New Contract Means Pay Day For NYC Transit Workers

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Ted Goodman Reporter
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New York City subway and bus drivers will receive an annual pay increase of over 2 percent, following a new contract agreement with city transportation officials Monday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which serves 11 million commuters daily in the New York city area, reached a “tentative” deal with the Transportation Workers Union, which represents 36,000 transit workers, shortly after the deadline for contract negotiations expired.

The 28-month contract provides a 2.5 percent raise for all workers in the first 13 months, a 2.5 percent raise for the following 13 months, and then a $500 payment for the final two months, according to the New York Times.

“We won a tentative contract with solid raises and other strong economic gains,” John Samuelsen, president of Transportation Workers Union Local 100 said in a statement.

Samuelson said that the union’s goal was to move workers ahead of inflation, and to improve their quality of life, a goal that they achieved, he asserted. “We waged a multi-faceted campaign that raised the awareness about the value transit workers have to this city, the dangerous nature of their work, and the sacrifices they make,” Samuelson said.

The MTA asserted that the contract addressed the needs of union workers, and also kept into consideration budget constraints. The transit authority characterized the contract as “an affordable agreement that can be accommodated within out financial plan.”

The new deal is likely the last big deal negotiated under MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast, who recently announced his intentions to retire sometime in early 2017.

Prendergast, who has served as chairman since 2013, considers his crowning achievement the opening of the new Second Avenue subway, a new line in lower Manhattan meant to ease congestion in the nation’s busiest transport hub.

Negotiations went until 3 a.m. Monday morning, according to NBC 4 New York. The agreement still need to be approved by the union’s executive board and ratified by its membership. The MTA board must also approve the deal.

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