Low morale, inadequate staffing and poor management communication made the list of concerns MassDOT employees gave in a recent survey asking them about their work environments.
Only 2,000 workers completed the survey, of the 10,000 distributed, which officials said proves many employees might be scared to say anything bad about the conditions.
The agency-distributed survey asked T bus and train operators, administrative personnel and a handful of other divisions managed by MassDOT for their opinions.
But 77 percent of those asked to take the multiple choice and open-ended questionnaires didn’t do it.
“They were afraid to respond because they thought [their comments] could be tracked down and there could be retaliation,” said Andrea Speares-Jackson, member of MassDOT’s Compensation and Labor Subcommittee.
Speares-Jackson said in some instances workers scrawled, “this is a waste of time,” on the questionnaire and turned it back in.
The highway and transit divisions were two of the top groups that responded.
MBTA GM Rich Davey said past managerial operations that differ from his own might have played a role in fears of retaliation.
“Employees take pride in their work, but like me, they can get frustrated with a lack of resources,” he said.
In the “Your Thoughts” section of the survey, responders wrote that nepotism, bullying and favoritism needed to be eliminated from the workplace.
Workers also noted new employees shouldn’t be rushed to the front line and should get more training, managers shouldn’t always side with customers when there are complaints, and new equipment and tools are needed.