Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Daily News: Cuomo Stepping In To Broker MTA/TWU 100 Deal (UPDATE - 1:50 PM)

As surmised in this morning's NY Times piece, Governor Cuomo is indeed stepping in to broker a deal between the MTA and TWU 100 over deadlocked contract negotiations that has brought about the possibility of a summer transit strike hitting just months before Cuomo hopes to get re-elected:

Gov. Cuomo is stepping into the heated contract talks between the MTA and the union representing 34,000 transit workers, the Daily News has learned.

Cuomo has been claiming the three wage freeze CSEA and PEF agreed to as part of their five year contracts set a "state pattern" that city unions must follow in contract negotiations with de Blasio.

The MTA has stuck to the three year wage freeze and 2% in each of the final two years of a five year contract in their negotiations with TWU 100 despite an arbitration board handing over a non-binding deal that gives 17% raises over five years and no freezes.

If Cuomo brokers a deal that is anything different than what he forced CSEA and PEF to take early on in his administration, the state pattern is effectively broken from the one set in 2011.

I would argue that the state pattern has nothing to do with the city pattern in any case, but the argument that Cuomo (and apparently de Blasio, according to a PBA ad noted by James Eterno at ICEUFT blog) has been pushing, that the CSEA contract of 4% over 5 years with three years of wage freezes, sets the patterns for all city and state unions would effectively be dead.

This is something to watch closely because it has implications for city workers.

UPDATE - 12:45 PM: Here is what deal is supposedly on the table:

The MTA and the union representing subway and bus workers in the city are close to reaching an agreement on a new contract that would grant workers an 8% raise over five years, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Under the package now on the table, new hires would have to work for five years before reaching the top pay rate, an increase of two years, and worker contributions to health care costs would rise to 2% of base pay, from 1.5%, the sources said.


The potential breakthrough was being closely watched by workers in other MTA unions, particularly Long Island Rail Road employees, due to the possibility it could set a precedent. The MTA had previously insisted that workers accept a three-year wage freeze.

If true, this is nowhere near the 17% the arbitration board granted, but it does break the 4% over five years deal that CSEA took.

CORRECTION - 1:50 PM: Earlier I posted that ICEUFT blog had been sent information about the city's contract offer to the PBA. That was incorrect. ICEUFT blog was simply noting a PBA ad that had been run in the Daily News that said the police had been offered the CSEA pattern of a three year wage freeze and 4% over the final two years of a five year deal.


  1. Reality-I enjoy reading your blog but no information was sent to me. The information I have was from the PBA ad and everything else was taken from public information that is readily available. My question to you is if the Times is right and the offer is 8% for five years for city transit workers, why would TWU Local 100 accept that for city transit workers if the federal panel recommended more than twice that much over six years for LIRR workers?

    1. Thanks for the correction, James, I'll change it on the post.

      I agree with your point about the 8%, James. I don't know why they would take that when the panel recommended 17%. It's the Daily News that is reporting that, though, not the Times.

    2. OK, looks like the Times story was updated since this morning. I didn't see the contract details in the Times story when I first posted about it this morning, but now I see they have the details too. So two papers now reporting the same contract details, the Times and the DN.

      If I were TWU 100 and I knew that Cuomo didn't want a strike in an election year, I would bargain for the whole 17% the federal panel recommended.

      Cuomo's the one who doesn't want to have to worry about a July strike, so they have the upper hand in these negotiations at this point.

      On the plus side, the CSEA pattern is being broken, so that argument is now dead for BdB (even though I say it was never valid to begin with.)