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Contract Update: A Message From TWU Local 106 President Vincent Modafferi
Update - November 5, 2013
On Friday, November 1st we finished the OA/TA/SSSA contract arbitration hearings. In the coming weeks, our attorneys will file post hearing briefs that will summarize our evidence, arguments and position in this preceding.
The Arbitration panel has indicated to us that they will issue a decision in this case by the end of the year. I am hoping to receive the decision before our December 19th Holiday meeting.
I will keep everyone updated.
October 31, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Until recently, I, as well as a number of other union officials, was cautiously optimistic that we would be able to negotiate a contract with the Authority based on the pattern set in the 2009-2012 TWU Local 100, ATU 726 and 1056 arbitration awards. This optimism was based in part on an MTA Coalition meeting we had last November with the new MTA Chairman, Joe Lhota. At that meeting, we had gotten the impression that if the ATU prevailed in their contract arbitration proceedings the MTA would then start negotiating with the other unions based on that pattern. Since then, we have met with the Authority on numerous occasions in an attempt to settle our outstanding contract. Recently, the President of the SSSA and I met with the Authority and it was made clear to the both of us that the Authority would not settle any contracts unless they include give-backs.
As I have previously stated, it is my intention to work with the SSSA when it is beneficial for us to do so. After lengthy discussions, we have decided that, since it is the Authority’s position not to settle any outstanding contracts based on the TWU/ATU pattern, it would be in both our best interest (TSO and SSSA) to jointly declare an impasse in negotiations and proceed to interest arbitration together. We believe this strategy will provide both unions and its members the most expedient, efficient and economical way of settling this contract. Although arbitration seems to be the only option in settling the contract, it, by no means doesn’t come without potential risks. We will, of course, take every precaution to minimize any risk we might face. We will keep everyone informed of our progress in these proceedings.
Bus Time is in place in Staten Island, is currently being rolled out in the Bronx, and is scheduled to go live in the other boroughs sometime next year. This is going to be the biggest challenge the dispatchers have faced in quite some time. With Bus Time, each bus can be monitored remotely from any location with a laptop or smart device. This advancement in technology will revolutionize the way we currently monitor and regulate bus service. I believe this will almost certainly have an impact on the distinctions between bargaining units and unions. We have already begun meeting with the SSSA and the Authority to identify these potential conflicts and will try to resolve them before they become real problems.
Finally, there seems to be a trend amongst our members, where members are going to management to complain about their fellow supervisors. This, in some cases, has resulted in charges or investigations being initiated against them. We are becoming our own worst enemies. We are losing our sense of fraternity, support and mutual assistance for our own brothers and sisters. I know in some cases it is the supervisor’s duty and responsibility to bring certain matters directly to management, but in others, there is absolutely no excuse for our members to go to management before trying to resolve their issues or problems internally through the union. We are all supervisors performing at times very stressful jobs, and we should all realize that we are not the enemy. All of us should try and do whatever we can to make this job a better job for everyone.