The CTA announced Monday that they will be cutting over 200 positions in order to "drive efficiencies" for the deficit-plagued agency in advance of their soon-to-be-released 2012 budget.
The cuts, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, will save the agency roughly $22 million a year. Coupled with newly revised sick and vacation policies for non-union employees totaling an estimated $15 million in savings over the next six years, the agency is beginning to make a dent in a budget shortfall they anticipate will balloon to $277 million by 2012.
Last week, CTA chief Forrest Claypool pointed to "archaic and expensive" work rules, in addition to rising pension and health care costs and high salaries for rail and bus operators as the principal sources of the agency's budget woes. He added that "hard decisions" lay ahead for the agency and hinted that fare hikes were a likely possibility.
"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 in a statement Monday.
Some of the eliminated positions were set into motion in July and included a number of senior-level positions, the Chicago Tribune reports. The agency now has an average of 21 front-line staffers per manager and is operating with its smallest number of employees in its history -- 25 percent fewer employees than 10 years earlier.
Claypool also recently lashed out at employees who call in sick to their job, forcing the CTA to hire extra workers to make up for their absences.
WATCH Claypool describing the agency's financial health in a news report below:
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
Photo by Bill Ward's Brickpile via Flickr.
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