Local

Buses Roll Out In Dade, No Transit Slowdown

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(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

MIAMI (CBS4) – A threatened work slowdown by Miami-Dade transit workers failed to materialize Monday morning.

Members of the local Transit Workers Union, upset that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has called for employee pay and benefit cuts, had reportedly planned an illegal work slowdown.

“I’m glad that County Transit workers chose to report to work as usual today and that service was not interrupted.  Nobody benefits from the sort of walkout that was planned – not our public servants, and certainly not the thousands of residents who rely on these vital transit services every day,” said Gimenez in a written statement.

Top TWU officials said they did not endorse the rumored work slowdown which would entail employees calling in sick and not coming to work.  The union leadership warned members that such behavior would “not be tolerated.”

Last week, John Bland head of the Transport Workers Union Local 291 (TWU) has assured the public that bus and rail services will be on time.

“We are proud of the public transportation services our dedicated members deliver everyday and we will absolutely continue that excellence day in and day out,” he said.

Yselta Llort, the county’s interim transit director, had warned employees not to take part in the rumored slowdown and threatened to discipline or possibly fire those who did.

Gimenez’s budget proposal calls for county employees to contribute an additional five percent of their salaries to cover the costs of health insurance and ends a three percent pay increase. It also eliminates 1,300 positions countywide. The measures are needed to help close a $400 million budget gap for the coming year which begins on October 1st.

Last month Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved Gimenez’s proposed rollback of the millage rate from 11.04 to 9.74 for the next fiscal year.

Gimenez promised during his campaign to lower property taxes from the rate set by former Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

Gimenez said that by adopting the millage rate it will lower taxes this year and keep taxes flat in the 2012-2013 budget; thereby balancing the books for two years to give the community some stability.

Under the new rate, homeowners will save roughly $134 per $100,000 of property value. For the average homeowner with a $250,000 property, the savings would come out to roughly $335 in the coming year.

The commission will vote on the final budget next month.

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