Editorial: Labor's Off-Track Costs

The Issue: Whether MTA workers and executives are equally shouldering the organization's cost-cutting.

I'm a firm believer in shared sacrifice, but unions, especially public-sector unions, get away with murder ("Time for Labor To Sacrifice," Joseph J. Lhota, Post Opinion, June 19).

Yet the nonunion workers Lhota uses in his straw argument are mostly executives and political appointees who make enough money to hold the line for a few years. Executives and political employees do little to no work and are overpaid. Once the MTA has less than 20 VPs, we can begin to talk about "sacrifice." C. Honadel

Staten Island

"Time for Labor to Sacrifice" claims the MTA is "leaner," as Lhota extols "aggressive cost-cutting" and no raises since 2008 for its bloated management core.

Lhota's "no raise" claim doesn't stand up to a close analysis.

Some top managers have, in fact, made substantially more over the last few years, even as their "base pay" remains the same - 3,760 MTA employees, most of them managers, earned in excess of $100,000 in 2010.

Yet transit workers, the people who operate the system, make a base rate of $53,000 to $65,000.

The MTA's own budget projections show that labor costs drop from 67 percent of the budget in 2004 to only 56 percent in 2015, while debt service jacks up from 11 percent in 2004 to 19 percent in 2015 - an incredible $2.75 billion a year in interest payments to banks and Wall Street.

I'm a firm believer in shared sacrifice, but unions, especially public-sector unions, get away with murder ("Time for Labor To Sacrifice," Joseph J. Lhota, PostOpinion, June 19).

Yet the nonunion workers Lhota uses in his straw argument are mostly executives and political appointees who make enough money to hold the line for a few years. Executives and political employees do little to no work and are overpaid. Once the MTA has less than 20 VPs, we can begin to talk about "sacrifice." C. Honadel

Staten Island

"Time for Labor to Sacrifice" claims the MTA is "leaner," as Lhota extols "aggressive cost-cutting" and no raises since 2008 for its bloated management core.

Lhota's "no raise" claim doesn't stand up to a close analysis.

Some top managers have, in fact, made substantially more over the last few years, even as their "base pay" remains the same - 3,760 MTA employees, most of them managers, earned in excess of $100,000 in 2010.

Yet transit workers, the people who operate the system, make a base rate of $53,000 to $65,000.

The MTA's own budget projections show that labor costs drop from 67 percent of the budget in 2004 to only 56 percent in 2015, while debt service jacks up from 11 percent in 2004 to 19 percent in 2015 - an incredible $2.75 billion a year in interest payments to banks and Wall Street.

John Samuelsen

President

TWU Local 100

Manhattan

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