MTA: Bus Drivers Take Two Months Paid Leave After Being Spit On

Monday, May 24, 2010

MTA officials are pressuring the Transport Workers Union to make sacrifices to help out the authority's budget crisis.

The MTA is increasingly publicizing embarrassing facts about union members' behavior. Last week, it was about those who abused overtime. Monday, it was how 51 bus drivers had taken, on average, 64 days off each after a passenger had spit on them. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin says the disclosures aren't intended to embarrass anyone, but if they do, that's proof the work rules are outdated.

The authority's chairman, Jay Walder, has repeatedly called on the union to renegotiate its contract. But the union, which is losing more than 1,000 members this year because of layoffs, has so far been unwilling to do so.

TWU president John Samuelsen says the MTA is a company that "enjoys belittling its own workforce" and says it's trying to negotiate through the media.

MTA bus drivers spat on by riders take average of TWO months paid leave over 'assault'

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