Review and Update on Contract Negotiations

As you know, all of the unions under the TA/OA MTA Bus umbrella follow pattern bargaining, which means the largest union on the property TWU Local 100 negotiates sets the pattern of raises, length of the contract and cost of the overall contract. It’s like this because the union with the largest population has the most power to get the best deal. All of the unions including the TSO have fought to maintain that we get the same pattern that TWU Local 100 set.

Even though unwritten, everyone knows the three ATU Bus unions come next and the TSO and the SSSA come behind them as this is the long established order of negotiations with the Authority.

In December of 2019 TWU Local 100 quickly negotiated a four year agreement.

One month later January 2020 the first case of Corona Virus struck in America.

June 10, 2020 Anita Miller put a Memo out to all of the unions that did not have an agreement in place that due to the $10.4 Billion projected deficit for 2021 they would be reevaluating their bargaining position. What that turned out to mean was that they were only looking to negotiate two (2) year agreements with all of the unions. Agreeing to that would change the pattern and was obviously not okay with any of the unions.

The Corona Virus swept the country and basically shut down America

The ATU locals kept talking but could not get past accepting a 2 year deal so in May of 2021 the three ATU Locals jointly filed for Arbitration due to being at an Impasse in negotiations.

 December 2021 the ATU Arbitration award came out giving the same four year pattern as TWU Local 100. There were some outstanding issues regarding some costings and their value that needed to be figured out which again caused a delay to the TSO and SSSA to start negotiating again, see below link for more information on this.

The MTA made a decision they would not fully engage in negotiations with the TSO or the SSSA until the ATU costings were done.

Since the MTA lost the arbitration with the ATU’s and they received $769 form the federal government they revised their bargaining strategy and went back to negotiating four year agreements.

The SSSA started negotiations a few days ago and we will start ours on May 19th. We have seven expired contracts that need to be negotiated and we will start with the MSII unit followed by OA/Queens. The plan is to negotiate most of them simultaneously and as often as possible but nothing is easy as we’ve learned that Labor Relations and the office of Management and Budget is short handed which means we do not expect this process to go quickly.

All I can do at this point is commit to you that I will get the best deal possible and I’ll push as hard as I can to get all of our contracts done as quickly as I can.

Philip Valenti


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