TWU Attacks MTA For Alleged Health Cuts

In a story that just appeared on NY1 a short time ago, the TWU has attacked the MTA over alleged health care cuts. Tina Redwine has more:

Doug Kirchner retired from New York City Transit after 28 years driving a city bus. He said he recently had back surgery and got a nasty surprise.

“They paid the first part of the hospital bill. Now I got a letter last week. They’re taking that back. It’s almost $5,000,” said Kirchner. “They’re jerking me around.”

Representatives of the Transport Workers Union say the cash-strapped MTA saved $40 million by renegotiating its health insurance last year and finding new providers.

However, the union also said that in January, the agency went a step further and cut members’ health benefits, which is in violation of the union contract. Two weeks ago it filed a grievance.

“There are issues with prescriptions, issues with hospital stays. There is an across the board effort by the MTA to nickel and dime transit workers to death,” said John Samuelsen, president of the TWU.

One example, according to the union: a worker who had been paying a $2.50 co-pay for a cancer medicine now pays more than $2,000 a month because the drug’s not on a preferred drug list.

“If they attack our benefits, we’re gonna attack back,” said Samuelsen.

Click here for the complete report.

Stories like these are not new to me as I have heard complaints from workers past & present recently. If the agency truly did partake in illegal actions according to their current contract with the TWU, they should be held liable.

This alleged action by the MTA will only make things worse (if that is even possible) when it comes to upcoming negotiations. The relationship between the two sides has long been strained, why allegedly make things worse?

What we need is for both sides to work together & as a potentially powerful force, rally for more funding for the agency. The better our infrastructure, the better it is for them to raise revenue which can trickle down to union members. The biggest positive would be for the riders who deserve a better system.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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