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Thursday, October 2, 2014
MTA seeks second mediation board in LIRR contract dispute
(Page 2 of 2)
Christina Daly/Herald
MTA officials have officially asked President Obama to appoint a second Presidential Emergency Board in resolving its longstanding contract impasse with LIRR union workers, whose action to strike could now be pushed back to July.

While MTA officials have requested further intervention in this labor wage dispute with a second Presidential Emergency Board, Anthony Simon, general chairman of the Steel Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union, said he’s “not optimistic” about reaching a fair deal with the MTA anymore, insisting that his union members will reach out from local to the state legislature in Albany.

“It’s time the government puts a end to the MTA’s mismanagement as well as their lack of respect for the hard working LIRR workers,” Simon said. “Someone should ask how much the MTA is spending on outside law firms to beat up their employees when they have hundreds of lawyers on their payroll.”

Simon added that the MTA continues to find spending money since filing its financial report with the first Presidential Emergency Board late last year, citing the agency’s recent deal with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which offers annual raises to its police force totaling more than 17 percent over seven years, along with other perks.

MTA officials have said that raises for all its LIRR unions, without wage concessions, would cost $750 million the first year, and an additional $400 million every subsequent year.

In a four-hour session of negotiations last month, MTA officials presented union workers with a new proposal, through the National Mediation Board, under which the MTA would accept the first board’s recommendations with some changes, but labor chiefs refused these changes and sent back their own proposed concessions.

Both parties left negotiations early that day before reaching a final settlement.

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