The MBTA Is Offering Employees Buyouts in Effort to Save Millions

Layoffs could be coming if the move doesn't work.

Photo By Olga Khvan

Photo By Olga Khvan

Officials at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority hope to save millions on payroll by offering workers buyout packages and cutting open positions.

According to the Boston Globe, MBTA chief administrator Brian Shortsleeve said that the agency is seeking to eliminate 300 positions in an effort to save $37.5 million per year.

“We’re confident that we’re going to roll this out in a way that ensures there’s no operational impact on the organization,” Shortsleeve told reporters on Wednesday.

Beginning on Thursday, the T will send out notices to employees about two options that will compensate qualifying workers to leave their positions. reports that one buyout program will focus on retirement-eligible employees who would receive 20 percent of their salaries, which averages to $16,576, should they take the MBTA’s offer.

The other program would be for employees who aren’t eligible for retirement. Those with five to 10 years of experience at the agency would receive $5,000 for leaving, while those with more than 10 years of experience would receive $10,000.

Should everything go according to plan, the MBTA would save $25 million per year in wages and $12.5 million in benefits and pension payments.

However, if not enough people sign up for the buyouts, layoffs could be coming down the road.

“Everything is on the table,” Shortsleeve said, according to the Globe. “We’re very serious about putting the T on the path to long-term structural sustainability.”

The possible reduction in staff is just one of many attempts at minimizing strains on the MBTA’s budget—which was recently approved to the tune of $2 billion—as Shortsleeve revealed that it could accrue a deficit of around $80 million in the 2017 fiscal year.