Friday, December 16, 2005

TWU To NYC - We're Gonna Strike

Only thing is that they're going to selectively strike. The TWU is sending out the new recruits of the formerly private bus lines to strike, instead of the TWU regulars who would be subject to the highest level of fines and penalties. Tens of thousands of people will be affected, particularly in Queens and Brooklyn. These are the sacrifical lambs.

Apparently 3% a year for each of the next three years isn't enough for the TWU. Most people would be happy with that amount. I know that Mrs. Lawhawk would appreciate a raise of 3% each year as her company doesn't ordinarily give annual raises.

Roger Toussant has muddied the waters with his announcements, and it shows that the union doesn't quite have its act together. There must be factions who want the union to settle, while other more militant groups want to strike. All the while, Toussant continues to harp on the $1 billion, which simply doesn't exist.

The New York Times has more details on the strike:
The authority, which had offered two 3 percent raises over 27 months, raised its offer today to 3 percent in each of the next 3 years. It also agreed to lower its demand, to 1 percent from 2 percent, the proportion of earnings that it wants new employees to pay toward health-care premiums. But it refused to budge on its insistence that new workers reach age 62 before being able to collect full pensions, compared with age 55 for most current workers.

At 6:30 a.m. today, the union's executive board rejected that offer and agreed to set a new strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. The decision prolonged, for millions of riders, uncertainty about whether the nation's largest transit system will be shut down by a labor strike for the first time since 1980.
Consider that the MTA just had to put half of the $1 billion to maintain the solvency of the pension. That is a cost that is continuing to drag on MTA finances.

Sisyphus Shrugged thinks that some reporters are being played by MTA management when told of the salaries of various employees in the MTA system. Lots of bloggers are confused over exactly what is happening. That's because the TWU was oh so clear in what they were saying at the press conference that was mostly spent blasting the MTA for not bargaining in good faith. Yeah, I buy that one. I know about negotiating in good faith and putting reasonable offers on the table, and 8% raises each year for the next three years was wholly unreasonable. And the TWU should know that. I'd have had a lot more respect if they started with 5% a year, since that would have been a significant increase in wages, and still within a reasonable settlement range - putting a 3.5 to 4.5% agreement within reach. Instead, the TWU is seeking out the nuclear option.

The NYC official webpage has current information.
The TWU has enacted a limited strike that will affect private bus lines after 12 PM today. As of now, Jamaica Bus Lines and Triboro Coach are the lines that will be affected by this strike. However, other private bus lines may join the strike. Riders of Jamaica and Triboro Coach should make alternative travel arrangements. Riders of the City's other private bus lines should consider making alternate travel plans in the event that these lines join the strike. At this time, all NYC Transit buses and subways are running. At this time, traffic and roadway limitations are NOT being enacted - this includes HOV and commercial limitations. Alternate side of the street parking remains in effect today and tomorrow. Schools will open on time.
Friday, December 16, 2005

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