MTA, union reach deal for transit workers - FOX 32 News Chicago

MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

Posted: Updated:

By JENNIFER PELTZ | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

The agreement, subject to approval from union members and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board, comes more than two years after the last contract lapsed and one day after Cuomo's office got involved at the union's request.

"This agreement is a fair agreement" for the MTA and the workers, and it won't spur any fare increases for millions of bus and subway riders, Cuomo said. Some hikes have already been built into the agency's future projections, but the proposed contract wouldn't require raising fares further.

Still, the MTA, which operates the nation's largest mass transit system, faces further contract wrangling with other union workers at its Long Island Rail Road. After working without a contract since 2010, various LIRR unions have voted in recent months to authorize strikes. President Barack Obama has appointed a Presidential Emergency Board to help resolve the dispute; any work stoppage won't happen before July, at the earliest.

While the subway and bus union negotiations were protracted, they never approached the boiling point reached in 2005, when workers walked off the job for three days near Christmas despite a state law barring them from striking. The law doesn't apply to the LIRR workers, who are subject to a different set of federal laws and rules.

After the 2005 strike, Transit Workers Union Local 100 was fined about $3 million, workers were docked pay and then-union President Roger Toussaint was threatened with jail.

Under the proposed new contract, workers would get two years of retroactive raises of 1 percent a year, a 2 percent raise going back to this January and 2 percent raises in each of the next two years.

Workers would pay 2 percent of their base salaries for health insurance, up from 1.5 percent. But they would get some new benefits, including paid maternity and paternity leave, and better dental and optical coverage.

"The union believes that we've achieved many of the goals that we set out to achieve," President John Samuelsen said.

The union had written to Cuomo, a Democrat, on Wednesday, urging him to intervene in its negotiations with the MTA, a state agency. Cuomo staffers met with both sides Wednesday night, and the governor did Thursday.

The Straphangers' Campaign, a transit riders' advocacy group, commended the two sides for coming to terms but said it would reserve judgment on the agreement until there was a chance to study the details.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New York's daring Instagrammers

    New York's daring Instagrammers

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:03 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:03:35 GMT
    Pull out your smartphone on any given day, tap on Instagram and you'll find a lot of selfies. But while the rest of us clog our feeds with our best pouty faces, a group of photographers scales and then hangs off bridges and buildings in a contest to produce the most daring photograph in New York City.
    Pull out your smartphone on any given day, tap on Instagram and you'll find a lot of selfies. But while the rest of us clog our feeds with our best pouty faces, a group of photographers scales and then hangs off bridges and buildings in a contest to produce the most daring photograph in New York City.
  • Designer clothes at giant thrift shop in NJ

    Designer clothes at giant thrift shop in NJ

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:57:04 GMT
    Like most soon-to-be third graders, Sonja knows what she's looking for when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For kids trying to be fashionable -- and parents looking to keep it affordable -- there's the Ocean County Hunger Relief Warehouse in Toms River, New Jersey. It's basically a huge thrift shop.
    Like most soon-to-be third graders, Sonja knows what she's looking for when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For kids trying to be fashionable -- and parents looking to keep it affordable -- there's the Ocean County Hunger Relief Warehouse in Toms River, New Jersey. It's basically a huge thrift shop.
  • Snow leopard cubs on display at Bronx Zoo

    Snow leopard cubs on display at Bronx Zoo

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:55:28 GMT
    Two snow leopard cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in the spring are now on display in the Himalayan Highlands exhibit with their mother, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. The male cubs were born May 6 to first-time parents, the WCS said. The Bronx Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program with other zoos around the country to prevent inbreeding and make sure zoo animals are genetically viable.
    Two snow leopard cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in the spring are now on display in the Himalayan Highlands exhibit with their mother, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. The male cubs were born May 6 to first-time parents, the WCS said. The Bronx Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program with other zoos around the country to prevent inbreeding and make sure zoo animals are genetically viable.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices