MTA hopes labor talks can make up for $22.3M shortfall 

It’s still over two months from the beginning of next fiscal year, and the Municipal Transportation Agency has already projected a $22.3 million budget deficit, although that hole could be wiped out if the agency achieves the savings it has identified from upcoming labor negotiations.

The main contributors to the MTA’s budget deficit are lower-than-projected revenue items. Parking citations are $7 million less than forecast, and the agency didn’t account for $3 million it will have to spend on processing state courthouse fees. The MTA also budgeted $7 million in revenue from a proposed enforcement of The City’s downtown parking garage ordinance, which prohibits discounted rates. That measure still hasn’t been enacted.

All told, the MTA has $19.4 million less revenue than projected for the upcoming fiscal year, and $2.9 million in expenditures, accounting for a total of $22.3 million.

The agency could be able to make up that deficit easily, if it achieves the $26 million it thinks it can get in savings from labor negotiations with the transit operators union.

In November, voters passed Proposition G, a ballot measure that gives management unprecedented leverage in negotiations with the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents 2,200 Muni operators.

A breakdown of the MTA’s proposed savings from the negotiations goes as follows:

  • $3.2 million from reducing paid lunchtime for operators.
  • $7 million from employing part-time operators.
  • $2.75 million from reducing premium shift pay.
  • $9.8 million from increases to employee contributions to their pensions.
  • $1 million from eliminating premium for long-term workers.

The two sides must agree to new contract terms by June 30.

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Will Reisman

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