Published 20 Dec, 2013
BY PETE DONOHUE / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2013, 7:47 AM
Union Local 100 workers stage a flash mob in the lobby of NYC Transit Human Resources offices just before their contract with the MTA ran out in January 2012.
Dozens of bus and subway workers will demand a “fair” contract—and two board members will push for more service—at the MTA’s board meeting Wednesday morning.
The workers will present a petition of support with about 30,000 signatures.
“Please negotiate a fair contract with NYC Transit Workers,” the petition states. “After their heroic response to Hurricane Sandy, and their remarkable efforts in rebuilding the transit system, I believe they should receive a raise that keeps up with the cost of living.”
A gnarled Scrooge directs union members to turn out to its Wednesday board meeting.
The 35,000-strong union has been without a contract since Jan. 15, 2012. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has demanded three years without raises unless they are paid for by concessions of equal value. Transport Workers Union Local 100 wants raises that, at a minimum, match the rate of inflation.
Local 100 President John Samuelsen will also give the board a member-approved Local 100 resolution that directs union officials to “make plans for every contingency” should negotiations fail.
Board members Allen Cappelli and Mitch Pally will ask their colleagues to set aside $25 million for increased or enhanced service for bus, subway and commuter train riders.
Given their response to Hurricane Sandy, the petition says, transit workers say they deserve raises to match inflation.
“I think we owe it to the riders not just in the city but throughout the region,” Cappelli said.
The board is expected to vote on a 2014 budget Wednesday morning.
After slashing bus and subway service by approximately $93 million in 2010, the MTA in recent years has restored some service and introduced some new bus routes for growing and under-served neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and the South Bronx. The enhancements and restorations totaled nearly $50 million annually.
“It makes sense to have an annual $25 million service fund as a yearly feature of the MTA’s budget,” Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said. “To me, the aim is to have the financial resources that would allow the MTA to try new routes or address long-standing overcrowding or reduce the number of packed platforms.”