Boston — The New York wannabe

by Sal on March 6, 2006

in Politics

I love Boston. It’s a fun city and has a lot of character. I also have felt, however, that many of the Boston institutions try to imitate New York institutions. The latest example this week is a possibility of an MBTA Transit Strike. The MBTA workers have it so hard. They don’t get many benefits and are far worse off than the rest of us. Just to illustrate, a couple of examples from their current contract:

  • Free medical care for retirees
  • Ability to retire with 23 years of service
  • 53% of salary as pension
  • Average MBTA salaries in 2004 were $54,981 for a full-time bus driver, $56,616 for a subway driver, and $57,608 for a motorperson on the Green Line trolleys (Keep in mind that this is an average), making them the highest-paid transit workers in the country.

To top it all off, they were given such meager wage increases as part of their last contract in 2002:

  • A wage freeze for the first year
  • A 2% raise in 2003
  • A 3% raise in 2004
  • A 4% raise in 2005

So the MBTA wants to cut the benefits a bit. They are losing money, face the retirement of a third of the workforce in 2006, and have had to raise rates for the second time in three years. Look out New York, the Boston transit strike is coming!

Thanks to Mrs. Sal for the link.

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