Press Release: “Emergency” MTA Board Meeting on Overtime is Theater to Deflect Attention from Governor’s Authority


May 10, 2019 press release on emergency board meeting on overtime


Watchdog Again Points Out:
Governor Cuomo Controls MTA Management
The MTA Board Does Not

Group Calls “Emergency” MTA Board Meeting on Overtime:
“Theater To Deflect Attention From Governor’s Ultimate Authority Over MTA”

MTA management controls and tracks overtime

Today at 4pm, the MTA board will hold an “emergency meeting” to discuss public revelations of excessive overtime at the Long Island Railroad. One week ago Reinvent Albany released a 170 page analysis of MTA governance, “Open MTA” and we would like to reminds the press and public of some key facts:

Key Facts About MTA Governance and Overtime
1. The Governor controls the day to day operations of the MTA via his ability to hire and fire the CEO of the MTA Patrick Foye. The CEO hires and fires the MTA agency presidents, including the president of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

2. The MTA Board has no say over the day-to-day operations of the MTA and no involvement in day-to-day authorization or tracking of overtime.

3.  There is no sudden overtime “emergency.” MTA management asks employees to perform overtime, all overtime is either at behest of management or approved in advance, and is carefully tracked. The MTA board and senior staff have frequently discussed overtime at MTA board meetings. There is no new information about overtime, just public embarrassment to the Governor and MTA caused by press coverage. Further, no public materials or agenda have been released for today’s meeting, showing that  this response is being rushed and will not be a serious review.

“The public will not trust the MTA until the Governor and his appointees acknowledge simple truths and stop with the political theater.  The Governor controls the MTA through the CEO he hires and fires. Today’s “emergency” board meeting about overtime is a reaction to press coverage, not new information. MTA and LIRR management completely control the overtime process and know exactly what is going on. They ask employees to do overtime and track it carefully. What’s really going on is that the MTA hiring freeze and management pay freeze are creating dysfunction and shortages of skilled workers that are aggravated by work rules,” said John Kaehny, Executive Director of Reinvent Albany