A Long Island Rail Road work crew's productivity at the Great Neck station was criticized in a scathing report issued this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
"We estimate that several thousand labor hours and more than $160,000 were wasted through lax supervision of the crew assigned to the project," said Barry Kluger, the MTA's authority inspector general who issued the report.
Examination of three construction projects performed by crews from LIRR’s Structural Maintenance Division—staircase replacements at the Great Neck and Deer Park stations, and a fence installation along a roadway in Manhasset— revealed that workers were not productively engaged, and that their performance problems are systemic, said Barry Kluger.
"The staircase replacement at Great Neck station was completed in 115 working days over the course of six months, consumed 5,677 labor hours, and cost more than $261,000 in labor alone," according to the report. "Based on input from a construction, engineering, and scheduling consultant retained by OIG, we estimate that the work should have taken the LIRR crew 2.5 months to complete, consumed 2,500 labor hours and cost just over $98,000 in labor."
Findings indicated low expectations and reduced productivity on the part of the supervisors in charge of a projects including work to install a staircase in Great Neck between April 28, 2011, and November 9, 2011.
"On six occasions the crews left Great Neck to return to the Bayside Yard before 1 p.m. — more than two hours before the end of their shift," according to the report.
Kluger said the report's findings indicate that low expectations on the part of the supervisors in charge of the projects with regard to the amount of time that the crew was expected to spend at the job site each day reduced the productivity of the crews.
More stringent supervisory controls and the development of performance standards were recommended by Kluger.
LIRR President Helena Williams said in a statement "We expect our employees to put in a full day of work for a full day's pay. Anything less is unacceptable."
Editor's note: Click on PDF of entire MTA report to the right.