On Tuesday, June 15, 2004 the MTA Board of Directors voted to give the Executive
Director Michael Burns the authority to make "technical adjustments": What service to cut
& who to layoff. Directors Breyer-Black and McCray opposed the resolution. Directors
Kasolas, Mezey, Din, and Chair Vaughns voted for the resolution.
On Wednesday, June 16, 2004, at the Board of Supervisors Budget Committee Meeting,
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval questioned MTA Executive Director Michael Burns about the
decision process that led to seven million dollars in service "adjustments & efficiencies"
and over 100 employee layoffs. Supervisor Sandoval has proposed a Charter
Amendment to improve oversight of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
Transport Workers Union Local 200
San Francisco, CA 94115 twulocal200.org
Seven Million Dollar Questions
on Service Cuts
$7 million of service cuts and 135 jobs lost, says MTA management, are needed to
balance its 2004-2005 budget – on paper. Before rubberstamping management’s
pennywise, pound-foolish rush to ‘balance’ a paper budget at expense of riders,
employees, environment and resources wasted on unnecessary overtime, the MTA
Board must get answers to these questions:
1. Can we trust management projections that
annually underestimate resources?
A review of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report vs the “Joint Report”
shows General Fund balances consistently exceed projections. Even the 6-month and
9-month projections grossly underestimate fund balances. Comparison Chart "Joint Report" vs Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Comparison including 3, 6 & 9 Month Reports
2. Can Muni afford $1 million in additional capital
outlays from its operating budget?
Why should resources available to fund service and jobs instead buy ‘historic
3. Should Muni spend $6.2 million of its operating
budget on new capital projects?
Is this just another case of, no matter service cuts or layoffs, the concrete never sets
at Muni? Does a shortage of hotel rooms demand $2.2 million of operating resources
be spent immediately on the Mission-Steuart hotel project? And $1.7 million for 3rd
Street Community Outreach & Pedestrian Monitors? We live in & support the Hunters
Point/ Bayview community, but this is a construction expense. Don't cut service &
layoff employees to cover up problems in a construction project.
4. Are $900,000 budgeted for ‘other current
expenses’ worth cutting service and jobs?
What are ‘other current expenses’ anyway and will they actually be spent – or just
5. If MTA cannot provide vital services or pay
workers, why transfer $2.7 million from Muni’s
operating budget to MTA’s own DPT?
The resources are available for use as MTA chooses; what does management’s mean
saying the transfer is being made “to correctly balance General Fund support
between the two departments?” Isn’t MTA one agency or not?
6. With mandated service levels, how can
eliminating jobs not increase overtime?
Overtime hours this year are ten times budgeted after MTA refused to fill positions
because mandated service levels were provided by our members working unwanted
overtime. If positions are eliminated as proposed in management’s budget, overtime
hours worked will increase far over budget levels. While the DPT’s proposed budget
includes a line-item for overtime, where is Muni’s overtime budget?
7. Can MTA pick and choose which CEQA
requirements it can ignore to cut service?
MTA service cuts are enjoinable and must be approved by state & federal
environmental and transportation agencies led by Schwarzenegger’s Department of
Planning & Research. Even if MTA escapes censure and fines, how much more is
budgeted to pay City Attorney staff?