Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
Transit Union Strikes
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
New York, NY —
The union walked out of negotiations shortly after 11 p.m. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more on the offer that was rejected.
The MTA said it's offer was fair. A three percent raise in the first year, followed by 4 percent in the second year and three and a half percent in the third year. That was slightly higher than its previous offer of 3, 3 and three.
But the union didn't walkout solely over wages. Transport Union President Roger Toussaint said it was a fight over whether hard work would be rewarded with a decent retirement. The MTA continued to demand larger healthcare contributions from new members and a higher retirement age - which the union staunchly opposed.
Toussaint said there was no reason for the MTA to take this hardline position with its billion dollar surplus. But the MTA argued that it couldn't be so generous because healthcare and pension costs are growing.