Gov. Baker seeking lawmaker support for MBTA bill

The union representing "T" employees is opposed to Baker's plan

BOSTON Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is trying to convince state lawmakers to support his MBTA reform bill.

The Governor wants to create a Fiscal Management Control Board to oversee the MBTA. Many of the “T’s” employees aren’t happy about the plan, because it allows the board to open up union contracts.

Governor Charlie Baker hopes to make significant changes to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. His bill would put a Control Board in charge of the MBTA and its finances.

Governor Charlie Baker said, “This isn’t about privatizing the T. It’s about making it possible for the T to deliver a service plan on a complimentary basis that serves the traveling public.”

The union representing “T” employees is opposed to Baker’s plan because it allows the Control Board to re-negotiate union contracts.

The bill would also exempt the MBTA from the state’s so-called “Pacheco law” that limits the “T” from hiring private, non-union employees.

The Governor believes a Fiscal Management Control Board is what’s needed at the “T” to implement any meaningful changes. It would be similar to Springfield’s Finance Control Board that lifted the city out of financial distress between 2004 and 2009.

Board of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli said, “In Springfield, that control board era is seen as an era that really provided great opportunity for the city to get back on its feet.”

West Springfield State Representative Michael Finn told 22 News he wants to make sure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely. “Everybody in the Commonwealth, whether it’s in West Springfield or it’s down here in Boston, they want to know that the money that they’re being taxed upon is used responsibly.”

The Governor’s proposal would need approval from the House and Senate, and then his signature.

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