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They donated $20G. NYC Transit won't let his widow get a cent

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They donated $20G. NYC Transit won't let his widow get a cent

By Pete Donohue

Daily News Staff Writer

June 3rd 2008

 

[float=right]amd_titok.jpg

Alexander Titok hugs his wife during their

last Christmas together.

[/float]The widow co-workers of an NYC Transit track worker who died of cancer are furious the agency derailed a plan to help the woman after he passed away.

 

The trackmen launched a fund-raising drive after Alexander Titok became terminally ill and was no longer getting paid.

 

They donated more than $20,000 in unused vacation time and holidays, expecting they would be converted into checks.

 

To their horror, they recently learned that after Titok, 49, died in October, the transit agency quietly began transferring the donations back to the donors.

 

"It's ludicrous," said veteran track worker Jack Blazejewicz, who spearheaded the effort. "When we did this, everyone understood it was to help his wife with financial issues. The guys are going nuts."

 

"This is heartbreaking and horrendous," widow Vivian Titok, 49, said.

 

"I don't have [a] job. I have a house and have to make payments. Things keep breaking and I have no one to help me."

 

[float=right]amd_blazejewicz.jpg

Titok's co-worker Jack Blazejewicz

organized an effort to donate vacation

days to help the Titoks financially during

Alexander's illness.

[/float]NYC Transit officials said the donations were pledged to Titok, and only Titok - not his widow - could benefit under agency policy.

 

Vivian Titok said she feels uncomfortable fighting for the money. But her husband's colleagues wanted to give a gift out of friendship and compassion, and their wishes should be honored, she said.

 

The track workers agreed.

 

"It isn't right," one track worker said. "We went crazy trying to do this. We think it's in the works or done, and now we find out they didn't give the family the money."

 

He said NYC Transit sent him a letter about three weeks ago stating a donated vacation day was being returned to him.

 

Titok was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 2006, less than a year after the couple moved to the suburbs, Vivian Titok said. It was throughout his body, and treatment just bought time, she said.

 

Judith Pierce, NYC Transit vice president in charge of labor relations, authorized the fund-raising effort in July 2007.

 

Pierce said it's agency policy to return days to donors if the recipient dies before using them.

 

In such situations, the agency doesn't know the donors' wishes, so everything remaining is returned, she said. The agency also doesn't want to be drawn into inheritance disputes.

 

"It can be a legal nightmare to sort out," she said.

 

NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said 102 days were donated to Titok, who used nearly 30 before he died.

 

The remaining balance of 74 days, worth approximately $15,000, was returned to workers or will be returned, Seaton said.

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Update: 05-04-08

 

MTA's sorry for 'marring' effort to give widow cash

NYC Transit took some blame Tuesday for a derailed attempt by track workers to help a dead co-worker's widow.

 

As reported in the Daily News, the trackmen donated more than $20,000 in unused vacation days to terminally ill Alexander Titok.

 

When the 49-year-old worker died of cancer in October, his widow, Vivian, and the caring colleagues learned to their horror that the agency quietly returned most of the days back to the donors.

 

"The terms of the agreement were not as understood widespread as they should have been," said NYC Transit President Howard Roberts.

 

NYC Transit "lived up to the exact terms of the agreement," he said. "Unfortunately, a number of people involved were not as well-informed with respect to those terms as they should have been. This was an effort to take care of our own - as a family. It is a shame that it was marred this way."

 

From: nydailynews_logo.gificon_offsite.png - June 4, 2008

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TA can be cruel at times.:mad: I wonder how these people sleep at night? Everything is work,work!Whatever happened to compassion for others?

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TA can be cruel at times.:mad: I wonder how these people sleep at night? Everything is work,work!Whatever happened to compassion for others?

hello Nascar; Its really quite simple, just remove the ten comandments ( for example,thou shalt not steal) and one can sleep like a baby. Don't teach, "do unto others as you would have them do to you" which was the american way but rather dog eat dog & that's your problem bub, then it will only get worse. Steve R.

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hello Nascar; Its really quite simple, just remove the ten comandments ( for example,thou shalt not steal) and one can sleep like a baby. Don't teach, "do unto others as you would have them do to you" which was the american way but rather dog eat dog & that's your problem bub, then it will only get worse. Steve R.
Soooo true!

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