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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA, Transit Workers Union Still In Negotiations After Contract Expires

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2% is not "generous" just because someone says it is. Look at the cost of living. Gas about to go up again. Rent / real estate going up by huge percentages every year. Food going up by more than 2%. Healthcare continuing to go up unchecked, whether the ACA stays or gets repealed. Education continuing to go up unchecked. Cell phone + internet going up.

 

And we've got the stock market at record highs with a good economy. City council just got 32% in one year. Income inequality at record levels. But you believe 2.5% is "generous" just because someone throws that word in there?

The raise was a fair one IMO, and if you include the other perks you received, it's fair.  I mean I must say if everyone could yell that they deserve a raise just because of inflation, well we would all have bloated salaries.  That doesn't justify a raise IMO.  What justifies a raise is how is the service that we the passengers are receiving.  I'm not necessarily sold that just because millions of people are moved everyday that automatically means that service is great overall.  When I see how infrequently I use the subway and how often it is delayed, that's a testament of what is wrong with our transit system. There hasn't been one week yet where I haven't encountered a delayed train in the last month of so that I've been riding the train, and I only use it 3 - 4 times a week max.  First time using it this week was yesterday and of course there were delays... 

 

I think raises should be tied in to productivity to some capacity and not just how well the (MTA) is doing financially.  That's how just about everyone else is rated in the workforce.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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What does late trains have to do with the employees who are in Local 100? 

 

Exactly what I was going to say...

 

TWU was never the cause of late trains.

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What does late trains have to do with the employees who are in Local 100? 

I'm using an example.  Raises should be based partially on productivity.  Simple as that.  I'm more than happy to use another example that is more inclusive if my point isn't clear.  We the riding public ultimately will be paying for these raises one way or another.

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Cleaners, Conductors & Train Operators have no control or say in "weekend contruction" or any other general orders for that matter but we should take the heat for it?

 

you ever think about how a general order may effect the life of a transit worker? I bet you don't

 

the people who map out these things are making triple what we are but you wanna go in our pockets, ok 

 

im not complaining about the raise just making a point 

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Cleaners, Conductors & Train Operators have no control or say in "weekend contruction" or any other general orders for that matter but we should take the heat for it?

 

you ever think about how a general order may effect the life of a transit worker? I bet you don't

 

the people who map out these things are making triple what we are but you wanna go in our pockets, ok 

 

im not complaining about the raise just making a point 

I'm sorry you feel that way, but my salary increases are based on my productivity for my department, and if my department does poorly, well I may not get a raise or a bonus since I'm the one running the show, or I may be fired.  I'm responsible for the money that comes in (or doesn't every year, and responsible for balancing costs and everything else that happens, from who I hire and fire and so on).  I mean that's a how a business works, and the (MTA) isn't a charity.  It's an agency that has to be held fiscally accountable.

 

 I'm not interested in digging into your pockets.  I'm interested in what we the riders get for each fare increase that we have to pay with poorer and poorer services.  Buses and trains are dirtier and maybe there's a good reason for that.  Maybe the (MTA) isn't allocating enough money for it or maybe they can't afford it.  I don't know, but all I know is I don't think we're getting enough for what we're paying, be it local buses, express buses, subways, Metro-North, or the LIRR.  

 

I want to be clear in saying that I'm pro union and pro American jobs (in my own business I don't outsource for cheap labor because I believe in supporting American workers and our economy as much as possible) because the fact of the matter is we overall are being raped in terms of wages.  IMO, very few Americans are earning what they should, even those who earn well, but on the same token, I also don't believe in bloated salaries.  Salaries need to be justified.  

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How are you grading train operators and conductors performances? 

 

By your train being late?

My point is your president John Samuelsen has repeatedly argued that TWU workers deserve a raise because they move millions of people every day.  

'We want the public to have a better understanding of what it’s like to be a transit worker,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “We move over 8 million rides each day, providing this vital service to New Yorkers, but we pay a heavy price in blood.'

Source: http://www.twulocal100.org/node

 

He said that, not me, and it's a statement he has made repeatedly over the years (the part about how many millions of riders are moved each day), so I'm responding to his response and saying that it isn't enough to make that claim to justify a raise.  If buses and trains are consistently late, is he saying that moving large amounts of people justify a raise? I don't agree with that assertion.  Perhaps you can clarify?  I personally would like to hear him more outspoken about the (MTA) doing more to make the commutes of riders better as well because a healthy transit system means more money for the (MTA) and more jobs for (MTA) workers. Don't you agree?

 

If another department at your job does poorly should your department be denied a salary increase?  :huh:

Salary increases depend on the profitability of the entire company, and while it may seen unfair, it should be understood.  You can't pay out what you don't have.  The (MTA) stated what they could afford, and you received a number around that.  Now as I said before, I agree with the raise you guys received.  Two 2.5% increases over the next roughly two years and change is reasonable given the additional perks thrown in.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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If I had to blame anybody, I'd blame dispatching for the delays, and I don't think dispatchers are TWU 100 anyways... (correct me if I'm wrong)

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The other thing that got me in the article I read was it stated that they needed raises so that (MTA) workers could remain in NYC because they are being gentrified out. I mean are we supposed to be paying for that too? People live where they can afford to live, and plenty of New Yorkers have moved out to cheaper places because they can't afford the costs. That's what you do. You don't expect others to pay for such things.

 

We'll find out soon what we'll be paying in March of this year for the latest fare hike since the (MTA) board has to vote soon if they haven't already.

Isn't the NYC Civil Service rule such that one must live in NYC in order to work for city-owned organizations (ie MaBSTOA, NYCTA, NYCHA, et.al)?

 

I remember seeing something to that effect when I researched joining NYPD.

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Isn't the NYC Civil Service rule such that one must live in NYC in order to work for city-owned organizations (ie MaBSTOA, NYCTA, NYCHA, et.al)?

 

I remember seeing something to that effect when I researched joining NYPD.

Apparently not, seeing that you have people working for the (MTA) that commute all the way from Pennsylvania and Connecticut.  I know of quite a few B/Os that work for the (MTA) and live outside of NYC.  My own uncle works as a B/O out of Quill and lives in NJ and has been for a few years now.

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Isn't the NYC Civil Service rule such that one must live in NYC in order to work for city-owned organizations (ie MaBSTOA, NYCTA, NYCHA, et.al)?

The (MTA) is a state agency. NYC has no power over it.

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OK, well suppose I arbitrarily decide that 0.5% is a fare wage increase for you at your job. I can call my friends over at the newspaper and have it written up that way. Your bosses and everyone else are getting 4% or better, bills and expenses keep going up and up, etc.

 

Does that mean when you receive the offer that it's "actually" fair? Of course not.

 

And good train crews are the only reasons system delays aren't even worse than they already are. There has been a complete and utter failure of planning for population, ridership, and density increases in NYC over the past several decades. A system that was barely adequate in 1960 is even worse off now, and that's a failure largely of the political system.

 

And yes, it is absolutely "digging into my pocket" when necessities keep going up and we don't get a wage increase to at least match them. Falling behind is just as bad as reaching into my wallet and stealing money. But people in this country are financially illiterate morons, so if you frame it the second way they're pissed, but if you frame it the first they're too stupid to realize what happened, they just can't figure out where their money keeps going.

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OK, well suppose I arbitrarily decide that 0.5% is a fare wage increase for you at your job. I can call my friends over at the newspaper and have it written up that way. Your bosses and everyone else are getting 4% or better, bills and expenses keep going up and up, etc.

 

Does that mean when you receive the offer that it's "actually" fair? Of course not.

 

And good train crews are the only reasons system delays aren't even worse than they already are. There has been a complete and utter failure of planning for population, ridership, and density increases in NYC over the past several decades. A system that was barely adequate in 1960 is even worse off now, and that's a failure largely of the political system.

 

And yes, it is absolutely "digging into my pocket" when necessities keep going up and we don't get a wage increase to at least match them. Falling behind is just as bad as reaching into my wallet and stealing money. But people in this country are financially illiterate morons, so if you frame it the second way they're pissed, but if you frame it the first they're too stupid to realize what happened, they just can't figure out where their money keeps going.

Well it's digging into everyone's pockets.  I mean overall wages are stagnant across the country so I don't understand what makes (MTA) workers special in that because there are increases in the cost of things that they must get a raise?  That's what I don't understand and it's an argument that seems to be used every time contract talks start.  It comes off as feeling entitled.  There are other things that could be highlighted as to why workers should get a raise.  Stating that everything is going up is the case for everyone.  However when the fares go up, what I hear is that the cost is a bargain for what you get, yet on the other hand you're saying the system is outdated. lol  If you don't have a pass, a round trip peak fare on MNRR or LIRR could buy you a nice lunch or a meal somewhere.  Not exactly cheap. For the poor folks, they will be the ones truly feeling it when the fares go up again.  The Post makes a good point that I gave some thought and that I do myself.  

 

When the subways are too crowded or delayed when I travel to certain areas of the city, I can jump on Metro-North to avoid the crowds because I have a monthly pass.  Some poor working person doesn't have that option.   

 

 

Fare hikes and bad service hit the poor hardest. A lawyer commuting downtown from, say, the Upper West Side can take a walk through the park sometimes to avoid a daily $6 hit. And the cramped ride is at least short.

A minimum-wage worker coming from Hunts Point in The Bronx can’t avoid transit, and she has a long, unreliable trip. The shorter the work shift she gets, the bigger the burden, since she has to work for a half-hour just to pay for the trip.

Poor workers have to spend more than 10 percent of their household income on a transit pass, according to a study done by the Community Service Society. The figure is only 2 percent for moderate earners.

“The fare structure favors higher-income people,” says Nancy Rankin of CSS, “who can afford to lay out $121” for more flexibility in commuting — and going other places, too. “New York has this great competitive advantage” in the subway. “It gives employers access to this vast labor pool. But if people can’t afford the fare, then what good does it do?”

 

http://nypost.com/2017/01/16/how-the-poor-pay-the-price-for-subway-worker-benefits/

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2% is not "generous" just because someone says it is. Look at the cost of living. Gas about to go up again. Rent / real estate going up by huge percentages every year. Food going up by more than 2%. Healthcare continuing to go up unchecked, whether the ACA stays or gets repealed. Education continuing to go up unchecked. Cell phone + internet going up.

 

And we've got the stock market at record highs with a good economy. City council just got 32% in one year. Income inequality at record levels. But you believe 2.5% is "generous" just because someone throws that word in there?

 

Should transit workers be paid far more? Yes. Is it productive for the union to fight this with the governor being who he is? No. That's the pragmatic way I'm looking at this. This is a good deal from the framework it comes from, and 'generous' compared to what was anticipated by many. Obviously, it's all relative, but I'm not making these words up. Considering what many of us expected, this is a good deal. I'm not sure why you bring up the council increase, which seems like an irrelevant stat neither here nor there part of an entirely difficult model of contract. 

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Should transit workers be paid far more? Yes. Is it productive for the union to fight this with the governor being who he is? No. That's the pragmatic way I'm looking at this. This is a good deal from the framework it comes from, and 'generous' compared to what was anticipated by many. Obviously, it's all relative, but I'm not making these words up. Considering what many of us expected, this is a good deal. I'm not sure why you bring up the council increase, which seems like an irrelevant stat neither here nor there part of an entirely difficult model of contract. 

No it's not. There are givebacks mentioned, particuarly in RTO, that the average person would not understand because they do not work in RTO and are not familiar with what those are.

 

Things that impact federally mandated FMLA leave and how you get paid to use your time off to take care of a family member.

Things that limit or reduce our job selections

Things that open the door for other things to come that will affect our ability to work and get paid overtime for >8 hours pay

Things that make it harder to get overtime in general

Things that make it more difficult to take time off when our jobs are demanding as it is

 

And a wage increase that barely beats the artifically low "inflation" which has been set nationally and does not take into effect NYC area cost of living increases, which have consistently outpaced "core inflation" since 2008.

 

All for a measly 2.5% wage increase.

 

Again. Businesses have record profits. Transit has record ridership. Useless do-nothing city council just got a 32% wage increase with taxpayer dollars.

 

But again, all this focusing on macroeconomics, and it's gotten us nowhere. Everyone in debt to their corporate masters, have to borrow to make ends meet. Live below your means and they'll "borrow" from you to pay for programs for people who made dumb decisions and the rich to continue to live better than you so you'll never catch up. Constantly fighting against a rising cost of living, and they throw you a bread crumb and ask for dozens of givebacks and you're just supposed to sit there and go "yessir may I have another?"

 

Boy I can't wait for 2.5 years from now when congressional Republicans and their "job creating" (big sarcasm) donors have pocketed all the wealth from tax breaks and the economy has crashed again, for the media, public, and people like Via Garibaldi to once again demand upon expiry of this contract, that I yet again "take one for the team" and eat some ones (and maybe even some zeroes!) in my next contract like I already did in the previous contract.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Well it's digging into everyone's pockets.  I mean overall wages are stagnant across the country so I don't understand what makes (MTA) workers special in that because there are increases in the cost of things that they must get a raise?  That's what I don't understand and it's an argument that seems to be used every time contract talks start.  It comes off as feeling entitled.  There are other things that could be highlighted as to why workers should get a raise.  Stating that everything is going up is the case for everyone.  However when the fares go up, what I hear is that the cost is a bargain for what you get, yet on the other hand you're saying the system is outdated. lol  If you don't have a pass, a round trip peak fare on MNRR or LIRR could buy you a nice lunch or a meal somewhere.  Not exactly cheap. For the poor folks, they will be the ones truly feeling it when the fares go up again.  The Post makes a good point that I gave some thought and that I do myself.  

 

When the subways are too crowded or delayed when I travel to certain areas of the city, I can jump on Metro-North to avoid the crowds because I have a monthly pass.  Some poor working person doesn't have that option.   

 

 

http://nypost.com/2017/01/16/how-the-poor-pay-the-price-for-subway-worker-benefits/

 

Wages are hourlies. Salaried employees have been making more than ever. Transit workers are increasingly getting priced out of the city, which is why so many are moving way upstate, to NJ, far out LI, or PA.

 

What do you think the impact of this is? Sure, they save on housing, but now have to contend with long commutes to work and contribute to traffic commuting which affects everyone. But I guess they should just bike in from those locations right? I guess they should just be grateful to have a job at all when there is catastrophic traffic like the lardass from NJ created on the GW bridge and they are sent home without pay and written up for the day for being AWOL or late due to something they had no control over. As they are cautiously reminded that, "this is why Transit gives you a pass", as they're also fined or suspended without pay for the same infraction.

 

The cost of living isn't actually that much less living in those places when you figure mileage on vehicles, gas, and tolls, which Transit workers still don't get a break from, btw, including tolls on MTA bridges and tunnels. So now you want everyone - including Transit workers who live in NYC, have mortgages, and pay rent - to take another hit?

 

The fact that wages have been stagnant nationwide is why this economic "recovery" has felt so incomplete. The numbers look good (or are made to look good) but working people are just as behind as ever. The difference is #1-in New York all of the cost of living and inflation numbers are higher than nationwide and #2-wage numbers can be made to look good in NY the more working people move out and are displaced by rich carpetbaggers paying above market rates. In case you haven't noticed, people are leaving this city in droves.

 

I am tired of "poor people" being generally used as a straw man against working class people. I am tired of having things promised to me that are then repurposed to help people worse off than me enjoy a higher standard of living. I am tired of being lied to. I am tired of being asked to sacrifice for the good of the team, but no one ever gives a damn penny to help me get a better standard of living. I am tired of constantly being subjected to high tax rates because my income is too high, but people who make more than me pay less in taxes, and every time I try to figure out ways to reduce my tax burden, I am told that I must spend more, only to then save a fraction of that in taxes.

 

And I am tired of busting my ass, giving up countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years with friends and family working a job that is physically and mentally demanding, but rewarding, that most people don't possess the stamina, attentiveness, willingness to put up with commuting and odd hours to do, and being told by these same a**holes that are off celebrating holidays while making more than me to do a job that is less systemically critical to the region while I am working, that I am "overpaid" for my sacrifice, just like I am told the same thing by someone who is paid to write spin articles for a newspaper (talk about useless jobs). And I am tired of sucking it up while everyone arounds me profits, because apparently despite the fact that 20% of the MTA's budget is allocated for debt service to pay off Wall Street, it's my fault the budget doesn't ever balance (and never was intended to!). Despite the fact that front line employees have no say in planning or in reducing commutation delays which has to do with the complete and utter failure of government to plan for the future, it's my fault the lines are running over capacity, that someone held the doors, or that there's no Third Avenue El in the Bronx. All because a bunch of peasants who still foolishly think that $70K as a base pay is a lot of money in the richest city on earth (hint: it isn't), I'm supposed to sacrifice my standard of living to JOIN the poor in a lottery for a housing project, because they make $30K a year, and that "i'd be a great team player" for doing that. All that, so any TA employee that wins a housing lottery, can be charged more money to live in the same shithole as the person next door with no job and 7 kids paying the bills with alimony and child support at a fraction of the cost. And if the TA employee works overtime and reaches the upper limit of the income threshold, they "make too much" and must pay a market rent somewhere else.

 

This is the reality for many TA employees. I don't know where the f**k this notion ever came from that anyone who works 40 hours a week should be content to be poor forever, but it sucks. And while the peasants making 30K and the indentured servants making 70K quibble over a thousand dollars, no one seems to give a shit about the millionaires and billionaires boarding themselves up in private communities, away from the populace, legally bribing politicians and changing laws to benefit them even further, and even trying to rig the game for their kids in the next generation. No, all they care about is the thousand dollars that won't even stay in their pockets long enough for them to count.

 

I don't see the ultra rich making ANY sacrifices, so f**k that. If we're gonna talk sacrifices, the group that GAINED the most from this rigged system needs to be the first to give back. NOT ME.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Wages are hourlies. Salaried employees have been making more than ever. Transit workers are increasingly getting priced out of the city, which is why so many are moving way upstate, to NJ, far out LI, or PA.

 

What do you think the impact of this is? Sure, they save on housing, but now have to contend with long commutes to work and contribute to traffic commuting which affects everyone. But I guess they should just bike in from those locations right? I guess they should just be grateful to have a job at all when there is catastrophic traffic like the lardass from NJ created on the GW bridge and they are sent home without pay and written up for the day for being AWOL or late due to something they had no control over. As they are cautiously reminded that, "this is why Transit gives you a pass", as they're also fined or suspended without pay for the same infraction.

 

The cost of living isn't actually that much less living in those places when you figure mileage on vehicles, gas, and tolls, which Transit workers still don't get a break from, btw, including tolls on MTA bridges and tunnels. So now you want everyone - including Transit workers who live in NYC, have mortgages, and pay rent - to take another hit?

 

The fact that wages have been stagnant nationwide is why this economic "recovery" has felt so incomplete. The numbers look good (or are made to look good) but working people are just as behind as ever. The difference is #1-in New York all of the cost of living and inflation numbers are higher than nationwide and #2-wage numbers can be made to look good in NY the more working people move out and are displaced by rich carpetbaggers paying above market rates. In case you haven't noticed, people are leaving this city in droves.

 

I am tired of "poor people" being generally used as a straw man against working class people. I am tired of having things promised to me that are then repurposed to help people worse off than me enjoy a higher standard of living. I am tired of being lied to. I am tired of being asked to sacrifice for the good of the team, but no one ever gives a damn penny to help me get a better standard of living. I am tired of constantly being subjected to high tax rates because my income is too high, but people who make more than me pay less in taxes, and every time I try to figure out ways to reduce my tax burden, I am told that I must spend more, only to then save a fraction of that in taxes.

 

And I am tired of busting my ass, giving up countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years with friends and family working a job that is physically and mentally demanding, but rewarding, that most people don't possess the stamina, attentiveness, willingness to put up with commuting and odd hours to do, and being told by these same a**holes that are off celebrating holidays while making more than me to do a job that is less systemically critical to the region while I am working, that I am "overpaid" for my sacrifice, just like I am told the same thing by someone who is paid to write spin articles for a newspaper (talk about useless jobs). And I am tired of sucking it up while everyone arounds me profits, because apparently despite the fact that 20% of the MTA's budget is allocated for debt service to pay off Wall Street, it's my fault the budget doesn't ever balance (and never was intended to!). Despite the fact that front line employees have no say in planning or in reducing commutation delays which has to do with the complete and utter failure of government to plan for the future, it's my fault the lines are running over capacity, that someone held the doors, or that there's no Third Avenue El in the Bronx. All because a bunch of peasants who still foolishly think that $70K as a base pay is a lot of money in the richest city on earth (hint: it isn't), I'm supposed to sacrifice my standard of living to JOIN the poor in a lottery for a housing project, because they make $30K a year, and that "i'd be a great team player" for doing that. All that, so any TA employee that wins a housing lottery, can be charged more money to live in the same shithole as the person next door with no job and 7 kids paying the bills with alimony and child support at a fraction of the cost. And if the TA employee works overtime and reaches the upper limit of the income threshold, they "make too much" and must pay a market rent somewhere else.

 

This is the reality for many TA employees. I don't know where the f**k this notion ever came from that anyone who works 40 hours a week should be content to be poor forever, but it sucks. And while the peasants making 30K and the indentured servants making 70K quibble over a thousand dollars, no one seems to give a shit about the millionaires and billionaires boarding themselves up in private communities, away from the populace, legally bribing politicians and changing laws to benefit them even further, and even trying to rig the game for their kids in the next generation. No, all they care about is the thousand dollars that won't even stay in their pockets long enough for them to count.

 

I don't see the ultra rich making ANY sacrifices, so f**k that. If we're gonna talk sacrifices, the group that GAINED the most from this rigged system needs to be the first to give back. NOT ME.

I happen to be a salaried worker and while what you say is true, salaried workers work just as hard as hourly workers.  I easily work over 50 hours a week, which sometimes includes part of my weekends or perhaps holidays and I am not compensated for that.   Yes salaried workers get a bonus at the end of the year, but that is based on how we perform in terms of how much profit we bring in; how we budget costs, and so forth, which is ultimately what matters.  That's part of the job that comes with the salary.  

 

I interned for the (MTA) for two summers in high school and also received a free Metrocard that was valid Monday - Friday from 07:00 - 19:00.  I think you guys should get a free pass, but at the same time, there aren't too many places giving their employees such a perk saving you thousands of dollars each year.  In most cases, you have the opportunity to have those costs be included in your paycheck before taxes are taken out, but a free pass?  Rarely.  My old boss gave me free transit checks years ago, but that is definitely not the norm.  

 

As far as transit workers being priced out, we live in a capitalist society, and I believe that the real estate market will correct itself accordingly. It already is.  Prices go up and down all of the time due to supply and demand and how much inventory is on the market.  Those who can afford to live here will continue to do so and will be smart enough to forecast rising costs and will find ways to raise their income accordingly (legally).  

$70k isn't a lot of money, but it is a respectable salary nonetheless when you consider that the median income for a household in NYC is around $55k or so a year, so plenty of people are doing more with less.  

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Wages are hourlies. Salaried employees have been making more than ever. Transit workers are increasingly getting priced out of the city, which is why so many are moving way upstate, to NJ, far out LI, or PA.

 

What do you think the impact of this is? Sure, they save on housing, but now have to contend with long commutes to work and contribute to traffic commuting which affects everyone. But I guess they should just bike in from those locations right? I guess they should just be grateful to have a job at all when there is catastrophic traffic like the lardass from NJ created on the GW bridge and they are sent home without pay and written up for the day for being AWOL or late due to something they had no control over. As they are cautiously reminded that, "this is why Transit gives you a pass", as they're also fined or suspended without pay for the same infraction.

 

The cost of living isn't actually that much less living in those places when you figure mileage on vehicles, gas, and tolls, which Transit workers still don't get a break from, btw, including tolls on MTA bridges and tunnels. So now you want everyone - including Transit workers who live in NYC, have mortgages, and pay rent - to take another hit?

 

The fact that wages have been stagnant nationwide is why this economic "recovery" has felt so incomplete. The numbers look good (or are made to look good) but working people are just as behind as ever. The difference is #1-in New York all of the cost of living and inflation numbers are higher than nationwide and #2-wage numbers can be made to look good in NY the more working people move out and are displaced by rich carpetbaggers paying above market rates. In case you haven't noticed, people are leaving this city in droves.

 

I am tired of "poor people" being generally used as a straw man against working class people. I am tired of having things promised to me that are then repurposed to help people worse off than me enjoy a higher standard of living. I am tired of being lied to. I am tired of being asked to sacrifice for the good of the team, but no one ever gives a damn penny to help me get a better standard of living. I am tired of constantly being subjected to high tax rates because my income is too high, but people who make more than me pay less in taxes, and every time I try to figure out ways to reduce my tax burden, I am told that I must spend more, only to then save a fraction of that in taxes.

 

And I am tired of busting my ass, giving up countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years with friends and family working a job that is physically and mentally demanding, but rewarding, that most people don't possess the stamina, attentiveness, willingness to put up with commuting and odd hours to do, and being told by these same a**holes that are off celebrating holidays while making more than me to do a job that is less systemically critical to the region while I am working, that I am "overpaid" for my sacrifice, just like I am told the same thing by someone who is paid to write spin articles for a newspaper (talk about useless jobs). And I am tired of sucking it up while everyone arounds me profits, because apparently despite the fact that 20% of the MTA's budget is allocated for debt service to pay off Wall Street, it's my fault the budget doesn't ever balance (and never was intended to!). Despite the fact that front line employees have no say in planning or in reducing commutation delays which has to do with the complete and utter failure of government to plan for the future, it's my fault the lines are running over capacity, that someone held the doors, or that there's no Third Avenue El in the Bronx. All because a bunch of peasants who still foolishly think that $70K as a base pay is a lot of money in the richest city on earth (hint: it isn't), I'm supposed to sacrifice my standard of living to JOIN the poor in a lottery for a housing project, because they make $30K a year, and that "i'd be a great team player" for doing that. All that, so any TA employee that wins a housing lottery, can be charged more money to live in the same shithole as the person next door with no job and 7 kids paying the bills with alimony and child support at a fraction of the cost. And if the TA employee works overtime and reaches the upper limit of the income threshold, they "make too much" and must pay a market rent somewhere else.

 

This is the reality for many TA employees. I don't know where the f**k this notion ever came from that anyone who works 40 hours a week should be content to be poor forever, but it sucks. And while the peasants making 30K and the indentured servants making 70K quibble over a thousand dollars, no one seems to give a shit about the millionaires and billionaires boarding themselves up in private communities, away from the populace, legally bribing politicians and changing laws to benefit them even further, and even trying to rig the game for their kids in the next generation. No, all they care about is the thousand dollars that won't even stay in their pockets long enough for them to count.

 

I don't see the ultra rich making ANY sacrifices, so f**k that. If we're gonna talk sacrifices, the group that GAINED the most from this rigged system needs to be the first to give back. NOT ME.

Well said.

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I happen to be a salaried worker and while what you say is true, salaried workers work just as hard as hourly workers.  I easily work over 50 hours a week, which sometimes includes part of my weekends or perhaps holidays and I am not compensated for that.   Yes salaried workers get a bonus at the end of the year, but that is based on how we perform in terms of how much profit we bring in; how we budget costs, and so forth, which is ultimately what matters.  That's part of the job that comes with the salary.  

 

I interned for the (MTA) for two summers in high school and also received a free Metrocard that was valid Monday - Friday from 07:00 - 19:00.  I think you guys should get a free pass, but at the same time, there aren't too many places giving their employees such a perk saving you thousands of dollars each year.  In most cases, you have the opportunity to have those costs be included in your paycheck before taxes are taken out, but a free pass?  Rarely.  My old boss gave me free transit checks years ago, but that is definitely not the norm.  

 

As far as transit workers being priced out, we live in a capitalist society, and I believe that the real estate market will correct itself accordingly. It already is.  Prices go up and down all of the time due to supply and demand and how much inventory is on the market.  Those who can afford to live here will continue to do so and will be smart enough to forecast rising costs and will find ways to raise their income accordingly (legally).  

$70k isn't a lot of money, but it is a respectable salary nonetheless when you consider that the median income for a household in NYC is around $55k or so a year, so plenty of people are doing more with less.  

 

I'm not saying salaried workers don't work as hard. I'm saying that one group has seen their compensation consistently going up, and the other has not. Hourly workers have been consistently falling behind due to inflation and rising costs of living. It has nothing to do with how hard you work. Everyone works hard. No one who works hard should be poor. Everyone who works full-time should be entitled to provide themselves with a decent (not poor) standard of living and a comfortable retirement based on the fruits of that job.

 

Guess what? I don't get a bonus. I have an outstanding safety record - spotless actually - and when delays occur, I have minimized them to the greatest of my ability and earned the accolades of my supervisors and managers for doing so. But accolades and attaboys don't pay bills. The only way my pay increases is if I work more, or if I get a decent raise. This contract gives me a barely acceptable wage increase, but attaches that to givebacks that long term limit my earning potential in this title...including my potential to earn overtime for working more. It also takes away even MORE of my time away from the job.

 

The pass sounds like a wonderful benefit until you realize how little it actually helps you. The 30 day card costs 116.50. Assuming 22 working days at 8 hours per day in a 30 day period, that comes to approximately 66 cents an hour. And remember - any TA employee that lives out of region benefits far less from the pass, since they often have to drive to work. And no bones about it...the pass doesn't save us "thousands" every year. It saves us about $1,400 a year. So, singular on those "thousands."

 

You give the free market way too much credit. Those who live here will continue to be forced out and you will have a city of the rich who are serviced by the working class that is basically bussed in to serve them. Entire regions of the country - this big beautiful land, we should be free to inhabit and develop - are ghost towns, slums, and completely undeveloped...all in the name of cramming everyone and their ever-loving mothers into the same 7 sprawling metropolises whose densities get packed tighter and tighter every single year.

 

Most workers can supplement their income, but Transit employees cannot. Transit employees have to be approved to have dual employment to ensure we have necessary rest because our jobs are so demanding. It's not so simple as to moonlight doing something else. Which is why our ability to work and earn overtime differential for necessary work is so important. And the loss of that amounts to such a massive giveback. And real estate is not correcting itself, unless you are talking about cities that are degrading into slums. NYC real estate is artificially propped up by a combination of all these "affordable housing" initiatives that drive out middle class people to prop up the poor, and pro big business pro developer policy that provides tax breaks to companies that build UNAFFORDABLE housing so long as they include a small sliver of units of the "affordable" kind that many working people don't qualify for, which are then touted as "affordable" despite exorbitant rents that are almost as high as market rate...and which any financially savvy person would reject as "living above one's means".

 

Besides, this manipulated, supposedly "free" market hasn't worked for working people in over 35 years, why the hell would I just sit back and think that with bribery lobbying more legal and accepted than ever, it would magically start now???

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Really well said SubwayGuy. If you work hard and do what you are supposed to, you should make a good salary and have time off that you deserve. I wonder how high the raise could be is they lowered the pay for the high-ranking officials in the MTA, or if the members of the City Council contributed more money to the MTA instead of paying themselves. Transit workers work really hard, have long and weird hours, and get respected by almost nobody. There should really be a campaign in the subway for the appreciation of those who actually get the city moving. I have heard people on trains being really mad at the T/O and/or C/O when it is not their fault. I hope that you guys get the raise you deserve.

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I'm not saying salaried workers don't work as hard. I'm saying that one group has seen their compensation consistently going up, and the other has not. Hourly workers have been consistently falling behind due to inflation and rising costs of living. It has nothing to do with how hard you work. Everyone works hard. No one who works hard should be poor. Everyone who works full-time should be entitled to provide themselves with a decent (not poor) standard of living and a comfortable retirement based on the fruits of that job.

 

Guess what? I don't get a bonus. I have an outstanding safety record - spotless actually - and when delays occur, I have minimized them to the greatest of my ability and earned the accolades of my supervisors and managers for doing so. But accolades and attaboys don't pay bills. The only way my pay increases is if I work more, or if I get a decent raise. This contract gives me a barely acceptable wage increase, but attaches that to givebacks that long term limit my earning potential in this title...including my potential to earn overtime for working more. It also takes away even MORE of my time away from the job.

 

The pass sounds like a wonderful benefit until you realize how little it actually helps you. The 30 day card costs 116.50. Assuming 22 working days at 8 hours per day in a 30 day period, that comes to approximately 66 cents an hour. And remember - any TA employee that lives out of region benefits far less from the pass, since they often have to drive to work. And no bones about it...the pass doesn't save us "thousands" every year. It saves us about $1,400 a year. So, singular on those "thousands."

 

You give the free market way too much credit. Those who live here will continue to be forced out and you will have a city of the rich who are serviced by the working class that is basically bussed in to serve them. Entire regions of the country - this big beautiful land, we should be free to inhabit and develop - are ghost towns, slums, and completely undeveloped...all in the name of cramming everyone and their ever-loving mothers into the same 7 sprawling metropolises whose densities get packed tighter and tighter every single year.

 

Most workers can supplement their income, but Transit employees cannot. Transit employees have to be approved to have dual employment to ensure we have necessary rest because our jobs are so demanding. It's not so simple as to moonlight doing something else. Which is why our ability to work and earn overtime differential for necessary work is so important. And the loss of that amounts to such a massive giveback. And real estate is not correcting itself, unless you are talking about cities that are degrading into slums. NYC real estate is artificially propped up by a combination of all these "affordable housing" initiatives that drive out middle class people to prop up the poor, and pro big business pro developer policy that provides tax breaks to companies that build UNAFFORDABLE housing so long as they include a small sliver of units of the "affordable" kind that many working people don't qualify for, which are then touted as "affordable" despite exorbitant rents that are almost as high as market rate...and which any financially savvy person would reject as "living above one's means".

 

Besides, this manipulated, supposedly "free" market hasn't worked for working people in over 35 years, why the hell would I just sit back and think that with bribery lobbying more legal and accepted than ever, it would magically start now???

Actually if the contract goes through, it will be thousands for those who commute with the LIRR or MNRR.  I spend a good $400.00+ a month between the express bus and Metro-North.  That is a nice savings to have.

 

As for my comments about real estate, I'm a believer of the idea that we have too much rent stabilization which limits the amount of inventory available for market rate places, thus forcing prices to go up unnecessarily, in addition to what you said about propping up the poor. Hey listen, I understand your gripes, but we all have our paths in life.  Quite frankly if one manages their money and saves accordingly, it isn't completely impossible to own a residence here.  The taxes are still reasonable as long as you can afford the maintenance if you buy a co-op or the fees associated with a condo.

 

The fact that you're aware of this situation though just proves my point about the fares.  We will reach a breaking point to where the fares are out of control.  

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The system is definitely rigged against working people; just look at how the DNC disposed of Sanders during the primaries...

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