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Samuelsen to NY Post: Transit Workers Will Not Accept a 3-Year Wage Freeze

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TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen wrote to the New York Post today to clarify an article which appeared today in the paper. Here is the text of his letter, which the Post has accepted for publication:

 

To the Editor:

 

Your Oct. 26 article (Tax the Rich, Union Rally by Erik Kriss and Sally Goldenberg) incorrectly reported that I would agree to a three-year wage freeze for Transit Workers if the Governor extends the millionaire’s tax. That’s not true. Yes, the Governor should extend the tax on the State’s wealthiest to ease New York’s budget burden, and restore vital services to New York’s working families. But NYC Transit workers are not agreeing to the wage freezes that other unions have. Neither Transit Workers, nor any other public sector workers caused the economic downturn. NY State needs to look toward the investment bankers and Wall street swindlers who caused this crisis to balance the budget, rather than to the hard working families of the Transport Workers Union. We didn't start the recession, and we have no intention of being scapegoated for it.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Samuelsen, President, TWU Local 100

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Your Oct. 26 article (Tax the Rich, Union Rally by Erik Kriss and Sally Goldenberg) incorrectly reported that I would agree to a three-year wage freeze for Transit Workers if the Governor extends the millionaire’s tax. That’s not true. Yes, the Governor should extend the tax on the State’s wealthiest to ease New York’s budget burden, and restore vital services to New York’s working families. But NYC Transit workers are not agreeing to the wage freezes that other unions have. Neither Transit Workers, nor any other public sector workers caused the economic downturn. NY State needs to look toward the investment bankers and Wall street swindlers who caused this crisis to balance the budget, rather than to the hard working families of the Transport Workers Union. We didn't start the recession, and we have no intention of being scapegoated for it.

 

 

Say what you want about Samuelsen, but he is 100% right. This assult against the working class and unions has got to stop.

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TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen wrote to the New York Post today to clarify an article which appeared today in the paper. Here is the text of his letter, which the Post has accepted for publication:

 

To the Editor:

 

Your Oct. 26 article (Tax the Rich, Union Rally by Erik Kriss and Sally Goldenberg) incorrectly reported that I would agree to a three-year wage freeze for Transit Workers if the Governor extends the millionaire’s tax. That’s not true. Yes, the Governor should extend the tax on the State’s wealthiest to ease New York’s budget burden, and restore vital services to New York’s working families. But NYC Transit workers are not agreeing to the wage freezes that other unions have. Neither Transit Workers, nor any other public sector workers caused the economic downturn. NY State needs to look toward the investment bankers and Wall street swindlers who caused this crisis to balance the budget, rather than to the hard working families of the Transport Workers Union. We didn't start the recession, and we have no intention of being scapegoated for it.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Samuelsen, President, TWU Local 100

 

 

Thats because we will be working without a contract for a minute is my guess.. :P

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Yae I don't see them coming to any agreement on things any time soon....MTA has to be mad as hell that the arbitrator gave us what we fairly bargained....I am sure they want give backs....and lots of them

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Yeah thats all fine and dandy but fact of the matter is everyone's gotta take their pinch wether they like it or not one by one because of the greedy dealings of Wall st and the banks. However, since it's all just pupeteering to further smack their workers off the middle class (at the end of 3 years MTA will simply look for some similar deal) then the Union shouldn't take a step back under no circumstace. Im not saying they are always fair but Worker's Unions are the people's only existing lobby with any leverage left.

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Big fan of Samuelsen and he's exactly why we need unions, fighting for what's right with a fair amount of clout. I'm not sure how much longer he'll be there though, with Lhota showing up I'm betting on a strike, which would be a shame for everybody.

 

No a strike would be the worst thing that could happen, if we work without a contract for a while so Be it.

 

If the belt needs to be tighten a bit then ok then but dont try to rob the whole hen house...

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That's the biggest problem is them wanting higher healthcare premiums.

 

Better to work without a contract than have massive givebacks.

 

Striking is not necessary and counterproductive. Some people out there have a brain and realize the current "Bizness" mantra of privatized profits for the wealthy and socialized losses for the workers and the public is BS. Striking throws any goodwill created by Occupy Wall Street or the general rage at the rich ruling aristocracy which eats the whole cake when times are good and asks the people who never got a slice to help pay the bill when it comes at the end of the meal. Striking also subjects the union to fines and civil penalties as a result of the Taylor Law which would just be better to avoid considering the union just got dues check off back a couple years ago.

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Forget wage freezes, changes to the pension plans and health insurance plans are going to be the big issues.

 

Kind of crazy to think that the majority of issues with cost don't come from wages, but from health care costs and pensions. I'm not sure what exactly that tells us about the way our economy and society is set up, but it is not good.

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Forget wage freezes, changes to the pension plans and health insurance plans are going to be the big issues.

 

Kind of crazy to think that the majority of issues with cost don't come from wages, but from health care costs and pensions. I'm not sure what exactly that tells us about the way our economy and society is set up, but it is not good.

 

you mean not good for us....but it has worked all these years.....that's like when my Parents bought the house and paid 35k....that same house is worth 750k today....they sold it and made big profits....now for us today we will not c that appreciation at all......so we were born at the wrong time???.....like come on....NO GIVE BACKS....give us what we rightfully work for.....just like our forefathers......how about those guys in the 80's and early 90's padding the pension?? working all those hrs and making over 100k so best out of last 3 equals 100k or better....they should give givebacks......why do we have to pay and not the people before us???? They ruined the system so they should give back!!!!!!!

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The "system" was ruined when governments began financing pet projects and stupidity instead of necessary programs like law enforcement, education, fire, transportation, and infrastructure upkeep.

 

Adjusted for inflation, funding for vital services has been in a steady decline since the 1980s.

 

Where does the money go? No one knows....

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The "system" was ruined when governments began financing pet projects and stupidity instead of necessary programs like law enforcement, education, fire, transportation, and infrastructure upkeep.

 

Adjusted for inflation, funding for vital services has been in a steady decline since the 1980s.

 

Where does the money go? No one knows....

 

...Or people refuse to believe the actual truth

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...Or people refuse to believe the actual truth

 

That just gets glossed over. Who needs truth when you have KOOL AID. OH YEAH.

 

"It's all the MTA's fault. They keep raising fares and having budget shortfalls. I mean we just enacted an MTA payroll tax [that doesn't go to the MTA] so that wouldn't happen...what gives?"

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I think this is a problem.....i think if we're going to opt for a wage increase it should be reasonable.....we should make our money but not if it means tanking the TA......at the expense of our last raise...they fired a boat load of pple ! good workin pple who didnt deserve it !

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I think that if the freeze extended to all levels of the society they might have a point. But to continue to give big bonuses to the people at the top and huge tax brakes while asking everyone else to go without is why the middle class is on the endangered spices list.

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I think that if the freeze extended to all levels of the society they might have a point. But to continue to give big bonuses to the people at the top and huge tax brakes while asking everyone else to go without is why the middle class is on the endangered spices list.

 

Exactly...and people are really starting to get pissed.

 

You can only oppress people for so long. There's enough money in this country to go around for everyone but a few greedy at the top would rather have it all for themselves and in doing so just guarantee their own future demise when the oppressed rise up and take everything from them.

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Exactly...and people are really starting to get pissed.

 

You can only oppress people for so long. There's enough money in this country to go around for everyone but a few greedy at the top would rather have it all for themselves and in doing so just guarantee their own future demise when the oppressed rise up and take everything from them.

 

The oppressed arent gonna do a goddam thing except hang about just like in China. As long as at least a quarter of this country is able to take care of itself were gonna keep selling the idea that everything is fine in America and all our misery is our own fault because were not taking advantage of the land of opportunity. Things are only going to get worse, our country is on a downward spiral. The only way to make even slight changes is by armed rebellion and even so we'll still have to put up with new assclowns. Now if we can breed a generation of folk that QUESTION AND MOVE UPON everything that is suspect like GOD, laws and corporations, we might be onto something. We believe in illusions and thats how they want it, this isnt anything like Accept: Balls to the wall.

 

Unless you are a corporation or ultra rich with vested interest, what citizen of this country would agree to something like this? A small group of people will decide this for about 350 million americans and relatively speaking barely anyone knows about it, I wonder why.

 

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

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I think a fair solution to this problem that occurs every 3 years is for transit workers to get a cost of living allowance, based on inflation. This way, no matter how big or small the raise, the workers get to maintain their standard of living, and there won't be this fight every contract over what they deserve vs what the (MTA) can afford. Also this should be based on NYC inflation because rents skyrocket here more than anywhere else

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I don't believe in excess of any kind. Worker benefits should be in line with what one needs to live a comfortable life. For me, that means that each person is entitled to a living wage for an honest days work. If you want to put more time in then you can make more. The problem is that we have gone from an economy where hard work paid off to one where cost savings drive business decisions.

 

There was a time when being profitable was enough. Now companies must beat expectations. The MTA is more efficient today than 30 years ago yet we still talk about freezing wages for years to come. The system should not be solely dependent on fares to modernize. Society must invest in its transportation system. That is how we move people, good, and services. This country was built by a strong organized workforce yet we allow ourselves to be convinced that worker benefits are the problem. We have got to stop supporting politician and parties that demonize workers.

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IMO, given the economy, a package of 0%/0%/2% seems a fair concession that won't look bad in the public eye, as well as eliminating "radio time", provided that the MTA doesn't get what it wants on some of these things:

 

-NO elimination of pay for deadhead time

-NO additional contributions to healthcare

-NO changes to the pension for current employees

-NO changes to the probationary period for new employees

-NO reductions in working hours for existing employees below a base of 40/week

-NO layoffs

-NO increase in OPTO.

-Bus Operators get a plan with a timetable for installing protective screens of some sort.

 

With the way public unions have been getting routed nationwide, that would be a victory. This time, precedent dictates arbitration would not turn out favorably as other unions have not been getting good deals.

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