Released April 12, 2016, WMATA paid $1.7 million to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company to write a report that would move Metro toward regaining the trust of customers through improved safety, reliability and addressing financial challenges. While a good idea in concept, the report is full of ideas on how to outsource services, cut bus routes, decrease overtime opportunities and reduce pension commitments. All ideas targeted at harming Metro’s workforce.
MetroAccess is a service that provides 2 million rides a year to disabled customers unable to use traditional public transit. Local 689 represents more than 300 operators in the paratransit workforce of more than 500. The report recommends outsourcing the service to taxi services like Uber and Lyft, both entities that do not currently have to conform to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and pay lower wages to the drivers.
RESTRUCTURING OF RETIREE BENEFITS
The report lifts up recommendations to “provide a lump sum option that includes a rollover into another qualified plan that is managed by the member directly.” This is what a 401k plan is. On retiree medical, the report looks to “move to more consumer-driven healthcare design,” which would take ALL retirees out of the Transit Employees Health and Welfare system and into the marketplace.
The proposals are all set on a timeline of six months, less than a year, or more than a year, with all the rollout plans set to begin in January 2017.