My 3% (as opposed to $.02 cents)

I recall a former train controller trainee, when asked how he heard about the job, he Googled $100,000 BART jobs and was surprised to find an Excel file that held his answer. Being inside the proverbial “glass house” and looking out I think I am paid very well for what I do on a daily basis. Looking at this realistically coming from an airline that has been sliding downhill since 1999 (or a few years prior) I felt very fortunate to be hired. My pay had been reduced nearly 35% over the course of 4 years at United, in addition to furloughs and changes and more job responsibilities.

The hiring process at BART was long and the training even longer and more stressful than I ever imagined. I believe I earned every penny I was offered. Still do in fact. Now that the media has made all 3,200 BART employee salaries available via an organized database that can search by last name, department or job title. Amazingly enough each work has their pay broken down based on gross, net, overtime and other pay. Wow! Who would think the entire world could know how much I make. Again though, I stand by my previous comment, I believe I am worth every penny I make.

While the job I do is not for everyone, there is a very high (70%) failure rate for candidates who just cannot make the grade and end up failing out of training. Again, I should know because at a few points during training I could have been a statistic. Thankfully after countless discussions with managers and trainers I was able to refocus and adequately demonstrate my learned abilities to be certified. This was not a simple process. I don’t ever recall having such a difficult time during training, this training was different.

I won’t comment on the unions and their proposal for a 3% raise. Would it be nice? Sure, it would. Can I live without it, yup. I am more worried about medical benefits and retirement more so than giving concessions for a 3% raise of a proposed 2 year period. We all know the economy will turn around and the current situation will get better for everyone. Hopefully I don’t find myself walking a line with a sign in my hands because that is the last place I expect to be. I would much rather be at work, helping patrons get to work by keeping all the trains moving.

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