In the face of a $277 million 2012 budget, the Chicago Transit Authority is eliminating 200 jobs.
The positions include some jobs already scratched in July, as well as a mix of layoffs and vacancies, said CTA president Forrest Claypool. "A number of" senior-level positions also were cut, he said.
Claypool hinted at "hard decisions" last week as he noted the agency's neglected infrastructure and the $554 million it borrowed in the past four years, despite a fare hike in 2009 and cuts in 2010.
These cuts will save the CTA about $22 million annually, he said.
“As the CTA prepares to close one of its worst budget deficits in recent memory, it is incumbent upon us to find ways to do more with less,” Claypool said Monday in a statement.
Claypool reiterated that about 70 percent of the CTA’s budget is labor costs, and the agency's union contracts are set to expire at the end of the year.
Also changed are the CTA's sick and vacation policies to save about $15 million over the next six years, Claypool said. Changes include cutting birthday and anniversary days off for non-bargained employees, as well as axing the floating holidays policy.
Sick time will be accrued at half a day per pay period to earn 13 sick days a year instead of six months leave, he said. Vacation days will be capped at 25 instead of 35 days, and employees will no longer be able to buy back unused days.
Pay for unused vacation days after an employee leaves the company also will be capped at 25 days after December 31, 2012, instead of up to 88 days.
“I also look forward to working with our labor leaders to find common sense, rational and fair solutions that reduce our labor costs while providing stable employment for their members," Claypool said. "It is time for everyone to step up so we can put CTA on solid financial ground.”