Metro-North workers slack on job: Report
Several Metro-North equipment inspectors and foremen were hit with disciplinary charges after a report released Wednesday found instances of workers getting paid while skipping out on work.
In response to the MTA inspector general report, the MTA filed disciplinary charges against five road machinists and two foremen on the Work Equipment Division, a unit of the Track Department, which maintains Metro-North's tracks and infrastructure.
The report found road machinists who inspect and maintain tools for Metro-North's Work Equipment Division slacking off on the job. In 22% of the inspector general's site visits, there were road machinists who clocked in hours early without working, commuted to an assigned station on the MTA's dime and stayed at home or in a car parked at in a commuter lot.
"Road machinists were idle for the entire workday," Barry Kluger, the MTA watchdog. "An honor system is simply not an acceptable alternative to effective management and oversight."
The MTA in a statement called the behavior "unacceptable."
The agency, meanwhile, is implementing the report's recommendations, such as conducting random spot checks and checking timekeeping records. Further, the MTA board last week voted to install a GPS-locator system for the 1,420 vehicles used by Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road and other agencies.
The MTA said in its statement the system would help "oversee employee performance and the appropriate use of overtime."
A spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, declined to comment on the disciplinary charges until the report can be reviewed.