Daniel DiSalvo l April 18, 2014
On Thursday, Governor Cuomo intervened to secure a deal with Local 100 of the Transportation Workers Union. The contract covers 34,000 workers operating NYC’s subway and bus transit system. The agreement provides for 1 percent raises for 2012 and 2013—retroactive pay for the two years that the union was working without a contract—followed by 2 percent raises in 2014, 2015 and 2016. That’s an 8.25 percent raise over five years. And those raises are not fully off-set by other concessions from the union.
Despite Cuomo’s claim that “mayor [de Blasio] will negotiate his contracts separately,” the deal potentially changes the dynamics of the de Blasio administration’s negotiations with the city’s unions. Before, the mayor could point to the tough deals the governor arranged with state workers, who in 2011, under the threat of layoffs, were persuaded by Cuomo to accept a three-year wage freeze. Now, Gotham’s unions can point to this new MTA deal negotiated by the governor as the baseline for their demands. The deal thus partially undermines any effort by the de Blasio administration to take a tougher line. As Harry Nespoli, head of the city’s sanitation union and the Municipal Labor Committee, said, the MTA deal “definitely helps” the city’s unions—especially the granting of retroactive pay.
The Big Apple’s unions will be asking: why should we accept less than 8.25 percent raises over five years with only a tiny (0.5 percent of salary) healthcare concession?