D are being effected right now! I refuse to be another NYCT casualty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To piggy back off of Staley, the biggest issue that we have is the lack of a real strong educated union. It’s been this way for quite sometime. The public and alot of our rank and file for that matter think that were still strong. And that reputation comes from the 2005 Transit strike under Roger Toussaint. Hell there are alot of people who thinks he is still the president of this union. Also when you have an MTA that is constantly tryin to break the union, and an administration that just gives them the rope to hang us then what do you expect to see. There is no reason for union reps to be more overly concerned with getting elected and collecting their fat salaries. Having events and that stupid family day celebration serving chicken,and ribs to satisfy members is it.

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  6. Let’s not forget that a lot if these MTA employees are skill trades. Electricians, welders, machinists, etc. This required special schooling and licenses. They work in all kinds of weather conditions and emergencies.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This Is The Truth…, Thats Been In The Dark.., And These Union Rep, Presidents Vp’s.. Refuse To Address The Elephant🐘 N The Room, Why Are We So Far Behind N Salary, Behind Our Parent Agencies MN,LIRR,Bridge&Tunnel, MTA Police..
    A Tell Of Two Cities..Is Tha Truth

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  8. I think mta employees have been relegated to the category of the working poor. Workers are basically happy that they have a job even as much as their basic salaries are unable to cover their basic needs. The most frightening fact is that this situation will not change anytime soon as the level of wage increase needed to recover their former status is basically unrealistic. They workers will be better urged to be prepared for this new reality.

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  9. Being a Civil Servant and struggling to keep a roof over your head and clothes on u and ur families back is not what we signed up for. We need more money. A cost of living adjustment every four months…

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  10. Does anyone realize the responsibility these workers have??? Thousands of people depend on them to get to and from work safely….and what’s with their union heads….it seems they have the attitude I got mine and you’ll get yours when I feel like it!!! How do you expect to get conscientious, reliable workers when they’re paid so far behind other workers in the same field from other areas?

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    • @Jazzy, go to mta.info and scroll down to employment and apply for an exam for a job. it is just that simple, why would they want to quit their jobs. They hire all the time, make a conscience effort on your laptop to seek employment by applying. Also stop by a news stand and pick up the chief, they are hiring for correction officers. How about that.

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  11. You hit the nail on the head 68% of this Union are minorities and no one cares what happens to minorities hell half minorities don’t care what happened to minorities. Well members of TWU white black Hispanic Asian American Indian you can stay asleep all you want and let these Union officials abused and your future but when you wake up you’re not going to like what you see and it might just be too late to fix it.

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    • IT IS NOT JUST HOURLY WORKERS WHO ARE TREATED UNJUSTLY. TRAIN DIDPATCHERS,ATDS,TOWER OPERATORS EVEN SUPT. THESE PEOPLE GET BLAMED FOR INCIDENTS THAT EITHER THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE THEIR. MANY OF THESE SUPERVISORS LET THEM BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW THEIR JOBS. MANY OF THEM JUST PAST THE TEST AND ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO DO THE JOB THEY HAVE. THEIR ARE ALOT OF SUPT. NOW WHO WERE CHOSEN TO BE IN THAT POSITION WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO DO THAT JOB BUT WERE CHOSEN BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS THAT JOB. THEY ARE ON A POWER TRIP. THE REASON WHY NOBODY WANTS THAT JOB, IS BECAUSE THE QUALIFIED ONES MAKE MORE MONEY WITH LESS RESPONSABLITY SO WHY WOULD YOU EVEN APPLY. YES THE HOURLY EMPLOYEES ARE TREATED BADLY. ALOT OF THESE EMPLOYEES BRING THIS APON THEMSELVES BY DOING STUPID THINGS BY NOT THINKING BEFORE THEY ACT. THIS ALSO HAPPENS WITH SUPERVISORS SO YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IF YOU ALL LEARNED THE RULES AND LIMITATIONS THINGS NOT WOULD THINGS BE BETTER AND PEOPLE IN CHARGE WOULD NOT GET AWAY WITH ALOT CRAP FOR NO REASON AT ALL

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