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MTA and Union to Resume Talks

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WNYC
TWU Local 100 president John Samuelsen (l) chats with MTA executive director Joe Lhota 9r) before the start of contract talks. (Jim O'Grady/WNYC)

Talks resume Thursday between the city's Transport Workers Union and the MTA. It is the first time the two sides will have met since talks collapsed late last month.

Both sides return to the bargaining table with little animosity, according to a source close to the union. But the calm comes after theatrical fallout. At a press conference a few weeks ago, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen accused the MTA of negotiating in the media.

The MTA fired back that it was the Union that was talking to the press.

The top sticking points remain.  The MTA wants a 5 year agreement with the union, with no wage increase for the first three years, followed by 2 percent across the board wage increases in subsequent years. The union wants a 3 year contract, with cost of living increases each year.

Additionally, the MTA is proposing increases in health care contributions for workers. It's also asked for a host of rule changes, such as whether the MTA will be able to combine train conductor and operator jobs. 

According to one union official, negotiations are expected to drag on for several weeks. There's currently no threat of a strike like the one that stalled public transit for three days in December 2005.

The MTA's contract with TWU Local 100 expired on January 15.

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