PCAC Testimony – May 10, 2019 – Emergency OT Meeting


PCAC Testimony Before the MTA Board
Special Meeting
May 10, 2019

Good afternoon, I am Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA – PCAC.

The MTA should be monitoring overtime – and all of its expenditures – on a regular basis, not just when the annual salary and overtime study hits the press. Since the stories broke last week, we’ve heard a variety of rumors and directives, so we are glad that this meeting is taking place to help bring the facts to light. We do, however, wish that an agenda had been posted on the website, and question whether the emergency was such that a meeting needed to be scheduled on a Friday afternoon before what many people consider a holiday weekend.

Our primary concern is the safety of the riding public – we know that’s the MTA’s focus as well. The news articles reported seemingly impossible hours that could affect the safety of riders and workers. But we don’t know what’s true, that’s one of the things we’re here to learn. At the same time, we cannot believe that using the MTA Police to enforce OT hours is the best use of their time or enhances the safety of the riding public, so we hope that is also a rumor that will be put to rest today.

The public has a right to know how the MTA’s money – their money for all intents and purposes – is spent, and what precautions are in place and will be put in place to protect their investment. Questions we’ve heard: would fares have had to go up if unnecessary overtime was reduced? Why isn’t the MTA hiring to fill the vacancies where others need to fill in, cutting down on what’s spent, even if it increases headcount? Where are the checks and balances? How can this keep happening?

The public wants to know – we all want to know – what steps are being put in place to ensure that 2019 is the last year we’ll see headlines screaming about overtime at the MTA. Thank you.

Download here: 05102019Emergency OTMeeting