With more than 1000 employees scheduled for layoffs in February, the CTA is taking measures to help affected employees plan and prepare. A series of workshops have been scheduled in January to provide information on unemployment benefits and job search tips and the CTA is also trying to connect employees with companies that are hiring.
Due to a loss of public funding, the CTA will be forced to reduce service in February in order to cut costs. There will be a corresponding reduction in the CTA workforce.
"We greatly regret the hardship these layoffs will cause for employees and their families, and we want to do everything we can to help them prepare," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "In the meantime, we continue to talk to the union leadership to find solutions that will help preserve both service and jobs.”
The CTA’s non-union workers are foregoing wage increases and will be taking up to 18 unpaid days in 2010. Because nearly 90% of the CTA workforce is unionized, similar measures by union employee could save enough to scale back plans for service reductions and save jobs.
This weekend the CTA is again working with representatives of the Vancouver, B.C. firm responsible for providing transportation for the 2010 Winter Olympics to offer employment information and job applications to CTA employees who will be laid off in February. The Vancouver representatives want to hire experienced, qualified bus operators to work during the Winter Games.
Starting in January, CTA will host workshops to provide information and resources for obtaining job interviews, training, health benefits and unemployment compensation. Support services such as faxing, copying, telephone and internet services for job access will also be provided. Representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, ICMA Retirement Corporation, as well as CTA representatives will be available to answer questions on topics such as benefits, unemployment compensation and accessing 401K and 457 accounts.
Two sessions will be held on each workshop date; a morning session from 9 to 10 a.m., and an afternoon session from 1 to 2 p.m. Workshop dates are as follows:
- Wednesday, January 13
- Thursday, January 14
- Friday, January 15
- Thursday, January 21
- Friday, January 22
- Monday, January 25
- Thursday, February 11
These workshops will be conducted at CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake Street.
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