At around 10:20 p.m. last night, Judge Alice Schlesinger of the New York Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction barring the MTA from firing nearly 500 station agents today. Questioning whether that the authority’s decision to cut agents “ has… been done pursuant to the proper procedure,” Judge Schlesinger has staved out what union officials are calling ill-advised cuts that impact the safety of the subway system. The two sides have continued their arguments this morning in court, and although I’m amidst a takehome final today, I’ll update the news as soon as I hear an outcome later.
According to The Post, the TWU is arguing that the MTA “didn’t give the booth closures public hearings, notify the local community boards, or make ‘adequate alternate arrangements for the safety and convenience of the public.'” To the best of my knowledge, the MTA isn’t legally required to hold any hearings to notify community boards of staffing changes. If that is to be a requirement going forward, the decision to implement it is one best left to the politica — and not the judicial — process. Of course, the TWU could always put a hold on its four-percent raises in an effort to stave off these job cuts, but I wouldn’t expect to see that concession any time soon.
For its part, Transit believes it will win the case. “Once this legal matter has been resolved we will proceed with the planned lay-offs of the Station Agents,” an agency statement said.