12 April 2007

Step Right Up Laides and Gentlemen

Check out the Big Government freak show!
More than 100 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus and train operators took home paychecks topping $100,000 in fiscal 2006 because of lush overtime earnings that have skewed Metro’s budget and sent pension costs spiraling out of control under a uniquely generous employee retirement plan.

Roughly $30 million of the overtime payments went to Metro’s 2,400 bus operators and 500 train operators, 125 of whom earned more than $100,000 that year. Another 284 hourly Metro workers in other departments earned more than $100,000 because of overtime. Only 180 of Metro’s salaried management employees earned more than $100,000.
The DC transit system has over 400 people making $100k or more. Normally, you'd have to knock on the doors of Fortune 500 companies to find that sort of earning under one roof, but here, it can be found in an outfit that LOSES money.
Metro Board of Directors member Ray Bricuso said the rich overtime system “needs to stop. An employee who makes $65,000 can work a lot of overtime their final years on the job and make $100,000 a year. That would increase their annual pension to about $80,000 for what is really a $65,000 job.”
The whole financial structure of this system is diseased. Who could possibly be against blowing it up and starting over? Oh yea, the union:

Metro’s employee union enjoys immense clout when it negotiates contracts with Metro’s board, which is not profit-focused like the board of directors of a private company. (You don't say . . ) They are political appointees and often are also elected officials, who are concerned with pleasing voters — such as Metro’s 10,000 employees. “The make up of the board is heavily political, let’s leave it at that,” Metro Board Chairman Charles Deegan said.
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about; it's only taxpayers' money being pissed away here. I wonder how long before we have such high-caliber civil service in our fair city.

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