Boston Globe | July 10, 2017
The Boston Carmen’s Union has proved that we want to be a part of the solution at the MBTA. As the drivers, operators, and repairers of the buses, trolleys, and tracks, we know firsthand that the system needs significant investments.
But you can’t fix the MBTA by cutting employees and their benefits (“A smart proposal to overhaul MBTA pensions,” Editorial, July 3). Recently, the MBTA has focused on the MBTA Pension Fund to identify cost savings, but what has been shared publicly is inaccurate information dressed up as more slick PowerPoint presentations.
If the Baker administration wants to talk about the current status of the MBTA fund, we have to talk about how we got here. MBTA management refuses to take responsibility for its role in the pension fund. There are more retirees collecting a pension than employees paying into it — a result of management decision-making for decades, including three early-incentive retirement packages in the last two years while also seeking privatization of MBTA work.
The MBTA pension fund is on track to be fully funded by 2039, and we are confident that it will be. Nobody wants to ensure the financial viability of the pension fund more than we do.
Every day, I hear from the hard-working men and women at the MBTA, fearing that the very benefits they were guaranteed will be taken away. At a time when the middle class is dwindling, and a majority of Americans are unprepared for retirement, a pension employees can count on is more important than ever. We will meet management at the bargaining table, as we always have, to find a solution that protects the best interests of employees and helps the MBTA work to get the system back on track.
President, Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589