NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transit Authority and the transit workers unions have struck a tentative deal after hours of contract negotiations that lasted through the night.
“We won a tentative contract with solid raises, and other strong economic gains, moving transit workers well ahead of inflation and greatly improving their quality of life,” Transit Workers Union Local 100 head John Samuelson said in a statement on Monday.
“That was our goal. We achieved it. We waged a multi-faceted campaign that raised the awareness about the value transit workers have to this city, the dangerous nature of their work, and the sacrifices they make to move 8 million riders a day.”
Union leaders and MTA officials were working overnight to strike a deal, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported. A union leader told CBS2 that they had made some progress as of Monday morning, but they were still not where they needed to be in the negotiation process.
Transit Union Local 100 represents around 40,000 workers with the MTA.
The MTA offered them a two percent increase in pay, which is the same rate as inflation. The union pushed back, arguing that workers need more money in order to continue living in New York.
“We intend to bargain in good faith, but we are not accepting two percent raises, we’re not doing it,” Samuelson said.
Samuelson made a passionate plea to board members at a meeting in December, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“We move eight million people a day through the chaotic system,” Samuelson said. “We get assaulted, we get spat upon.”
Union workers asked for a three-year contract with a five percent salary increase each year of that deal.
“Two percent is unacceptable,” John Mooney, of TWU Local 200, said. “We’ve been taking low ball numbers for the last five, six years — it’s unacceptable.”
“They move what, eight and a half million people a day?” union member Anthony Staley said. “That’s a lot of money these guys make with underpaid workers. We deserve way better money than what they’ve been paying.”
Details on the new settlement were not immediately known. Their previous contract, which expired at midnight, was a five-year deal with an eight percent salary increase over that five-year period.