The Port Authority Contract: Reckless deal
The Port Authority of Allegheny County's new contract with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 is a reckless deal.
How can we say that? After all, the accord reached by the perennially struggling mass-transit agency with the traditionally unctuous (as in greasy) union results in $60 million in savings over four years, right? And draconian service cuts have been avoided, right?
Indeed. But the very same contract relies on phantom revenues that, if they materialize at all, surely will be secured by hook or by crook or by poison pill.
To wit, $3 million of the additional $4.5 million pledged to the authority by Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald is expected to come from the Regional Asset District tax, that 1 percent piggyback levy to the 6 percent state sales tax. The cudgel will be held high to get the RAD board to acquiesce. If it doesn't, the board will be packed with those who will.
Additionally, the commonwealth does not have in hand its pledged $35 million in bailout money.
And if none of the funny money comes through and additional cost-cutting is required, the union gets to go back to its old greasy contract, another cudgel designed to five-finger taxpayer bailout money.
As Jake Haulk of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy notes, this “cobbled-together can-kicking exercise” once again shows that nobody in government has the stomach for facing down the unions or promoting a different plan to provide service more efficiently.
And that's the definition of reckless.
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.
- Eagle egg breaks, parents abandon nest
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- Rogue Catholics in Society of St. Pius X to reopen West End church
- Couple taken into custody after 8-hour standoff in Hempfield
- Penguins coach Johnston’s mother dies
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- Cal U women win Division II national title with 86-69 win
- Pa. woman charged with forging docs to claim she was an attorney
- MLB commissioner: Pirates’ success starts in the front office
- Lombardi leads IUP to brink of men’s basketball national title