*** UPDATE AUGUST 15, 2014 ***
Yesterday, the MTA informed us that they are still in discussions with the City over our MTA Bus Contract. In response to this, I have written a letter to the mediator requesting that she reconvene the parties to either execute a contract or declare an impasse and move forward with the statutory arbitration proceedings. As soon as the mediator schedules a date we will let everyone know.
Despite our best efforts, we will not be able to get a signed agreement to our members in time for the July Board meeting. However, we have made significant progress in obtaining the approvals and commitments needed to execute a final agreement. In response to our letter to the mediator, the MTA has requested an additional 30 day extension to finalize the contract. As of yet, the mediator has not responded to their request.
Both parties have done everything within their control to get the final signoffs on this agreement, but as we all know, since the City back funds the MTA Bus operations we need their approval as well. Thus far, the MTA has received positive feedback from both the City and the Board members, and has reassured us they remain fully committed to resolving this contract as soon as possible.
Once we have a signed agreement, we will make the full contract available to the members. We will then schedule information meeting(s) to fully explain the contract followed by a mail ballot ratification vote. If the contract is ratified, we will begin meeting with the Company to discuss and prepare for the implementation of this agreement.
On Friday, May 16, the Company and Union met before Kim D. Moore-Ward, the mediator designated by PERB, to hear our contract impasse. After meeting with both sides separately, the mediator issued her recommendations in the dispute. The Company argued that if TWU Local 100 ratifies their agreement on May 19th this will drastically change the negotiating landscape. We pointed out that the contract impasse we filed was for the previous rounds of negotiation, so Local 100's current contract should have nothing to do with our impasse and that we see this as another delay tactic by the Company, We insisted that if the mediator orders us back to the table there should be strict time limits imposed on the Company to reach an agreement on the contract. With that, the mediator recommended that the parties report back to her in thirty days to update her on our progress in reaching an agreement. If the parties are making progress, she will allow an additional thirty days for us to reach an agreement. If at any time during the additional thirty day period we believe we are not going to reach an agreement on the contract, we will contact the mediator and insist that mediation be reconvened immediately.
Local 100 did ratify their agreement earlier today, and we are now in the process of scheduling meetings with the Company. I would also like to have a Unit meeting within the next few weeks to update everyone on our progress.