At its monthly meeting today, the Chicago Transit Board approved a benefits package for CTA employees who are in the military reserves and who either may be or have been called to active duty following the events of September 11, 2001.
The new policy will provide benefits and payments to each reservist and his or her dependents, if the reservist is placed on active duty. Combined with military payments, the CTA's package would ensure that CTA employees maintain the same salary and benefit level that they currently receive as active employees.
Previously, the CTA's military leave of absence policy required its reservists on active duty to take a leave of absence from the agency without pay. Citing the economic hardships resulting from this policy, the Board voted for the change.
?It is very important that we amend this policy to support our employees who are willing to serve our country during this time of uncertainty," said Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?The recent events have made us all aware that our freedom is priceless and this policy change demonstrates our commitment to our employees who are willing to defend that freedom."
CTA President Frank Kruesi said, "The dedication of our employees is the backbone of the CTA's mission to deliver quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities. We are especially grateful to those employees who are also dedicated members of our military forces and we want to assure their families that they will not face financial hardship while our employees are serving their country."
Currently, 55 CTA employees are members of the military reserves of the United States and the State of Illinois. At this time, two reservists have been called to active duty.
The amended benefit and payment policy will not affect CTA service or customers in any way. There may a financial impact on the Authority resulting from filling reservist's jobs with temporary employees while the reservists are on their tours of duty.
The CTA is following the lead of the City of Chicago which recently passed an ordinance granting all City employees who are called to active duty full pay and benefits.# # #