Posted by Jeff Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & Chief Executive Officer
Regarding the article that appeared in the Globe’s Friday, May 13th edition (“State’s raises for 17 follow frugality talk”) and the follow up editorial the following day [“Pay hikes for inner circle send the wrong message”), I write to add some context and facts.
First, the article doesn’t make it clear that, in every one of the instances in which adjustments were made, people assumed new duties and responsibilities directly resulting from the merger through the consolidation of jobs. In many of these cases people assumed entirely new jobs, not simply more responsibility.
Second, through attrition, layoffs and job eliminations inherent in any merger, despite the increased salaries for these people, the management reorganization will save us more than $260,000 per year for these duties alone. This amount does not count other jobs, such as my former position, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, and the management team at the Tobin Memorial Bridge, which were eliminated and which have saved hundreds of thousands more. Indeed, scores of positions have been eliminated as a result of the merger, savings from which are a part of the more than $125 million we have saved in MassDOT’s first 18 months.
Lastly, Saturday’s editorial criticizes me for approving increases for my “inner circle” and for their timing. What happened here is precisely what has happened in every merger I have studied – we have reduced overhead and have, in particular, dramatically reduced the number of people in state transportation leadership positions. Rather than an “inner circle,” these are the people who most directly took on new responsibilities to replace jobs that were eliminated. As for the timing, no time is a good time to increase public sector salaries today. However, in every one of the instances in which adjustments were made, people assumed new duties and responsibilities in November of 2009 – meaning that they have been working in these new positions at their old rate of pay for over 18 months. I held off increases in pay until I was certain that we could fully document net savings of these management changes – savings that add more than $260,000 to our bottom line.
The work we are doing at the DOT is a necessary part of the transformation that the transportation reform law requires. I remain committed to building a Department of Transportation that operates efficiently, focuses on our customers, and empowers all of our employees to do their best as we work to earn back the public’s trust.
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Final Section Open, Trail Now 12.2 Miles posted on May 23
MassDOT is pleased to announce that the final section of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Adams is now open for public use, making the trail 12.2 miles long. “The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail goes through some of the most scenic areas of Massachusetts,” said MassDOT Secretary …Continue Reading Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Final Section Open, Trail Now 12.2 Miles
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project: I-90 Lane Reductions June 3-5 posted on May 23
As part of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project, “dry run” lane reductions on I-90 have been scheduled during the weekend of June 3-4 through early Monday morning, June 5. From 11:59 PM on Friday, June 2, to 5:00 AM on Monday, June 5, MassDOT …Continue Reading Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project: I-90 Lane Reductions June 3-5
MassDOT: Fourth Annual Safe Streets Smart Trips High School Video Contest posted on May 19
MassDOT today announced the fourth annual statewide high school video contest – Safe Streets Smart Trips. The contest serves as an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) to promote safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors within the Commonwealth. The contest began three …Continue Reading MassDOT: Fourth Annual Safe Streets Smart Trips High School Video Contest