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Trainspotter

MTA taking a hike on pay raises, claiming not enough money

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The cash-strapped MTA will soon tell labor leaders and nonunionized workers it doesn't have money for raises this year, the Daily News has learned.

 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Elliot Sander has invited union officials to meetings next Tuesday to discuss the fiscal crisis that has the authority preparing to raise fares up to 30% and enact deep service cuts.

 

Sources said Sander will announce the MTA can't afford to pay even the meager 1.5% raises, totaling about $50 million, included in its austere budget approved in December.

 

The contract with the largest union - Transport Workers Union Local 100, representing bus and subway workers - expired in January. An arbitration panel is charged with dictating the new terms of a contract.

 

Citing the opinions of labor experts, The News reported exclusively on Tuesday that a wage freeze was possible because arbitration centers on an employer's ability to pay raises and provide improved benefits.

 

The MTA wouldn't reveal if it intends to ask the arbitration panel to maintain the existing pay rates for approximately 36,000 bus and subway workers.

 

The MTA has about 70,000 workers in all its divisions, which include the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

 

Most if not all of the unions representing workers other than TWU members have existing contracts at least through the end of this year.

 

MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin confirmed Tuesday's meetings but declined to provide details.

 

Authority officials have said the 2009 budget deficit, projected at $1.2 billion, is expanding dramatically as transit-dedicated tax revenues continue to plummet. The five-year construction and maintenance program starting next year is largely unfunded.

 

Gov. Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have agreed on a transit-funding package that includes tolling the Harlem and East River bridges, but can't get the Senate on board.

 

TWU Local 100 held protests against previously announced layoffs outside the MTA's Madison Ave. headquarters late Thursday afternoon and evening.

 

"TWU has called a meeting of the coalition of MTA unions to plot a course of action," a union spokesman said.

 

The MTA's budget trims about 3,000 positions. Many will be vacated through retirement, but about 1,000 workers face layoffs, transit officials said.

 

Even if it receives a bailout, the MTA plans to eliminate a program in which token booth clerks are posted outside the booths to help riders with directions and MetroCard vending machines.

 

Earlier Thursday, about 100 construction workers and leaders of trade unions, business and civic associations rallied on the steps of City Hall demanding Albany fund transportation construction projects.

 

BY Pete Donohue

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

April 24th 2009

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wow. would this affect Cost of Living Adjustments too? or only general wage increases?

 

We don't get cost of living increases. When we get screwed with a zero on a contract like 2 contracts ago it is an actual zero.

 

The last contract also went to arbitration and the TA had a billion dollar surplus that year yet we still got smaller raises than all of the other major unions!!!

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This isn't even close to the "hell years". If the state & feds don't come in to help, (MTA) might just stop working. :tdown:

 

- A

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This isn't even close to the "hell years". If the state & feds don't come in to help, (MTA) might just stop working. :tdown:

 

- A

 

THAT would be a real kick in the pants for everyone!!

 

Mayor Doomsberg was running wild when we were on strike, saying the 3 day action cost the city a billion dollars in tax revenue. I ask, if the city is making that much cash by having transit working, wouldn't you think they'd have some interest in keeping it going? I really don't know why anyone is surprised TA has cash problems..

The state owned 'Operating Authority' structure makes them accountable to NOBODY, and are untouchable by every group & organization except Fed Gov't..

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I heard today O/T (except for 'Service Delivery' (TOs/CRs/BOs)) & management's discretionary expenditures have been stopped dur to the (MTA) economic condition.. I really wish they'd start evaluating if (MTA) need all that real estate on Manhattan.. It's not like people are going to be influenced if they'll due business with (MTA) cause they own trendy headquarters at 2 Bway, another finacial fiasco! You can get office space WAY cheaper elsewhere within the city..

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It's not like people are going to be influenced if they'll due business with (MTA) cause they own trendy headquarters at 2 Bway, another finacial fiasco! You can get office space WAY cheaper elsewhere within the city..

 

They don't even own 2 broadway. They spent millions renovating a building that they lease!!!

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They don't even own 2 broadway. They spent millions renovating a building that they lease!!!

 

Lets not talk about the empyt office building at Jay Street.

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Lets not talk about the empyt office building at Jay Street.

 

The MTA did own 370 jay street. I'm not sure if they still do because they were supposed to sell it. They still use one floor of the building though.

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Isn't it "illegal" to be working without a labor agreement? I know it is going to an impartial arbitration panel in June and I know you guys can't strike because of the taylor law,but what can stop them from replacing all ta employees with new ones at a much lower pay?

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Isn't it "illegal" to be working without a labor agreement?

 

No one is working without an agreement - the old one continues to function until a new one is set in place.

 

I know it is going to an impartial arbitration panel in June

 

The contract is already in arbitration. It was sent there 10 days before the old one expired.

 

and I know you guys can't strike because of the taylor law,but what can stop them from replacing all ta employees with new ones at a much lower pay?

 

That very same Taylor Law. Coupled with the fact that even if we started today, the 40 RTO instructors could only produce about 350 T/Os in 12 months. Which would mean it would take 10 years to actually have enough T/Os to cover all the jobs (providing that none of those new people quit or got fird themselves).

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Coupled with the fact that even if we started today, the 40 RTO instructors could only produce about 350 T/Os in 12 months. Which would mean it would take 10 years to actually have enough T/Os to cover all the jobs (providing that none of those new people quit or got fird themselves).

 

Alex you are a TA employee too. He is talking about getting rid of all that would include you. It didn't say not including low level supervisors.

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Thanks Alex for answering my questions. I just have a feeling that it is going to take a very long time before a new contract is worked out. Lets hope the proposed 2nd round of cuts and fare increases doesn't happen later on this year.

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The MTA did own 370 jay street. I'm not sure if they still do because they were supposed to sell it. They still use one floor of the building though.

 

Yeah, I heard they still use one floor because the "New" headquarters is too small, and to boot, they keep the floor directly above or below, can't remember, EMPTY for Security reasons!! They're worried a tenant might be a security risk & be in close vicinity of the TA floor. Like knocking out a bunch of office workers will stop the system. The BOs on the streets, and Subway crews get people moved not office personnel..

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what can stop them from replacing all ta employees with new ones at a much lower pay?

 

Civil Service Labor Laws protect civil service positions from being privatized. And if the organizations wants to do it, the union must be negotiated with on how it is done. One thing you must remember about the (MTA) though, they want to do what they want. They know that they have ALOT pf leeway with the current structure. If they were to outsource positions to a private entity, they'd be bound contractually to what was agreed to, possibly with financial penalties, because the contractor could sue for 'Breach of Contract' within the court system, something the unionized workforce cannot do.

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The MTA did own 370 jay street. I'm not sure if they still do because they were supposed to sell it. They still use one floor of the building though.

 

You may be correct but growing up in Brooklyn we were always told that First National City( now Citibank ) owned 370 Jay and it was leased to the Board of Transportation ( NYCTA ).

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