Contract Talks Resume Between MTA and Transit Union

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TWU Local 100 president John Samuelsen and NY MTA executive director Joe Lhota before start of contract talks. (Photo by Jim O'Grady)

Talks resume Thursday between New York City’s Transport Workers Union and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It is the first time the two sides will have met since contract 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 talking to the press.

The top sticking points remain. The MTA wants a five-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 three-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.