MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)A tentative new contract deal between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its union bus and subway workers could pose problems for the Long Island Rail Road as a strike deadline looms.

As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, an LIRR union official said the MTA deal with New York City transit workers could undercut railroad union leverage in contract talks. That, he said, increases the likelihood of a work strike.

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The union official, speaking to Newsday on the condition of anonymity, called the MTA deal with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 “terrible.” The deal, brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, offers pay raises of 8 percent over five years but also higher health insurance payments.

The union leader added he’s lost faith in the process.

Contract talks between the railroad workers and the MTA resume Monday with the presidential mediation board. The two sides have been far apart on pay raises and union givebacks.

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An earlier mediation panel recommended the LIRR union take a 17 percent, six-year deal. The new MTA tentative deal could lower the benchmark, Newsday reported.

The strike deadline is mid-July.

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