MTA Looks To Lowball Transit Workers

Flash back to a week ago when I wrote about how TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint promised no repeat of the 2005 Transit Strike. The 3 day strike which crippled the tri-state region especially NYC is an event no one wants to relive. Even though the promise was publicly made, I wonder if Roger would go back on his word after the recent developments in talks to get a new contract. In what is obviously seen as a cost cutting measure, the MTA as part of their preliminary budget proposed a ridiculous 1.5% raise for workers. New York Daily News reporter Pete Donohue has more in this report:

The cash-strapped MTA plans to help balance its books by skimping on raises for its workers next year, financial plans show.

Agency bean counters predict the MTA can save $40 million by limiting 2009 raises for the Transit Workers Union to less than 1.5%.

“Their position is ridiculous, and it won’t happen,” TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint told the Daily News.

The MTA and the TWU have been in contract talks as the January expiration date for the current contract nears.

That pact was reached after the union staged a three-day walkout in December 2005.

Another strike “is not in the cards,” Toussaint said.

But, he insisted, neither is a 1.5% raise.

Bus and subway workers have been taking note of the string of multi-year contracts City Hall has reached with unions for police officers, firefighters, correction officers, sanitation workers and clerical staff. Each received annual raises of about 4%.

The MTA included a planned 1.5% raise in its preliminary 2009 budget that officials are now updating to include double-digit fare hikes and service cuts, citing a ballooning deficit.

Click here for the complete report.

I am sorry but such an offer is an insult to the many hard workers who help keep our region moving. As you might have noticed, I did not blog about the recent Eyewitness News news investigation involving transit workers. The reason I did not do so is because I saw right through their ulterior motives. Why were they sitting on that report & waited until just recently while the MTA & TWU Local 100 are negotiating, to reveal it? It was a clear attempt at trying to paint workers in a bad light. It is bad enough previous reports have riders thinking the majority of workers engage in such actions when that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Now back to this insulting offer. While I understand the MTA’s financial outlook is bleak, this does not give them carte blanche to undercut the very workers who help keep this city moving. The workers are just as important as any doctor, officer, teacher, etc…. yet they don’t deserve raises on par with their counterparts? I am sorry but that position is completely unacceptable & I am glad Roger said he wouldn’t be at the table discussing a new deal with “this type of garbage”. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] might get very interesting for many of us. Take these potential changes & mix it in with the lowball offer for a raise & add in a very fiery Roger Toussaint & you might get a promise that gets […]

Glad someone notices the pattern that every contract year these types of stories are on the news. Thank You transit blogger for stating your point of view so rationally on this contract subject.

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