Sources: Port Authority Union Plan Rejected

By: Jim Lokay

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Emotions are running high as the transit union and the Port Authority try to negotiate a deal that would avoid severe cuts in service.

This morning, a proposed concession deal between the Port Authority and the transit union fell through when Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato rejected the planned givebacks.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 president Pat McMahon was angry as he left the Allegheny County Courthouse after a meeting with Onorato this morning.

“What they want to do right here is exactly what’s going on in this country,” McMahon said. “It’s an assault on the working class, working America! They want to throw the labor movement under the bus! They want to bust this union and that’s what they’re doing! Exactly what’s going on in the whole country! It’s right here – Port Authority of Allegheny County!”

According to McMahon, the offer on the table involved the Port Authority drivers and mechanics giving up a proposed three percent increase in salary that was set to take place this year. Also, they would take a 10 percent across the board pay cut, resulting in about $11.6 million in savings.

Sources tell KDKA’s Marty Griffin the union numbers were unacceptable, not accurate and that the plan will not work.

Sources close to the negotiations say the only acceptable plan is the $30 million plan – $20 million in cuts and $10 million in revenue.

Union leaders say they will not accept that.

As things stand now, 15 percent of bus and trolley service will be cut on Sunday to bridge a massive operating deficit.

KDKA AM’s Larry Richert and John Shumway interviewed McMahon before this morning’s meeting. Listen to it here:

Jim Ritchie, the Port Authority’s spokesperson, later responded to McMahon’s comments:

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

Port Authority

Port Authority Union Says They Will Take “Historic” Cuts
Port Authority Says They Need At Least $30 Million To Stop Planned Cuts
Protesters Rally In Squirrel Hill Over Port Authority Cuts
Protest Held Over Public Transportation Privatization Proposal
More News on the Port Authority

  • Roxy Beer

    So more money wasted printing all the new schedules. If they save the cuts that is.

    • Georga

      Why does it never come up how top heavy the port authority is? Are they cutting any heads in the higher echelon? Are they taking any hits to their salaries or giving up their health care? Or how about the fact that the port authority just remodeled all of the offices at the Manchester building right before they decided to move down town and just leave everything behind, furniture, computers, etc. So now they pay rent for the offices in town while they should move back to empty office building that they already own in Manchester, or maybe it wasn’t big enough anymore for the secretary’s secretary’s secretary. Or the assistant to the assistant to the head of (fill in the blank). Also, is Dan Onorato willing to give up his health care or take a pay cut? Who do you think pays for that? The bus driver’s don’t all make 50 g’s a year either most of them are in the 35 thousand dollar range unless they work a lot of overtime. So there are a lot of ways port authority could save money if they would start at the top and then work down. Would you start to clean up a spill at the top or the bottom? If you start at the bottom it’s just gonna keep running down on you.

      • jeeperz

        Sorry Dallas…the tunnel project was in motion before Onorato was elected. I t would have been a bigger waste of money to stop it at that point rather than continue.

        Dont get me wrong, it should have been axed long before it even got to that point

      • Dallas

        Ah yes… I still remember the day Dan Onorato went to the Transit Union groveling for votes when he first ran for office, and yes they did support him, I’m just glad I didn’t. Throw more money into your stupid tunnel project moron.

    • Concerned Rider

      Yep, do you wonder if they had all the money back that they spent preparing for cuts that weren’t going to happen, that they could have avoided these budget deficits all together??

  • Bob McBob

    This is just great, waiting two days before the cuts take place to decide it’s time to do something. No matter how much Pittsburgh improves the people running the show have a “one step forward, two steps back” approach to handling the fiscal crisis we’re in.

  • prco

    Why does it take the people who actually do the work in a company to figure out how to make it work? The people that decide what goes on at Port Authority have no clue how to even drive or ride a bus and make more money than the drivers!!!!! Would you get on an airplane that the filight attendents make more than the pilots? Let people who know the job do the job and it would save alot of money in the long run.

    • Ef PAT Drivers

      Are you seriously comparing driving a bus to flying a plane? What a ludicrous idea. I don’t care what you say, but driving a bus is a low skill job and deserves to be paid as such. I’d love to see one of the drivers attempt to do half the work one of the strategic planners of PAT do. This union needs stopped.

      • Vicsbean

        @ Ef PAT Drivers

        Obviously you work @ Port Authority. What are you really doing in the Heinz Center right now? Not your job!

        You are on on the internet badmouthing your bread and butter!

      • So sorry!

        They need to start working within there budgets. The union had a purpose many years ago, but not working in todays world. Sorry, but thats how it goes. Im a small bus. owner and I dont even have health care for life. Come on people catch up. Work your butt off and live within your means!

      • sammy

        Actually driving a plane is much safer as all of the passengers are screened for weapons……..In addition, there are more objects to dodge on our streets than in the sky. You have a co-pilot and you do not have to collect money from passengers. You are right, there is no comparison…….THE UNION NEEDS SUPPORT!!!!

      • kirk

        you said driving a bus is easy , you should try it . if the strategic planner makes a mistake , so what, if a driver or a mechanic makes a mistake someone could die,
        ill bet a guy off the street would do the planners job for $8.00 an hour

    • Bust it danny

      They cut the Marshall/cranberry routes simply to try to get the people in the “rich” north to oppose the cuts. Why else would the PAT cut two of it’s most profitable routes? Talk about biting your nose off to spite your face!

      Another thing – I saw a sign that said “transit fix, tax the rich”. What on earth makes these people think that they are entitled to cheap public transportation on my dime? The people that use the service should pay for the service.

      Watch how profitable Lenzner is – because he’s a business man, not a government/union hack!

  • Beatrice C.

    I’ll go for the cuts just take off the zone charges it’s so stupid this city isn’t even that big for zones its just one community

    • Vicsbean

      What routes do you operate on Beatrice?

      • Ef PAT Drivers

        Actually, I earned a graduate degree in a highly skilled and sought after area of computer technology. I was smart enough to realize that a job driving a bus (can’t chimps be trained to do this?) in a county where the majority of people rely on their own means of transportation was not the smartest of career choices. I am also smart enough to negotiate my own salary and benefits without having to pay other people to do so.

        Let me guess, you voted for Corbett and now you are going to cry when funding for your low level, i am barely literate job gets slashed even more?

      • Vicsbean

        I can tell! By your “USER NAME’! LOL

        And you cant even figure out how to reply on a message board!

      • TOM

        Ef Pat Drivers, just because you hold a degree does not mean that you are intelligent, your comments suggest that you aren’t.

  • Mill Hunk

    Now that the cuts are going to happen and the Public isn’t coming to the rescue, the Union wants to make concessions. What a joke, they need to go into Chapter 11 and re-organize if they want to survive.

    • Vicsbean

      Thats funny stuff! Cant drop that name though!

      TOUGH GUY! You learned that in the MILL? HUNK?

      Some reason, I do not believe you!

      • Mill Hunk

        I guess you never had a job where you had to really work, try the 3-11 in the summer and have to take salt pills and consume a of water. Believe what you want Skippy.

      • dansuxs

        Threats and intimidation…typical union tactics. If you can’t win a discussion go with what worked for you guys in past.

      • Vicsbean

        Yes Mill Hunk! Quit intimidating me!

    • Vicsbean

      Please explain how and why taking cuts are / is a joke?

      Typical random statement!

      Are you really a “MILL HUNK?” I doubt it! If you were, you would be making a real living wage! So what do you make?

      • Mill Hunk

        Born and raised on the SS, worked summers in that hell hole called the Mill, but took the college route. I still put my 50-60 hrs of work in a week, I’m not union, and I do make a good 6 figure salary, so shove it bean head.

    • Bust it danny

      They drive a freakin vehicle for christ’s sake! And a good bit of them can’t even do that well. $10 an hour should be plenty with the benefits they get.

  • Sandi Albertini

    Whatever it takes to come up with a workable solution for all is a Plus. All sides need to listen and learn to compromise. Most of the drivers I have had in the 30 plus years I have been riding bus deserve favorable pay and benefits. The ones with poor attitudes should be paid least, but those drivers were very few in my years riding the bus. WE NEED THE BUSES. Plain and simple. And yes I continue to pray to God that everyone learns to do whats best.

  • Brian T

    I have to thank the union for trying. I need the bus and hate seeing the way we attack working class.

    • Vicsbean

      True Brian. The last contract the arbiter settled included 96 million in driver and maintenance concessions.

      The arbiter concluded in the final brief: “It is important to maintain a true living wage in the Pittsburgh region”

      And least the “UNION” wage sets a scale and you would thing for others to try to reach.
      But no, MILL HUNK would rather have everyone DOWN to his level. Like the dumbing down of America, the dumbing down of a living wage.

      Trust me, operators take a cut, it IS a trickle down cut for all involved, and that is the working poor!

      • Vicsbean

        Steve, I did not say that!

        “Trust me, operators take a cut, it IS a trickle down cut for all involved, and that is (to) the working poor!”

        I added (to).

      • Steve

        You’re going to compare PAT bus drivers to “working poor?” What world do you live in?

  • dansuxs

    The Port Authority is a perfect example for the reason the State of Minnesota voted to remove the collective bargaining agreements for PUBLIC employees.

    I have no problem with unions representing workers rights when large corporations are taking advantage of people. BUT when dealing with public money it simply can’t work. Socialism is a great idea, but eventually you run out of other people’s money.

    • Michael

      Amen to that, dansuxs.

      And, Dan does suck.

      • Save Our Transit

        dansuxs: Re: “I thought the Danny O drink tax was supposed to fix all the Port Authority’s money problems?” That might have put a band-aid on it IF Port Authority had actually GOTTEN any of that money. But of course they did not. I’m sure it wouldn’t have completely stopped the bleeding. And where IS all that drink tax money? And Danny O wanted the ATU to back him for the governor’s race but he’s not willing to help them at all now. I wonder if it would have been any different if he had actually won.

    • Vicsbean

      Listen, There ARE a LOT OF OVERPAID people at Port Authority! Operators and mechanics are NOT two of them.

      Now, there are SERVICE personal like janitors and ways maintainers and grass cutters and such! I agree!

      • dansuxs

        Vicsbean, The Port Authority is cutting the profitable routes to save the less profitable routes? This is a diminishing return and backwards thinking.

      • Vicsbean

        dansuxs ANY ROUTE that the port has eliminated could have been taken by any company or individual and they could have created a service. MOST all were not profitable! No takers there!

        There are NO OPERATORS at PORT that want to see the TDP not work.

        They are invested in the whole deal.

        The Marshall and Franklin routes are unique.

        They were picked up because they paid for themselves.

        Washington County has a over $10.00 subsidy per rider in their system. Ports subsidy is just over $3.00 per rider.

        There is no comparison between the two as far as number of passengers go, but it is a GOOD ratio compared to the country as a whole!

        There are many profitable routes in the Port. They help subsidizes the less and non profitable routes.

        Dr Heffner seems to believe that the city can survive without a good public transportation system. If Pittsburgh did not have the Steelers, Buccos and the PENS, and the PITT PANTHERS, it would be a back water jerk town.
        And without a solid public transportation system, it will be the same.

        And for anyone who believes that a chimp can run a public transportation bus, just GOOGLE bus driver stress!

        Like this one!

      • dansuxs

        I thought the Danny O drink tax was supposed to fix all the Port Authority’s money problems?

    • Vicsbean

      Is it like “PAYCHECK ENVY”?

      • Vicsbean


      • dave

        Vicsbean, don’t you have a job or do you get paid to stand up for a union that is obviously milking the people?

    • Vicsbean

      So are you saying then that it OK for large governments to take advantage of workers?

      NICE! LOL

      • Vicsbean


        Public transportation is not a failed social program. It is a mismanaged program, indeed!

      • Vicsbean

        Dude! I know that. Public transportation in Pittsburgh is no different than public transportation anywhere in the WORLD!

        That is why it is called “PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION”!

        If public transportation exists because of the extreme liabilities involved, then it makes sense that it is subsidized!
        The whole premise is to have transportation to the working poor. The two routes being taken over by Lenzner are unique in themselves!

        But sadly, they are PROFITABLE to Port Authority and help subsidize to unprofitable routes!

        Port Authority has eliminated many routes the past 5 years. ANY PERSON could have started a transportation business on any one of them! Why has nobody done so?

        So once again. More welfare because MANY people will lose their means to get to work! Some will choose to quit because they will have a excuse!

        You all know about LIABILITY and assigning liability, right?

      • dansuxs

        Vicsbean, I’m saying it’s not ok for large governments to over tax it’s citizens to keep paying for failed social programs.

        The port authority needs to be run like any other business and be accountable for it’s expenditures.

      • Steve

        There’s no “taking advantage”. If you don’t like what you’re being offered, you have all the rights to quit and go elsewhere. Heck, and if you think you can run a company better, you even have the right to start up your own company!

      • dansuxs

        The Duquesne Incline is privately run and operates just fine with ZERO public subsidy. No crazy pension benefits for retired employees and it doesn’t break down all the time like the Mon incline run by the Port Authority…Just how do they do it?

      • Vicsbean

        Steve You do know there are sweat shops in this country! Do you?

    • Shifty

      Isn’t it amazing it always comes down to the unions making too much money. They are working class not rich by any means. Why don’t you look at all the waste management costs the taxpayers, they are still at Heinz while they have a perfectly good building sitting empty. How much money and benefits do they get for not managing properly. Driving is a very hard job mentally and sometimes physically, most of which are very professional and provide a much needed service in the community. Think you better realize it is a large corporation not only taking advantage of the workers rights but also the tax payers money.

  • cliff

    they need to show the people what EVERYBODY makes from mechanic s to the people in the office and let the people see how over paid they are need to privatize the whole system

    • Vicsbean

      And be paid like you Cliff?

    • Save Our Transit

      Why do they “need” to do this? Apparently all of you who write such horrible things about the Port Authority must already know what EVERYBODY makes. I think you would be very surprised to know what the mechanics and drivers actually DO make. It isn’t nearly as high as you all seem to believe. They certainly aren’t becoming rich on their wages. Yes, it’s a DECENT-paying job but it’s not making anybody a millionaire. The majority of the Port Authority employees are NOT making the “good 6 figure salary” that Mill Hunk (above) says he makes. I wonder what he does that he thinks he’s worth that kind of money.

  • Dr. Heffner

    they should eliminate these greedy union buzzards, then service would improve

    • Vicsbean

      Dr Heffner! Either you are a Dr. or you are a womanizer! What is it?

      If you are a Dr, have you overcharged Medicaid or Medicare lately?


    • PAUL


  • Mike Mcpearson

    Pat Transit would have money if they. they dumped Millions of dollars
    in that hole in the ground.
    Let the people that run the port authority & the bus drivers take a pay cut.
    They need to be thankful they are working.

    • Save Our Transit

      Mike Mcpearson: Did you read the article on which you commented? The union DID offer to take wage and pension cuts. And Dan Onorato rejected the offer. He said it’s noit “real money”. He obviously is not willing to work with the union to resolve the problem.

      • Torocaca

        Lets see – this deal from the union was to give back the 3% not given to them until January 2012 and to require the union members to pay 10% into the union pension fund. Wow, that’s really clear how that would “cut” expenses from the Port Authority budget- give back what you have’nt even received yet (though they did get a 3% raise in January 2011, but let’s not worry about that), and contribute more to their own pension fund.

  • Dr. Heffner

    these union buzzards forget that they are nothing more than public servants. They should be paid the same as the average worker period, with no pensions etc. This garbage of paying people to do nothing must stop. If they want to make the big bucks, they should have stayed and paid attention in school, and become a professional at something. All public employee unions should be abolished immediately. Shame on Onorato for not reigning this garbage in

    • Vicsbean

      And you can sit in your office and order tests for your patients that they do not need and bill Medicaid and Medicare and get rich! Right?

      The truly big picture is that even DOCTORS are “PUBLIC FEEDING BUZZARDS”!

      Very RICH public feeding buzzards at that!

      Or you perceive yourself as Hugh Hefner and do nothing but womanize? ; )

    • Just Curious

      “Dr.” Heffner: Obviously you must be speaking of another company. The Port Authority workers DO actually work. Have you ever ridden a bus? Amazingly, they don’t drive themselves. And the operators definitely don’t “make the big bucks” as you wrote. Just out of curiosity, what is “the average worker” paid? And why do youi think they shouldn’t get a pension?

  • Vicsbean

    I have a old uncle who lives on Shenandoah Dr.Has for years! I ask him, WHY?

    • Dice

      Well cmon Vics you know it right? It’s all those greedy, yes Thousandnairs, who are ‘sucking the life’ out of the country. EFF them right? We can find people for $8.00 an hour to drive that bus…perfectly fine right? LOL
      Where the hell were all these people to cash in on the jack potpot by signing up for the cushy driver job? What’s the excuse for not applying? Not willing to do the job? Not qualified to dio the job? afraid to do the job? Got turned down from the job? Driver jobs were available up until recently. Where were these people? It’s really easy to come on here and criticize people’s middleclass wages when you never did or were willing to do the job in the first place.
      $53,000 a year job with a pension and affordable health care. When the hell did the working man become the enemy? Midddle class on middleclass- and the right wing republicans are loving it.

      • Dave

        Please explain “the working man.” As far as I know, all the people voicing their dissatisfaction with PAT are WORKING people. My guess is that you mean “govt/union people”. Newsflash, the rest of us “work” too. And we don’t like paying for THEIR pension. We pay ours, they can pay theirs.

      • Dice

        Yeah, that’s exactly what I said, middleclass people going at the throats of other middleclass people.And believe me, I’m sure you are a part of the “working man” catagory as well. Bottom line is this is a $53,000 per year job. Are you trying to claim this driver job is anything other than middleclass? You may not like to hear that but that’s what it is, that’s what a lot of you arguing against..a middleclass job. That’s what’s going on in America today: the working class/middleclass going at each other, a lot of it based on jealousy and a lot of misinformation, while the rich keep getting richer and the wealth just keeps getting more concentrated at the top. And you have people on here bashing, like i said , these THOUSANDNAIRS like they’re the scourge of the country because somebody has a f@#kin’ pension or affordable healthcare.

        And are you trying to say that the drivers don’t pay for their pensions?Because that’s uninformed bs.

        The current drivers are under a whole different contract situation than previous retirees were. They are not the ones causing or caused this mess, but of course that’s the first group that gets attacked because they are the first and usually only ones the public thinks of when they hear the words ‘Port Authority”….and like was said before, they are the ONLY ones accountable for anything at the Port Authority.
        And again I’ll ask if you’re so convinced that this is such an over-compensated job that doesn’t take much to do, why weren’t you applying for it? Because I can guarantee one thing with absolute certainty (and I’m not talking about any other job at PAT but driver) you do this job for one week, and you see what goes on and what kind of mentality you need to do this job, you wouldn’t be questioning their wages. One week…if that. Somebody on here tried to compare it to a school bus driver….LOL well i have yet to see a school bus driver driving through St Claire Heights at 11:30PM at night.

      • Zoeyzotron

        Well said DAVE!!!!

        the bottom line is that the 10% pay cut does not = balanced budget. It is the Pensions and healthcare along witht he paycuts.


      • Mary

        Will you please listen……… current employeesnare having to bear the brunt of all your criticisms. Retirees are KILLING Port Authority.
        Current employees:
        Concessions last contract including TRIPLING their health care contributions.
        Zippo. Nada. Free healthcare.
        Start getting THAT resolved and PAT will be able to keep their head above water.
        But I understand that can not legally be touched. Unfortunately, current employees are being singled out to take more concessions and those concessions will not even begin to solve the ‘legacy costs’

      • Big Daddy Kahuna

        Well, let’s not say that. Bus drivers making $60,000+ per year? Don’t think that the retirees alone are KILLING PAT!

      • Torocaca

        “Concessions last contract including TRIPLING their health care contributions”: Yep, going from 0 (zero) contributions to 3% is really a killer for those current employees Mary. The entitlement mentality is losing ground because the people that have it have lost the ways of removing the funds from other people as other people no longer have it to entitle them to it.

      • Mary

        What do you want the current employees to do? Retirees way outnumber them. No matter what they do, it won’t be enough to help with the lhese costs.

      • dansuxs

        Unfortunately the current Port Authority employees have to pay for the sins of their predecessors (and former CEO). Currently there are more retired employees receiving pension benefits then the Port Authority currently employs. Not to mention years of employees inflating and spiking their pensions. If they really want to save public transportation they have address the crazy pension benefits.

      • Vicsbean

        dansuxs, Exactly right!

        I wonder were Zoeyzotron works and how many government contracts he lives off of at his place of employment?

        My guess is many!

      • Mary

        I think all people here would be amazed if they were able to find out how much THEIR EMPLOYER
        *was affected by
        *directly or indirectly was compensated by
        *some form of government
        *public funded money
        *government contract
        *public association.
        YOUR PAYCHECK is NOT squeaky clean from public funds/government money!!

  • John

    Why did the union wait until now to offer these concessions?

    • Vicsbean

      A month ago Bland called the union and asked if the union would open up their contract. The answer was yes. Bland said they would get back to them.

      A month later, here they are. And the county turnd down the union proposal of 18 mill in concessions. Oh well, as Bland once told the people on Sharps Hill, “get a good pair of shoes”!

  • Mary Jo Hess

    Where were the concessions weeks ago? The caller that just called in said he would take a $500 cut in pay if you do the math that means he is making $3846 per pay with all his benefits they get also. Don’t we wish we could even have all there benefits.

  • Shane

    Hey jack wagons,what needs to happen is do away with the port authority altogether.Everytime a bus goes by except during morning and evening rush they are either empty or three people are riding the bus.Let a private company come in and manage the system like it should be ran and i will bet that fares go down and service goes up.Thoes jack wagons that run the place are unsuitable to run a candy store.They’ve always been that way and they always will.Whatever,i have a car so i dont care what happens,busses are for inbreds anyway,or people like POPPY,how you like me know?

    • Save Our Transit

      Jack wagon, I mean Shane: Fares won’t go down with a private company. We pay next to nothing now and yet some of us still gripe when fare hikes are suggested. Lenzner is charging $10 for riders to come from Cranberry into town? That’s more than Port Authority. But Mr. Lenzner said it’s his usual rate. So that makes it okay.

      • Truth

        Exactly SOT. The RIDERS should be bearing the cost of their transportation.

      • Zoeyzotron

        its a choice, you do not have to ride it.

    • Vicsbean

      You have no real knowledge of public transportation nor how it is funded and why it is funded. Your final word about having a car so you do not care and inbreds say volumes as to who you really are!

      Your a typical American J A! If you can drive 90, spit and litter you think you are free! LOL

      And unless you are a millionaire, you ARE NOT a REPUBLICAN! They do not want you! Just your vote!

      • Zoeyzotron

        you may be the most out of touch person on here VICSBEAN… Seriously.

    • barbinator

      Actually you must be the inbred moron if you think that’s who rides buses. Working class office workers, college students, elderly, handicapped, unemployed people on their way to interviews, working mothers taking off from work to take their kids to doctors – you sheltered ignorant fool. And if there are no buses to take decent hardworking college educated taxpayers to their jobs and those companies suffer, this city will collapse. Then you can drive your car to another city and look for a job there where there is decent bus service so that city can function. A city can only function if all its citizens band together and support another, not have your attitude – I’m for myself and the heck with everyone else. Do Pittsburgh a favor and get out.

  • Sandi

    Everyone rides the bus from students to very educated people. We ride the buses because it decreased the stress levels for some. Others riding the bus is a necessity. We Need The Bus Service. We need qualified drivers that earn a decent wage without gouging the company and we need company types to give consessions too. It will be interesting to see the response from Steve Bland on the unions offer and Dan Onorato’s. If the cuts proceed with a dumb statement then this is what they wanted all along. To close the Harmar Garage and to lay off or retire senior operators. Yes I am educated white and I prefer to ride a bus to work. It saves on wear and tear on my car and it reduces my stress level from not having to sit in traffic. Let’s find a compromising solution for everyone.

  • JJ

    Unions are sucking the life out of this countries economy. I hope the younger generation that will be running the future workforce is paying attention to all of this and do their part to bring down these worthless unions. There are plenty of people that would be happy to drive a bus for less and not expect anywhere near what these PAT workers are getting now. I am not saying pay slave wages, just pay a fair wage and benefits for what the job is.

    • Vicsbean

      JJ What is the operators job? Do you know?

    • pete

      jj, you probably couldnt drive a bus, let alone pass drug test

      • Save Our Transit

        Amen, Pete!

    • Dice

      Yeah JJ, all those teachers and bus drivers and janitors..all those greedy Thousandairs, the greedy middleclass thousandairs that are the problem with the world…and the 11% who work in unions….let’s race to the bottom see how quickly we drive trhose $53,000 a year wages to $30,000. Get rid of that middleclass little by little.
      And whether you know it or not, that’s exactly what you are saying, ‘let’s pay them Wallmart wages”. I’m sure you could find people to drive a bus for $13.00 an hour with no pension, no benefits…what kind of people though? You going to raise a family on that?….I’m sure you could find someone to be a cop or a firefighter (two other public service jobs) as well for $28,000 a year in this economy…..does that make it right? Let’s race to the bottom. Middleclass people going at the throats of other middleclass people…pathetic.

      • Zoeyzotron

        HEY DICE – WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD. Most of us start out earning in the upper 20 or lower 30s… WAKE UP!

      • Zoeyzotron

        DICE – I am sorry but compensation is defined as WAGE + BENEFITS. If you want to ffactor in Teachers pension that can be worth MILLION (yes, millions) then I am all for taxing the “wealthly more” .

        Just so you know… in PA a teachers pension under PSERS is 85% of their top three earning years… Many Many districts top out in the 90 and 100s (look it up below). Lets be “modest” and say they get 75,000 a year. retiring at say 53 heck, 55. If they live 20 years (easily expected) their pension is worrth 1.5 million + periodic cost of living adjustments and in many districts FREE or CHEAP HEALTHCARE for up to 7 years…. On top of all that, they get for a lousy 200,000 that the average teacher contributes over a career…. which they can take out upon retirement as a LUMP SUM… That is the BEST DEAL AROUND! Its also UNSUSTAINABLE and will have to go.

        Read it and weap…

      • Vicsbean

        Dice! Beautiful man! “THOUSANDAIRS! ”

        The dumbing down of the American wage!

        We feel we are part of the solution. They want to make us part of the problem!

  • Mary

    Unions taking over?? Really???? Union membership is at an all time low in this country!! Dont saddle all of this countries economic woes on the backs of unions!
    For people who are ‘educated’ commenting on this forum, it would be appreciated if you actually knew the facts instead of giving the news media carte-blanc.
    Union had been trying to talk about concessions for a month…Bland said he will “get back to them”..

    And will you please try and be a little more polite when speaking of others? The personal critcisms, below-the-belt, EXTREMELY poor taste and judgmental remarks…please…
    Figures when you cant make a true, educated, rational comment…you have to lash out like the real person you are!!! Are you in school? Are you children?
    Have some respect for yourself and others.

    • Barbara S

      Well said. I was on this forum last night and kept getting viciously attacked by these inbred ignorant morons until I reported them.

  • Dr. Heffner

    Privatize the Port Authority, you will get better service and cleaner buses. Socialism has not worked anywhere. Sonner or later you run out of other people’s money. That is waht is really taking place.

    • Vicsbean

      Yes Dr. great prognosis! That is of course you may be Capital Walnut in Shadyside. You know, the multi million dollar real estate company that got MILLIONS in corperate welfare to build Bakery Square!

      And we know you AINT NO DOCTOR!

  • Motivate

    Eliminate the port authority! Buy a car, walk, or stay home!

    • Vicsbean

      Is that like SPIT, LITTER and SPEED, and you are a “FREE AMERICAN” A Hole!

    • publictransit4pittsburgh


      Maybe you need motivated to think about this from a different perspective. For just a moment – consider individuals like seniors, the disabled (not just those in wheelchairs – but try thinking about epilepsy, diabetes, blindness, etc. that also make people unable to drive) Think about the weather we have in our area and then maybe you will realize why we need public transit for our community

      • PAUL


    • Barbara S

      Not an option for people that have to pay rent, eat, and support their family and they don’t drive or are unable to drive physically. Get your head out of the sand, you sheltered idiot.

  • William Miller, PHD

    I just caught this article on my lunch break, Dr. Heffner has the right idea, eliminate the union, privatize the Port Authority, get this poorly run entity off of the backs of the taxpaying public. This nonsense has been going on much to long.

  • Tried Of paying for Nothing

    Port Authority is broken, shut it down and fix it!!! Its funny that the union waited so long to finally talk about concessions, what took them so long? There is nobody to blame for this mess other than the union, if this were a provate business it would have been out of business a long time ago. Anybody remember the steel industry?? Looks pretty familiar other than they are playing with public dollars.

    • Dan

      Another I don’t know any of the facts poster. Please, if your going to comment please at least know what you’re commenting on! I’m sick of reading post from people who think they know the whole story but don’t and have not bothered to!!!

  • Linda Levant

    If the board at Port Authority wants a !0% concession given back by the Union members, why is the board not giving back at least 10% as well?
    Why does it seem that concessions are put upon the poor man and not the rich man? Is this Robin Hood in reverse?

  • maryj

    They should stop wasting so much money on unnecessary things, like the green and yellow marker poles. On the garage in South Hills village that is 1/2 empty all the time. The big wheel make more money than anyone and they never get wage frezes like other people who work for the county.

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