Showing posts with label amalgamated transit union. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amalgamated transit union. Show all posts

Thursday, December 8, 2016

MARTA’s Keith Parker honored as 2016 Public Official of the Year; ATU Local 732 may disagree

Governing magazine has named MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith Parker as one of its 2016 Public Officials of the Year, but MARTA’s union may not agree with that assessment.

The magazine’s Publisher Mark Funkhouser writes that in the group of eight individuals honored this year, he sees some common traits:

“Among the group of eight, I see some common traits that reflect the evolution of politics and management in state and local government, such as moderation, collaboration, and a focus on smart financial management.”

Mr. Parker’s listed accomplishments include launching a safety campaign on MARTA’s trains and buses, decreased wait times, reopened bathrooms, giving employees bonuses, and finishing his first year with a $9 million surplus, instead of the $33 million deficit that was projected before he came in.

Governing bills itself as the nation's leading media platform covering politics, policy and management for state and local government leaders.

In its profile, the magazine says that Parker helped MARTA build trust with riders and the general public, which resulted in approval of a referendum in November that resulted in a $2.5 billion investment for rail expansion for MARTA.

Outsourcing Paratransit

Keith Parker’s relationship with the MARTA union has not been as smooth.

The magazine does not mention the MARTA union’s dispute with the system over the outsourcing of MARTA’s paratransit service.

In a Transformation Road Map prepared by KPMG, the consultancy has recommended that MARTA explore outsourcing its paratransit service as a means of reducing costs. Five-year savings could range from a loss of $15,390,000 to a savings of $42,940,000.

This proposal has been opposed by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732, which has offered a cost-saving MARTA Mobility proposal, which the union claims includes a series of recommendations to help the agency achieve its cost and efficiency goals. 

In response, the MARTA Board of Commissioners voted to table their decision to privatize the federally mandated service. 

The dispute still figures prominently on the union’s web site under:

Governing writes that “Today, Parker is regarded by many as the man who saved MARTA, but he is focused on the work ahead. ‘We’re not doing any victory laps yet,’ he says.”