Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So Much Heat, So Little Light

Yaakov of the very Cross blog is gnashing his teeth and stomping his feet about NY's transit strike. Though I'm not ready to support the strike - not yet anyway - I will address some of the misinformation Yaakov is throwing around:
There’s simply no justifying a $55,000 salary, much less a $69,000 salary-as it will be three years from now, were the city to cave in—in order to drive a bus. If you want a $69,000 salary, you go to college or start a business. You don’t sit behind the wheel of a bus and then extort the citizens of New York to get an unreasonable wage for the work performed.
Yaakov, do you know what it costs to eat and live in NYC, where living costs are among the highest in the world? In NY there are skilled secretatries who earn $90,000. Though $55,000 may seem like a lot of money in flyover country, in NYC its just enough to put you squarely in the middle class - exactly where a hardworking, honest bus driver belongs.


The strike itself appears to be illegal, but the union's greivances are real: Their old deal did not keep up with inflation and the new offer would have set them further behind. Meanwhile, the transit authority sits on a billion-dollar surplus that provides discounts to riders but cannot accommodate a decent wage increase or a fair pension.

[Related: The NY Times does not support the strike, either.]