Home Asides To save current jobs, fewer benefits for new ones

To save current jobs, fewer benefits for new ones

by Benjamin Kabak

As the MTA looks to both cut $400 million from its deficit and save numerous endangered TWU jobs, the authority has offered a carrot to the unions. According to The Daily News, the MTA will rescind pink slips for 700 bus drivers and station agents in exchange for changes to the packages offered to new workers. According to Pete Donohue, the changes include a “less generous pension” that would kick in when workers are 57 with 30 years of experience or 66 with a decade’s worth of work instead of the current 55/25 plan; top hourly pay after five instead of three years on the job; and higher contributions for health care coverage.

Interestingly, the MTA is also proposing a way to get around next year’s mandated three-percent raise for TWU members. Instead of a raise, workers would receive a one-time bonus of three percent. This bookkeeping would allow the MTA to start negotiations for a new TWU contract with the annual salaries at a lower point than they otherwise would be. The agency would still have to reduce the number of workers it employs but could do so through attrition instead of firings.

Although neither side had an official comment for the story, TWU head John Samuelsen has said in the past that, according to Donohue, he “opposes opening up the existing contract to make permanent changes, especially without a written no-layoff clause for the future.” I’d imagine we’ll see a compromise somewhere in that highly sought-after middle ground as the authority might be asking for too many concessions here.

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oscar June 24, 2010 - 12:40 pm

i think this is a reasonable proposal

stefanie June 28, 2010 - 10:15 am

People just don’t get it. Like always the news only tell the half of the truth. Yes if this would be really the offer I would say yes to the offer, but it is not like that. MTA does not give us the garantie that after all that no one gets layed of. After there have everything their want there lay the workers of anyway so why should we agree. We even offerd 35 Millions out of our paycheck and MTA does not agrees. People of New York have to learn that everything going on in Transit it because their want it that way not because their have to. Why there still building the 2cond Ave Line while there eliminating 2 other lines and cut 23 Busroutes. Why there pay tenants to move 9 to 150000 Dollars the month? There have the money but their sill cut your service, lay workers of and will raise the fares. But after there manipiulated the NYers so good in telling them it the unions fould I assume if you do not wake up you soon better get a car.

Benjamin Kabak June 28, 2010 - 10:33 am

They’re still building the SAS because the money comes from different sources. Capital and operating budgets are separate. I’d hope that someone who works at the MTA would take the time to learn how and why the authority is run.

Chicken Underwear June 24, 2010 - 6:12 pm

“Instead of a raise, workers would receive a one-time bonus of three percent.”

I would not like that.

Cap'n Transit June 24, 2010 - 10:54 pm

No raise when there’s no inflation is a better deal than a raise that doesn’t keep pace with inflation.

Alon Levy June 25, 2010 - 9:02 am

Every time an American union makes concessions on wages, the concessions end up affecting just new hires.

Larry Littlefield is too nice to labor sometimes.

Georgette Clarke June 28, 2010 - 6:28 am

To senior and mostly unaffected workers, you protect your interests! Your paycheck doesn’t stop! Your child’s college fund doesn’t cease! Your health benefits remain untouched! Your dignity remains in tact! But if you were on the chopping block–You’d change your tone! The union benefits senior – not junior workers, and if I were the later–I’d be outraged! Do you really think people really care about 60 when they can’t feed their children today! Every other union has a layoff clause in their contract, what makes this union any different. And to be quite frank, your dammed if you do and and dammed if you don’t. Stop the nonsense and put people back to work; this union is playing games with people’s lives and the people at the controls are unaffected because they’re senior members! Tier v is not a game, it will be the future reality for ALL city employees that have entered the city workforce in the last five years and who will enter in the future. Oh and sorry I couldn’t come to your hearing, I was to busy consoling my husband about his layoff situation and our economic turmoil!

mikeyO June 28, 2010 - 8:15 am

let mta hold the three percent raise and keep all the employees who are getting laid off

R Addarich June 28, 2010 - 10:27 am

they also want to raise the health contribution to 3% I could live with the other consessions but 1.5% is more than enough MR. samuelson please dont give in on this point I believe this is the same issue that got toussaint voted out and you in so choose carefully.

Georgette Clarke June 29, 2010 - 11:00 am

Georgette Clarke backs the union and retracts previous statements. My husband and other members have more to loose if the union opens up the contracts than not. I trust the union’s judgment and appreciate the support and leadership of John Samuelson it’s leader. My family as well as others have to stay strong and band together, not be divisive, because when we are–they’ve won. I stand by local TWU 100 and hold all members in the highest of prayers. GOD BLESS YOU!

A costly and unnecessary no-layoffs bill moves forward :: Second Ave. Sagas June 30, 2010 - 12:01 pm

[…] should expect while working for a company that’s bleeding money. Last week, the authority floated a proposal that would have saved it money and the union jobs in exchange for a lesser benefits package for new […]


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