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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Photo by Ted Fitzgerald
100 Pike workers are on the chopping block.

100 Pike workers targeted

Gov. Deval Patrick is declaring war on the patronage-laden ranks of toll takers, announcing plans to fire 100 Pike booth jockeys and push toward fully automating the state's toll roads, the Herald has learned.
The sweeping layoffs would slash the number of toll workers by nearly 25 percent and, aides to the governor say, save taxpayers $10 million a year.
"It's not something I look forward to doing, but it's necessary," Pike Executive Director Alan LeBovidge said. "This is tough stuff, but I think it needs to get done. I believe we can provide better service to our customers if we start reducing in a logical way the number of toll takers."
Administration officials have already notified the union that represents Massachusetts Turnpike toll collectors that they plan to lay off 100 workers within the next 12 to 18 months.
LeBovidge called the layoffs "phase one" in a plan to cut the number of toll takers, who make an average of $70,000 a year. He also said officials are considering following the lead of other states that have eliminated toll collectors altogether by creating electronic-toll-only roads.
"We have an old system that's highly dependent on manual toll takers," he said. "When you look at what's going on around the U.S., the newer toll roads being built have very few toll takers or no toll takers."
"We'll work toward that, but our objective now is to have efficient service at the least cost to the Turnpike," he said, encouraging motorists to sign up for Fast Lane transponders.
The layoffs are the latest cost-cutting measure by the Pike, which has scrambled to close a $30 million budget shortfall and pay off sky-high debt from the Big Dig.
Among other changes, the cash-strapped agency has laid off 25 percent of its senior managers, eliminated several administrative positions and cut overtime.
Electronic toll collection is increasingly being eyed nationwide as manned toll booths disappear on roads from New Jersey to Florida in favor of "open-road tolling."
The system allows motorists with electronic transponders to breeze through the gates and pay their tab monthly via credit card. Those without the devices have a picture of their license plate snapped and receive a bill in the mail.
In some states, tolls are higher for those without transponders as an incentive to make the switch, while scofflaws who ignore their tabs are slapped with fines and even criminal charges.
A major expressway in Austin, Texas, is going cashless later this year and Pennsylvania Turnpike officials are considering a similar system.
In addition to improving efficiency, the switch to electronic tolling eliminates the potential for theft, an issue that surfaced earlier this year when 10 Pike toll takers were charged with skimming thousands from the till.
The move is the latest aggressive cost-savings attempt by the governor, who also has pushed to scrap police details on state roads.

Dollars and cent$: Turnpike toll collection by the numbers:

http://bostonherald.com/news/region...x_for_toll_takers:_100_Pike_workers_targeted/
 

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Who the hell voted for this tool, isnt he the guy who after being elected leased a Caddy for 1200 a month, and then spent 12,000 on drapes....and recently gave 500 cars to Mass employees that dont even need them...like an arborist..
 

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Zombie Hunter
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This is governor's great plan? Massively increases spending and then fire employees to pay for it, who will then have to apply for unemployment and welfare? What a great idea, lets get more people without jobs feeding off the government tit; but I guess that what the democrats want.
 

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I remember doing some church work when I was a kid, we bought turkey dinners for unfortunate people in the neighborhood and delivered them the Tues or Weds before Thanksgiving. I walked into one house, big screen TV, multiple gaming systems, tons of games, big stereo system. I was like...why are we doing this for them?
 

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Yes we also have plenty of money to hand out to junkies for pills and methadone which they abuse and sell. This guy has done nothing but go after hard working people as the bums continue to sit, collect, and do nothing all day. Keep up the good job a-hole!!!
 

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To start this off, I hate to see people lose their jobs, but sometimes it pays to be objective. The state really doesn't need all the toll takers that it has. Most of our tolls down here are unmanned. There is 1 toll taker per shift at each of the larger toll plazas, and that is it. Otherwise it's SunPass (EZPass) or exact change, and that's that, and the system works fine.
 

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I know Pearl but all this automation takes it's toll (no pun intended). If we can keep some people employed in lieu of more machines then let's do it. I can think of plenty of other fat they can cut off the budget starting with this jerks cadillac....Then go after all these people who leach off the system, shit out babies, and have their boyfriends living with them for free while they pay cheap rent..Let's address the wrongdoers before going after hardworking people..To me it goes along with details...They should be looking at the wasteful spending on criminals, druggies, illegal aliens, welfare leeches before they go after people who are going to work to take care of their families...I'm sick of it!!....Ok it's been a long day..lol
 

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dealing with the public in any capacity is hard. breathing in exhaust , frying in the summer and freezing your tits off in the winter can't be fun.

look at some of the long lines at the tolls and it's clear not everybody is signing up for the new fabulous automation.

what if you only run the pike a half dozen times a year, transponder lost or stolen , doesn't work , problems with the account ? , etc

they need toll collectors there. maybe the turnpike should "float' some more bonds. that should fix everything :rolleyes:
 

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Retired Fed, Active Special
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If Obama gets elected, at least Devil Patrick will be outta here...
He's sure to be appointed Attorney General.
:uc:
 

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Murray was supposed to be "our" guy. we ( MCUFU ) endorsed him , but it wasn't like we got any great contract or the administrators off our backs.

should be interesting when he takes over after DeVille leaves town ( wonder if he'll take Dianne Wilkerson with him ? )
 

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wow 70 grand to stand there, be a dick and collect quarters! I thought being a contractor was juicy :)
My wife works for the Pike and she doesn't make 70k a year. That's not the "average" base salary for those guys without their OT (unless she's been putting it in a Swiss bank account). That's like saying the average cop makes that money without putting in OT. That's just the paper misrepresenting things to rile the public up.

It's not a fun job to do either, just like any job that you have to deal with an angry public. They see you there, thinking you are getting paid big bucks and they are getting pissed off waiting in traffic. I listen to her tell me every night that people yell, swear, throw money at her, and bitch about the long lines (since the authority won't allow them to wave the lanes when they get busy anymore).

I'm sure some of the toll takers are dicks with the public just like some cops are too. I'm not saying the toll collector profession is as important as policing, just that the dealing with the public aspect/being misrepresented by the media is similar.

Old Cadillac is giving me a double screwing, putting my wife out of work and looking to get rid of details. So much for pro labor....
 

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I doubt the toll takers are going anywhere. I think the governer is trying to push all this 'money saving' stuff through to try and prove that we don't need to vote yes to get rid of the income tax, that the state will cut costs and handle our money responsibly now.
Which of course they won't, and right after the election, I think we'll hear no more talk of firing tolltakers (unlike the push to end details, where they seem to think there is much more political gain to be squeezed out). Aren't the Pike tolltakers some of the most politically juiced state employees? I really don't think they are even seriously considering firing these guys...
 

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Grim reaper
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Its a scam................."eliminate" the hacks on the Pike.....and lo & behold, fresh faces for Sal Dimasi's "FlagCorp".....providing no show hacks who carry a flag.
 

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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Patrick Spares Program In Budget Cuts

Millions Cut By Governor

BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a law enacting emergency budget cuts, but he also vetoed a reduction in a pet project.

The volunteer-promoting Commonwealth Corps will be cut from $3 million to $2.5 million. The Legislature wanted to cut it all the way down to $500,000.

Patrick says he already reduced his budget by 11 percent to help cope with a $1 billion budget shortfall. He thinks sharply cutting a program promoting volunteerism "is neither necessary nor wise."
The governor did agree to another sizable cut: $10 million from his Life Sciences bond program. It's providing $1 billion over 10 years for biotech work, or $100 million a year.

Patrick announced the cuts late Friday.

Lawmakers voted last week to cut about $73.6 million in spending, transfer up to $200 million from the state's rainy day fund and delay payments to the state pension fund. They also added a two-month state tax amnesty plan and extended until Dec. 1 the deadline for cities and towns who want to join the state's group health insurance plan to save costs.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/17937471/detail.html
 
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