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Despite His Words, Bloomberg Backed Transit Workers’ Raises, Union Leader Says

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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has made better mass transit a campaign rallying cry, scolded the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for fiscal ineptitude and criticized a series of wage increases for transit workers that he said would drain funds away from improving service.

 

But according to the transit union’s lead negotiator, the mayor last year supported big back-to-back raises for transit workers, a flashpoint in the bitter contract fight that left the authority facing a $350 million hole in its budget. Those raises — 4 percent, for two years in a row — were granted to workers as part of an arbitration award this month. Since then, the mayor has taken great pains to criticize the outcome as an unfair penalty on subway riders.

 

Aides to the mayor denied that the Bloomberg administration was in favor of the two 4 percent increases. But Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, said the mayor told him in a half-hour telephone conversation last October that he supported those raises.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/nyregion/21raises.html

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