MTA Bus Interest Arbitration

This is to inform everyone that on Friday, November 9th the record was officially CLOSED.

We expect a decision by early to mid December.  As soon as the decision is issued we will have it available to the members.  We will also have a MTA Bus Division meeting to discuss the award.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our members!

I would like to thank everyone who attended the meetings yesterday.

We hope that the meetings help clear up any confusion that you may have had regarding the Interest Arbitration.   If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your Unit Chair.

We will post and disseminate additional information as it becomes available.


Vincent Modafferi

As of today, the arbitrator has still given us NO indication as to when an award will be issued.

We are disappointed but not entirely surprised at the delay.  This has been a very unique and complicated arbitration, especially the pension issues.  For better or worse, we are pretty sure the arbitrator will be looking at the Local 100 and recent ATU 1179 & 1181 pension settlements for direction and guidance on this issue in our award.

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  We all knew from the beginning that this was going to be a very long and drawn out process.  We are now at the end of that process and ask everyone to remain patient.  As soon as we have any additional information, we will post it to the website.

Hearings and witness testimony were completed yesterday.

 The Union presented witness testimony and exhibits that clearly demonstrated our argument and case that the MTA Bus supervisors are doing the same job, working for the same employer, and in many cases the same locations as the OA and TA supervisors, but are being paid less.


We also presented testimony and exhibits demonstrating to the panel that to achieve a comparable wage replacement rate (pension) for the supervisors, as provided for in the MTA Bus Local 100 pension award, the multiplier would have to be significantly higher than the $130 awarded to the hourly employees.


The Company did not have any questions for or cross examined any of our witnesses, nor did they dispute our claim that the MTA Bus supervisors are performing the same duties as the OA & TA supervisors.   Their case is based solely on the principle of pattern bargaining and how it has been historically applied to all the Unions under the MTA umbrella.  They also argued that the pension improvements in the Edelman Award were paid for by Local 100.


At the conclusion of the hearing, Arbitrator Wittenberg decided to leave the “record open” for thirty days to give both sides the opportunity to review the testimony and exhibits.  Closing briefs are due on June 8, 2018, at which time we will ask the Arbitrator the issue a decision as soon as possible.


As I have said along, we face an uphill battle attempting to overcome the pattern bargaining argument.  However, we believe the situation in MTA Bus is so unique and beyond any sense of fairness that if any case is going to “break” the pattern it would be this case at this time.  We remain optimistic that we will be able to make progress towards closing the gap on the pay inequities between MTA Bus and the OA/TA.

*** Schedule Update ***

On Tuesday, November 21st we met with arbitration Carol Wittenberg to discuss a schedule for the MTA Bus Interest Arbitration.  The parties agreed to the following dates:

Union dates: March 12, 13 & 14

Company dates: March 21, 22 & 23

Rebuttal dates: (tentative) March 26 & 27.

*** PERB Update ***

On Monday, November 27th the parties met at PERB to discuss the Company's Petition for Declaratory Ruling on four (4) of our demands.  After lengthy discussions, we believe we will be able resolve the Company's claims that our demands are non-mandatory subjects of bargaining.  Therefore, the petition will not delay the above arbitration schedule.

The parties have agreed to use arbitrator Carol Wittenberg as the neutral in our interest arbitration.  As everyone is aware, Ms. Wittenberg was the arbitrator for our 9 hour grievance arbitration.  We believe her to be fair, honest and objective and we look forward to presenting our case to her.

The Company is already attempting to pro-long the arbitration. In September they filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling claiming that four (4) of our demands are non-mandatory demands.  We quickly filed a response to their petition and a conference with PERB has been scheduled for November 9th.

It is our objective to get our contract impasse resolved as quickly as possible and we will continue to do everything we can to  schedule arbitration dates as soon as we can.

On Thursday, September 7th the PERB Board has referred our impasse to compulsory interest arbitration (see attached PERB decision).

We will now reach out to the MTA to see if we can agree on an arbitrator.  If we cannot PERB will provide the parties a list of nine neutrals.  The parties will then proceed to strike off names until the last remaining arbitrator, who will hear the case.  We hope we can come to a voluntary agreement on an arbitrator if not we will proceed as quickly as possible.

Today we send a Petition for Referral to Public Arbitration Panel to the Director of Conciliation informing him that the parties were at an impasse and that further negotiations would be futile.  It is our belief that the Company will not dispute the fact we are at impasse.  The PERB Board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, August 31st, and we hope to have this petition for arbitration on their agenda.

We met again with the Company and mediator on June 30th.  After some direct and candid discussions it became apparent to the parties that we are at an impasse in our negotiations for this contract.

Thanks and enjoy the July 4th weekend.

We are scheduled to meet again with the mediator on Friday, June 30th.

Although we believe the first mediation session was a complete failure, we see no other option at this point but to comply with the mediators request that the parties meet again.  We will continue to bargain in good faith and hope that the Company will do the same.

On March 16, 2017, as directed by the Director of Conciliation, the parties met and conferred. The Company submitted to us a supplemental proposal that, rather than bringing the parties closer together, put us further apart.

 We discussed the two items that the Company had indicated would be potentially fruitful avenues in our contract negotiations: a wage progression proposal and the issuance of an Arbitration Award subsequent to the filing of the petition that, in the words of MTA Bus’ counsel, “creates the possibility of further meaningful negotiation . . .” At the meeting the Company made a wage progression proposal that lengthened the time period to top rate - a benefit to the employer. The Company’s proposal on the pension was identical to the position taken by them prior to the issuance of the Award. Despite the “possibility of meaningful negotiation”, the Company made no new proposal on the pension benefit.

 We again stated our position that there is a fundamental gulf between the parties that requires resolution and no further bargaining will bridge that divide. Supervisors at MTA Bus are paid far less than their counterparts in NYCT/MaBSTOA.  We believe our members are entitled to wage and benefits parity with identically situated Supervisors throughout the New York City Transit system (many of whom we represent). And we will not settle a contract that provides for a pension benefit for its members that is inferior to the pension benefit enjoyed by the hourly employees they supervise.

At the end of the meeting we reemphasized our belief that the parties are at an impasse and that we would contact the Director of Conciliation informing him that we met with the Company and had made no further progress in resolving our impasse.  We will also ask him to act as quickly as possible to engage the impasse proceedings.

We recently received a letter from the Director of Conciliation stating that, although he deems an impasse to exist, he suggests "the parties should at least attempt further negotiations..."  We will contact the Company and schedule a meeting as soon as possible.  Although, we are not hopeful that further negotiations will  result in a contract, we will compile with the Directors request and continue to negotiate in good faith.

After months of negotiations with the Company, on Friday, November 4th the Union had reached the conclusion that our bargaining for a successor agreement to the 2013 contract had reached an impasse.  On November 10th the Union filed a Declaration of Impasse with PERB.  We are now waiting for the Director of Conciliations to assign a mediator to the case and for them to schedule a mediation date.

As everyone probably knows by now, a decision on the Local 100 pension interest arbitration was issued on November 17th.  Part of our demands in the impasse filing was that our pension improvement would not be less than that of Local 100.  We believe that the arbitration award supports our argument that the multiplier for the supervisors should be high than that of the hourly’s because 1) our range of salaries are very narrow and increasing of the multiplier will not create a windfall for lower salaried employees like it would have in Local 100 and 2) we make more money than Local 100 members.

We will regularly update this page as additional dates and information becomes available.

Thanks and I wish everyone a Happy and Joyous Holiday Season!