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Pittsburgh port authority signs off on FY09 budget


During the past year, Port Authority of Allegheny County managers, non-union employees and passengers have had to make sacrifices because of a budget deficit. Now, the authority is asking union employees to do the same to balance the next fiscal-year budget.

Last week, the port authority approved a $350.2 million fiscal-year 2009 operating budget that assumes at least $10 million in cost reductions through negotiations with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85, the agency’s largest labor union. The authority is proposing to work with the union to rein in healthcare and post-retirement benefit costs.

Between FY2002 and FY2009, healthcare costs have skyrocketed from $38.8 million to a projected $67.9 million, while pension contributions have risen from $1.2 million to $16 million, the port authority said.

The authority implemented a 15 percent county-wide service reduction in June 2007 and raised fares on Jan. 1 to help cover a budget deficit in FY2008. In addition, the authority froze wages and increased health care contributions for non-union employees, and eliminated three senior management positions.

Meanwhile, the authority also adopted a $241.7 million FY2009 capital budget that includes funds to construct the North Shore Connector light-rail project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/30/2008