Parking control officers protest MTA layoffs 

Parking control officers, traffic counters, cleaners, and other city servants working for the Municipal Transportation Agency showed up in large numbers at the agency’s board of directors meeting on Tuesday to protest employee layoffs planned for later this month.

The agency, faced with making up a $47 million deficit, is set to axe 108 of its workers by January 22, a move that will save it $12.3 million.

The staffing move that has generated the most heat for the MTA is the proposal to lay off 24 parking control officers (PCOs). Several PCOs addressed the MTA’s seven-person board on Tuesday, urging the body to reconsider laying off the 24 employees, who generate revenue for The City by issuing parking tickets.

The MTA has said that a recent hiring surge of PCOs actually coincided with a drop in parking ticket citation issuances, making the employee layoffs necessary. Elias Georgeopolous, a PCO, said that the 24 cut positions will cost The City $8.64 million in lost ticket revenue each year. MTA officials have countered that they’ll be able to maintain current enforcement levels, despite the layoffs.

Bus cleaners, traffic checkers, and management staff are also among the 108 people expected to be laid off later this month.

“I feel like we’ve done our due diligence on this matter,” MTA executive director Nat Ford said at the meeting on Tuesday. “All of these positions—we need them, we just can’t afford them.”

Even though Ford proposed at one point to consider delaying the layoffs, by the end of the meeting, the firings were set to go forth as planned.

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Will Reisman

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