January 2, 2008
As its financial situation worsens, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority is threatening major service cuts and perhaps even some layoffs. But one steadily growing budget item seems particularly impervious to belt-tightening — employee compensation, particularly in the executive suite.
Metro’s Approved Fiscal 2009 Annual Budget includes large pay hikes for salaried management employees, as well as hourly workers such as bus drivers, rail operators and maintenance workers. But the numbers take on added significance when compared to previous years.
For example, in the section entitled “Multi-Year Operating Cost Comparison,” we see that salaries for Metro managers in the Bus Services section have more than doubled since 2006. Next year, Metro’s top bus executives expect to be paid twice what they made just three years ago, and this when almost every economic indicator is steadily heading south.
Here are the figures from Metro’s own website:
2006 $13.3 million
2007 $15.6 million
2008 $23.1 million
2009 $29.5 million
The same upward trend can also be seen in the proposed total compensation for Metrobus’ hourly wage earners, although their proposed pay increase is not nearly as steep as for the denizens of the executive suite:
2006 $155.2 million
2007 $161.1 million
2008 $200 million
2009 $213.9 million