Union leaders speak out against new CTA budget

November 16, 2011

City Desk

Some union leaders are speaking out against the Chicago Transit Authority's new budget.

On Tuesday, the CTA Board approved the agency's $1.24 billion budget proposal. The new budget avoids fare hikes or service cuts, but only if the CTA can get work rule concessions from labor unions. The CTA is hoping to close its $277 million budget short fall in large part through those negotiations.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 President Robert Kelly represents many CTA rail worker. He expects the plan to fail.

"To sit here and put that burden on our employees or pressure on me to get them that again is irresponsible, and quite frankly I don't think it's going to happen," said Kelly.

A spokesperson for CTA says the agency is scheduled to meet with union leaders on Tuesday of next week to start contract negotiations. The current contracts are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

President Forrest Claypool has said more than 1,000 CTA workers could be laid off if no agreement is reached.