Local 589 Sues MBTA for Payroll System Failures


Media Contact:
Cayenne Isaksen
617-646-1028 | cisaksen@oneillandassoc.com


August 8, 2018 – The Boston Carmen’s Union filed a Class Action Lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday afternoon against the MBTA on behalf of its members, MBTA employees who have suffered as a result of failures of the MBTA payroll system implemented in July 2017.

Four named plaintiffs, and the Union, are included in the complaint. Each of the four plaintiffs has been repeatedly underpaid since the MBTA implemented its new payroll system in July 2017. Plaintiffs filed the appropriate claims, but the MBTA has failed to make required payments to address the deficiencies.

The MBTA claimed that this new payroll system was one of the initiatives that would modernize the MBTA, that it would, “bring organization to an environment that lacked organization.”

MBTA employees have been harmed by incorrect payment for their work in a variety of ways: erroneous hourly rates of pay, insufficient work hours credited, overtime work excluded or miscalculated, or paid leave incorrectly calculated. Hundreds of employees have been adversely affected by these miscalculations and incorrect payments.

“This is simply unacceptable,” said Jimmy O’Brien, President of the Boston Carmen’s Union. “Our members work hard, often in dangerous and hazardous conditions – the least the MBTA can do is pay them correctly for their work. They rely on their paychecks to help support their families and their livelihood. Morale at the T is the lowest it’s ever been, this is certainly not helping to make it any better. The MBTA promised a better, more efficient system but what we got is broken and mismanaged, and our members are the ones paying the price for it.”

The Union is seeking:

  • a comprehensive audit;
  • back-pay for employees who have been underpaid;
  • attorney’s fees;
  • a new system for checking time sheets and reconciling time sheets with paystubs; and,
  • an ongoing, efficient central location for employees to go to obtain payroll corrections by direct deposit within a week.

“We want to see a new system implemented, one that works, and one that provides employees with proper payment for a job well done,” said O’Brien. “I’m sure we can all agree that when you do your job, you should be accurately compensated for it. The MBTA’s misstep has become a burden to its employees, but instead of doing anything to fix it, the T has chosen to ignore it. Litigation wasn’t our first response, but the T has failed to respond appropriately to the harm their actions have caused their employees.”

The complaint is based on Wage and Hour laws. The Union has received “Right to Sue” letters from Attorney General Maura Healy.

About the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589

Founded in 1912, the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 is the largest of 28 unions with members employed by the MBTA. Over 4,100 MBTA employees are members of the Carmen’s Union, including: Bus Divers, Train (Subway) and Trolley Operators, Maintenance of Way and Repairmen, Money Room Employees, and Automated Fare Collection (AFC) Technicians, Customer Service Agents (CSA), Dispatchers, and Clerks. Local 589 is part of the Amalgamated Transit Union, comprised of over 180,000 transit workers across the United States and Canada.


Permanent link to this article: https://carmensunion589.org/2018/08/local-589-sues-mbta-for-payroll-system-failures/