Job cuts, furlough days and unpaid holidays were announced this week by the Chicago Transit Authority as it tries to fend off fare increases and service cuts in the midst of a projected $300 million revenue shortfall.
"I know this will be a very unpopular decision with employees, but furlough days are the new reality for both the public and private sectors," CTA President Richard Rodriguez said in a press release.
He said that personnel costs comprise nearly 70 percent of the agencies operating costs, and with the proposed job reductions, the non-union workforce will have been reduced by 17 percent in the last two years. About 10 percent of the CTA's workforce is non-union.
Union members, who received a 3 percent salary increase this year and are scheduled to receive a 3.5 percent wage boost in 2010, will also be asked to make concessions. Rodriguez said he's reaching out to union leaders to ask for their cooperation.
The CTA also estimates it can save $10.5 million by scaling back contracts, reducing expenditures and hedging fuel purchases.