1. That $55k figure most likely represents the salary made by a bus driver with a great deal of seniority. Do we know what entry level pay is?
2. Those salaries represent the wages paid to many highly skilled workers, not just bus drivers: signal operators, mechanics, engineers etc., The bus and subway drivers are simply the public face of the TWU.
3. Driving a bus is hard work and qualification to do so requires much, much training.
4. Driving a bus is also a crappy, crappy job. In order to even get highly skilled people to do it, one needs to pay a reasonable wage. Would you put up with all the crap (the working conditions, the crabby people etc.,) for $9/hour? Thought not.
5. The mid-50 thousands puts a working family in New York at the upper end of "working class" rather than the "firmly in the middle class." As a single person making $50,000 a year, I know that after I subtract rent, health insurance and pension contributions, basic utilities and expenses such as food, the cost of commuting to work, and other obligations, I have about $400 a month left over. Not a lot and not allowing me a luxury lifestyle.
6. A college degree is not a guarentee of a high salary. I have a Ph.D. Enough said.
With all that said, some of the worker's demands are unreasonable. No one is getting 8 percent raises. The vast majority of people realize that the free rise of health care plus pension is increasingly rare. And who retires at 55??
Still, there are two other points:
1. The elitism of those who say bus drivers are't worse thus and such is appaling.
2. The increadible financial mismanagement at the MTA contributed directly to the climate that made this horrible strike possible.
Oh, and one more, I HATED walking for 2 hours to get to work this morning.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Comment of the day
by DovBear at 2:51 PM