NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Contract talks are expected to resume next week between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Long Island Rail Road union workers.
The latest round of talks last week ended with no compromise in sight and both sides have blamed the other for the stalemate.
The MTA said Wednesday that it plans to take part next Tuesday in a meeting scheduled by the National Mediation Board.
“We’re doing what we can to avoid any type of labor action, labor stoppage,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told 1010 WINS. “We recognize that the shutdown of the Long Island Rail Road would be crippling for the economy.”
Christopher Natale of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalman said the unions will also participate in the next round of talks.
The MTA has offered workers a 17 percent raise over seven years, but would require them to pay toward health care costs. Currently, LIRR workers don’t contribute toward their health insurance at all.
The union has made a counter offer, but the details of their proposal have not been released. Union leaders have blasted the MTA for making the details of their proposal public.
Meanwhile, state Sens. Kemp Hannon, Carl Marcellino and Jack Martins called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday to get involved in the stalled contract talks.
With a potential strike coming as early as July 20 that would affect 300,000 daily riders, Martins said we’re running out of time.
“Our window is closing rapidly and we need someone to bring the sides together,” Martins said. “The consequences of a strike I think are pretty obvious.”
At the very least, Marcellino said the governor should force an extension of a strike deadline.
“He has the gravitas,” Marcellino said. “He has the power.”
Cuomo has said he has no plans to intervene.
LIRR employees have been working without a contract since 2010.
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