BOSTON -- In a desperate attempt to preserve the status quo, the bosses at the Carmen's Union are making clear: they'll hold vital MBTA infrastructure upgrades hostage if Governor Baker's common-sense reforms are implemented. The union is threatening to target federal funds for the T if the reform measures are passed - even as the Governor takes decisive action to ensure those same funds are used to protect commuters from another winter catastrophe. Democrats - led by Senate President Rosenberg - continue to oppose elements of the reform package, and have stayed silent on the union's extremist tactics.
The Carmen's Union has threatened to target federal funds if Governor Baker's common-sense reform package is passed. "The MBTA’s largest employee union is vowing to sue the state, or petition the federal government to cut off millions of dollars in aid for the agency, if state lawmakers approve a key provision of Governor Charlie Baker’s T overhaul plan." (David Scharfenberg, "MBTA union vows fight over Baker’s plan for agency," Boston Globe, 5/27/15)
Governor Baker is acting to ensure that those funds are invested in a Winter Resiliency Fund for the MBTA to prevent another winter catastrophe.
"Baker, joined by Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and MBTA Interim MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, announced a $82.7 million MBTA “Winter Resiliency Plan” Thursday, to be rolled out over the next five years.
"It will be funded through $62 million in federal formula funds for capital investments, $10 million in non-federal, MBTA capital funds, and $11.7 million in operating funds, the Governor’s Office says." (Kyle Clauss, "Gov. Baker Unveils $82.7 Million MBTA Winter Resiliency Plan," Boston Magazine, 6/5/15)
Democrats in the Legislature - including leaders like Senate President Rosenberg - have continued to indicate opposition to the Governor's reforms. "But lawmakers and others have resisted other reforms the governor has proposed, and on Wednesday, Pollack told the Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee that the administration needs the entire 'package' of changes to truly fix the agency."(Nicole Dungca, "Baker administration lobbies for more changes to T," Boston Globe, 5/28/15)