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Transport Workers Union Local 100

Transportation Nation

Transport Workers Union Objects To NY MTA Real Estate Deal

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rendering of NYU's planned Center for Urban Science and Progress, which would replace the old MTA headquarters in downtown Brooklyn.

(New York, NY - WNYC) The Transport Workers Union Local 100 is criticizing the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority's decision to take $50 million from New York University to clear out of 370 Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn and make way for a new school of applied science. Union president John Samuelson said the authority should instead renovate the largely empty building and move its offices there from 2 Broadway in Manhattan.

Samuelson spoke during the public comments session of the NY MTA's monthly board meeting. He said the authority could save the $63 million a year it pays in rent to the owners of 2 Broadway, a building the authority renovated ten years ago in a massive boondoggle, by moving its offices into the largely empty Brooklyn building it owns.

"Tens of millions of dollars in rider-generated funds are going to the owners of 2 Broadway every year, which is truly money thrown away," Samuelson said.

He suggested that money spent on rent could be applied to reverse the $53 million a year in service cuts enacted by the NY MTA in 2010 as a cost-saving measure.

The 14-story building at 370 Jay Street has sat largely empty since the New York City Transit Authority moved its offices into Manhattan. Since then, the NY MTA has been paying the city a dollar a year to hold onto the property because its 14th floor holds telecommunications equipment the authority needs to run the subway. The NY MTA will use some of the money it gets from the NYU deal to move that equipment into the Jay Street-Metrotech subway station below the building.

An NY MTA spokesman dismissed Samuelson's criticisms, saying 370 Jay Street wouldn't provide enough office space and would cost $186 million to fix up and move into. "Shifting folks from 2 Broadway to 370 Jay Street would not be an economic benefit," he said.

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Transportation Nation

MTA, Unions May Be Talking for A While

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Subways and buses are still running in New York City - despite the lack of a contract between about 34-thousand New York City Transport Workers Union Local 100 members and their employer, the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Neither side offered an update, as talks continued Tuesday to reach an agreement.  The union contract expired Sunday.

But sources close to the negotiations say the MTA is pushing for a 5-year collective bargaining agreement, while the union wants a shorter term. Until the early 1980’s the union and the MTA usually made 2 year agreements.  Then the contracts got longer.  The Union opposes longer contracts that might cut its members out of any increases.

Other sticking points include heath care and wage increases.  The union wants raises to match the increasing cost of living, while the MTA wants to keep payroll costs down, as part of statewide budget cuts.

Healthcare is another point of contention.  The MTA wants union members to pay more for their healthcare, to counter spiraling health expenses.  The union says the increases add up to between $4,500 and $5,000-dollars per year out of pocket for workers.  That translates to lost earnings for middle class workers, the union said.

The negotiations could drag on; the MTA laid off about 1,000 workers in 2010, and the workforce is pretty spare.  MTA is not expected to lay off more workers this year.  At some point, both sides could declare an impasse, and arbitration would have to take place.

The last transit workers strike was in December, 2005.  It lasted three days and stranded millions of people, stuck without subway and bus service.

 

 

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