Union Contracts Overwhelmingly Approved
Precedent-setting spirit of cooperation marks the signing of agreements
MTA Long Island Rail Road has reached agreements with 17 of its bargaining units represented by 10 different unions. The agreements - which cover the period January 1, 2007 through June 15, 2010 - were signed by all rank and file unions last month, marking a historic milestone and signaling an era of mutual respect between labor and management. The Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved the ten agreements today.
"Workforce development and improved labor-management relations are top priorities at the MTA", said Elliot G. Sander, MTA Executive Director and CEO. "I'm glad that we reached another agreement that respects our employees while ensuring a fair deal for the MTA and our customers."
"I am extremely pleased with the labor-management teamwork that characterized this round of contract negotiations and culminated in an overwhelming rank-and-file affirmation," said LIRR President Helena Williams. "Anthony Simon, General Chairman of the United Transportation Union (UTU) and Chairman of the Long Island Rail Road Labor Council, was instrumental in bringing the Railroad's diverse unions together."
The agreement provides for retroactive wage increases of 4% effective January 1, 2007; 3.5% effective January 1, 2008; and 3% effective January 2009. It also includes two provisions that reduce future pension costs for the LIRR while providing improvement to other benefit levels.
Anthony Simon, UTU General Chairman said: "I owe tremendous gratitude to our Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams for all her efforts in helping us achieve this goal. I would also like to express my thanks to the leadership of our unions for their trust and support during the negotiations process. Most of all, I would like to thank all of the represented employees on the Long Island Rail Road for an overwhelming ratification of this agreement."
The UTU, which represents about 40 percent of the Railroad's 5,558 unionized employees, led the way with a signing that took place on December 6.
The MTA's action covered agreements with the UTU and the following unions in the LIRR Labor Council: Transportation Communications International Union; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen; Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Independent Railway Supervisors Association; National Conference of Firemen & Oilers; Sheet Metal Workers' International Association; and UTU Yardmasters.
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