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Labor mediation through media wars

by Benjamin Kabak

As the MTA and TWU prepare to head to mediation over the authority’s proposed cost-savings measures, the two sides are already engaged in a tense battle of words. In one corner: The Daily News reports that the MTA’s top earners have yet to be axed while lower paid jobs in management are being eliminated. In the other corner: Transit workers can earn overtime while on vacation. “When you go on vacation, why should your money be reduced by 15 to 20 percent?” Jim Gannon, a TWU spokesman, said to amNew York.

As labor representatives slam the MTA for keeping its top-heavy management structure in tact, the authority says it will soon begin to purge those jobs through its pending consolidation plan. The MTA says it will target overtime abuse as well. “We are looking to control unnecessary overtime as part of overhauling how the MTA does business,” spokesman Kevin Ortiz said. In the world of payroll abuses, the riders will always lose.

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7 comments

oscar July 16, 2010 - 3:55 pm

wow…totally speechless @ Jim Gannon’s remark

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nycpat July 16, 2010 - 10:52 pm

This whole thing is presented out of context. NYCT schedulers create the jobs and workers bid on them by seniority. So a guy with a lot of seniority can pick a job that pays 50 hrs a week. Transit workers see seniority like a property right, so that’s where Gannon is coming from. When he goes on vacation he still gets paid his regular 50 hours. They can make all the jobs 40 hrs a week but they don’t. I wonder why? Other things like night differential and OPTO pay you don’t get when on vacation.
Personally I try to pick 8 hr jobs.

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DCEddy July 16, 2010 - 8:14 pm

No word on the NYC Transit employees who were summarily laid off today, with guards escorting them as if they worked in finance?

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Sharon July 18, 2010 - 2:53 am

Does the worker get time snd a half for the 20 hours a week. On the 50 hour jobs.

If someones schedule is 50 hrs for the whole year he should get paid for 50 hrs on vacation

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nycpat July 19, 2010 - 12:33 am

What the MTA guy is calling abuse is precisely the guy whose scheduled job pays 50 hours aweek, i.e. his daily work day is 9 hours 20 minutes paying 10 hours. He goes on vacation he gets a pay cut? Why shouldn’t kevin Ortiz be paid minimum wage when he goes on vacation? Why should he get a vacation? They can’t get someone willing to work as a spokesman w/out a vacation?
Please note the ONLY people with these BUILT IN O/T jobs are T/Os, C/rs and B/Os.

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Nathanael July 19, 2010 - 5:20 pm

In the rest of the world, outside youre little transit worker fantasy land, most people get NO PAY when on vacation.

Yes, that’s right. Unpaid vacations. The horror! People have to *save money* from their working days to pay for vacations!

You will get no sympathy from the majority of people in the US for cutbacks in the *very* generous vacation pay transit workers get.

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nycpat July 19, 2010 - 9:51 pm

I know I get no sympathy. I get mostly contempt and envy. I’ve had plenty of jobs with no paid vacation or benefits. That’s why I took a half dozen civil service tests and> PRESTO! >several years later I became a first world transit worker civil servant.
Good luck with your race to the bottom.

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