Staffing changes and budget reductions reflect commitment to streamline management while minimizing impact on frontline employees.
7/6/09 Looking at the impact of the budget on Operations
Stephen R. Banta, Executive Director Operations
As you have heard from our general manager, TriMet is in the midst of unprecedented financial challenges that have resulted in service and staff reductions. In making the difficult decision to reduce service to the public, we committed to our riders and to our employees that we would do whatever possible to make reductions in areas that would minimally touch riders and employees. At this point we still have not had to lay off one represented employee, and we continue to hope that represented layoffs will be avoided through attrition.
In order to achieve that commitment, we have examined line items in every department of Operations to come up with targeted reductions in materials and services and the elimination of a number of open positions. There are open positions that we cannot do without, and you will see those posted in the future.
Additionally, some individuals accepted layoffs as part of our need to reduce administrative costs. For example, I am looking at how the Accessible Transportation Program can function without a director, and instead rely on clear communication and collaboration between managers in the department and my staff. A final decision will be made in the near future.
There have been reductions in overtime allotments in both maintenance and transportation. We will not be able to continue to over-expend our overtime budgets moving forward. An "all hands to the pump" attitude is required of each and every one of us to make this successful.
There has been a restructuring of Transportation Operations to better meet the needs of our riders and employees in this new financial environment. You can read more about the specific changes in Director of Transportation Peggy Hanson's memo. We are moving forward with a strong, yet streamlined management team consisting of only two assistant managers at each location. Their challenge is not doing more with less; rather, it is looking at how we can better support the delivery of our service to our customers. These changes offer opportunities for our staff to broaden their experience as a transportation management team.
I am confident that a shared commitment to the quality of our service will allow us to focus on meeting the challenges ahead.