Corbett says $25 million in Port Authority concessions not enough to trigger state funding
Even if Port Authority's largest labor union and management give up $25 million in concessions, Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday, it would not be enough for him to bail out the agency facing historic cuts.
During a stop in Beaver County, the Shaler Republican reiterated that the state won't provide funding to help close a $64 million deficit in Port Authority's $333.1 million budget until his administration sees “significant movement” from the agency to reduce expenses.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has said in recent weeks that he is trying to obtain $15 million in concessions from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 in ongoing contract talks, along with $10 million from Port Authority management. Fitzgerald said he believed such give-backs would help unlock added state funding of up to $35 million to prevent service cuts of 35 percent.
When asked if he considered such concessions enough to unlock the state money, Corbett said, “They have a ways to go yet.”
“They have to resolve their differences significantly before we can step in as a state.”
Corbett would not say what amount of concessions might prompt the state to step in.
ATU Local 85 President Steve Palonis wasn't taken aback by the governor's comments.
“In all fairness to the governor's statement, he is looking for more than just that 15 and 10 (in million-dollar concessions). Those are just up-front savings. That doesn't pertain to legacy costs,” Palonis said, referring to pension and retiree health-care costs.
The so-called legacy costs have risen 195 percent in eight years while all other expenses dropped 4 percent. They represent 21.5 percent of the agency's budget.
Palonis said reducing the long-term costs are a focal point of the contract talks.
“We're working on that,” he said, declining to offer specifics.
Fitzgerald and Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie declined to comment.
Staff writer Tim Puko contributed to this report. Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Burnett’s stellar start paves way for Pirates’ victory over Diamondbacks
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- Elites, media & character
- It’s business, but not as usual in Pittsburgh
- Young defensemen make case for future with Penguins
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Pitt AD Barnes has enjoyed varied career in college sports
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired