Yesterday evening I continued my coverage of TWU Local 100 members winning raises via arbitration. In the last entry on the subject, I commented on how I was shocked at the lack of response from other sources besides the MTA. I spoke too soon as a few hours later, the New York Daily News’ website featured an editorial on the subject. The title alone “Great train robbery: Arbitrator’s foolish giveaway will cost MTA and straphangers millions” tells you what the author’s position is on the subject. Lets take a peak at what was said:
When in a hole, or a subway tunnel, keep digging.
That is what a state arbitrator seems determined to do with the MTA’s massive budget problems.
By awarding transit workers rich raises and smaller health care payments without productivity savings, one man is handing the agency huge and unsustainable costs.
And there’s nothing anyone can do. Except hold your breath and wait for the next fiscal collision, in the form of service cuts, fare hikes or both.
It’s coming down the express track.
The TWU now will enjoy three years of annual raises at 4%, 4% and 3%. Workers will no longer have to pay 1.5% health care premiums on wages for overtime earnings. And gone is the hope that finally, trains operated by one person would be approved on certain subway lines, saving tons on labor expenses.
This will create a $350 million deficit in an operating budget that was balanced only after a painful struggle that ended in a fare hike.
Zuccotti’s reason for the giveaway: The raises follow the pattern Mayor Bloomberg set with city unions.
Click here for the complete report.
During these tough economic times, I can understand that these raises provide sticker shock. However I think it is very unfortunate that hard working employees of the MTA will be treated as people undeserving of their raises. I also find it highly irresponsible for people to pass the buck of the MTA’s financial failure & deficit to the employees. Most are doing their job the right way & deserve to make money to match the needs of living in today’s world. If the finances of the MTA were not screwed by inept white collar individuals who mainly reside in Albany, fair raises such as these would not be such a hot button issue.