MTA, union reach deal for transit workers - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

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>>

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:13:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

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