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Jul 10

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Letter to the Editor: Pension fund is not the way to fix the T

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.

Jimmy O’Brien

President, Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589

Permanent link to this article: http://carmensunion589.org/2017/07/letter-editor-pension-fund-not-way-fix-t/

5 comments

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  1. kennedy

    Interesting to note that the press doesn’t report on the Baker administration’s extremely generous and very costly, above the industry standard 401K plan offered to MBTA management. Managers contribute just 4% to the 401K Plan, while the T provides a 100% match! Hmmm…funny how this generous plan isn’t considered a “budget buster” on weekly PP presentations. Rather we see an unrelenting, unfair assault on the hard working men and women who deliver the best possible service on antiquated equipment, signals, and trains! State Democratic Chairman Bickford is spot on! The Baker administration ought to be focused on addressing inept and incompetent MBTA management practices rather than serving to the whims of the radical right wing, Koch Brothers funded Pioneer Institute, whose main objective is to provide a false narrative to do away with middle class jobs and pensions.

  2. Bob

    Why don’t any one tell about the mbte paying into keoliss pension

  3. Bob

    Why don’t any tell about the mbte paying into keoliss pension

  4. Sully

    Where’s the smelald on this?

    ‘Summer of Hell’ at Penn Station kicks off this week
    http://nypost.com/2017/07/09/summer-of-hell-at-penn-station-kicks-off-this-week/

    74% of subway riders have been late to work due to delays in last 3 months, survey shows
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/74-subway-riders-late-work-due-delays-survey-article-1.3313203

  5. Mad bus driver

    Stop privatizing Jobs. That pay into the pension….
    Keep union jobs. Enforce the fare…. They spend millions on ridiculous stuff like roster picking cost 10 million dollars…. Work partners 600,000. Company cars. Cleaning compaies who dont clean.

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