Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998
Press Release

ATU Local 998 Challenges MCTS 2020 ‘Budget Hole’ Projection

Preliminary investigation points to millions of over projected MCTS operating expenses since 2015

By - Aug 29th, 2019 07:58 am

MILWAUKEE – The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998 is demanding answers after a preliminary investigation by economic consultant Peter Donohue found that the County’s 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) showed Milwaukee County Transit System’s actual operating expenses were under budget by $16.53 million from mostly over budgeting MCTS personnel expenses. A look at previous CAFRs since 2015 show that $39.93 million budgeted for MCTS personnel expenses have gone unspent, but the investigation won’t be complete until the County provides financial information requested.

ATU Local 998 President James Macon released the following statement regarding these findings:

“Milwaukee’s transit system is the economic backbone of the region. To siphon away tax dollars earmarked for the public transit is unconscionable. Year after year we are asked to make cuts. Buses are becoming more dangerous, routes are disappearing, and many riders have to walk excessive distances to get to the nearest bus stop.

“Based on these preliminary findings, we challenge Milwaukee County Transit System’s ‘budget hole’ narrative. We believe County Executive Chris Abele and MCTS are once again over budgeting their expenses in an attempt to justify cutting vital bus routes and hurting transit workers.

“This changes everything for our members. It raises serious questions about the integrity of MCTS’s claims that they are broke. We call on Milwaukee County to stop dragging its feet and provide the financial information requested.”

Read more about the preliminary findings here. 

ATU Local 998 members have scheduled contract and work action authorization votes on September 5, 2019.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998, established in 1934, represents over 1,100 active members in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha and Sheboygan. Our members are the bus drivers, mechanics, station attendants, and other support personnel who make safe, efficient, and affordable public transportation possible. Learn more at ATU998.org.

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