Two Big Issues We are Dealing with in Contract Negotiations
As I’ve said before, we are negotiating six contracts at the same time and the two big issues we are dealing with that have caused us problems is fitting into the Local 100 pattern as Local 100 agreed to increases in their (1)prescription co-pays and Emergency Room Visits and they agreed to (2) farm out work in the Elevator/Escalator dept. The ATU’s in the DOB have agreed to extended warranty work for private vendors to make up for those Elevator/Escalator savings. These two items have caused setbacks because these two were cost savings for the Authority and we are being asked to make up for these cost savings in our contracts in order to fit into the pattern which is very difficult. In fact, our counterpart across the table has said “because of that pattern, this is one of the most difficult rounds of negotiations I’ve ever been involved in”.
Two of our contracts the SSII and TSC’s are in a bit of a tough situation because there are not many ways in these contracts to make up for these two cost savings items so I am looking to get these done quickly as there is not much room for negotiations and to make head way because we are starting with a deficit and there’s not much room for advancement beyond raises and some other items.
Because half of our members in the OA, Queens and MTA contracts are in the Local 100 medical benefits package and our members already pay the increased co-pay we don’t need to make up that item we’re already paying for it. The Farming out of work is another issue, we are being asked to extend our contracts by two months to make up for that which I will not do. The TSO and SSSA have been arguing with everyone all the way up the line including MTA Chairman Janno Lieber who we met with a couple of weeks ago and we argued convincingly that that farming out of work impacted our unions in a negative manner and that we need to be given credit for that negative impact, which they said we will now be credited but we believe we will still be short in making up that two-month extension so we need to do other things to get to the pattern. There are some other small moves we are looking to make to get into the pattern but the goal here is not only to get into the pattern but to move some things around and achieve some of the advances we are looking for. We have some big meetings coming up with Labor Relations where we will lay out our plans and our next moves. But this will require a little bit of time as the budget dept. will need to do a costing out. Note: the MSII contract will be part of this plan and cost out.
The MSII contract is in sort of a mixed situation of all the other contracts as the Authority wants the contract extension and none of the MSII’s are in the Local 100 medical plan. We will be making the negative impact argument for this contract so that should help a little bit and if our plans work out right, we should be able to buy some good breathing room in this contract to get some of our demands. We last met on this contract September 9th and that was a tough session as one of our major demands which is the right to transfer to an open job by seniority was crushed by the senior managers in the Subway dept. In turn they are drafting language to move us closer on this but we’re sure that’s going to be way short of what we’re looking for.
I will do my best to post what I can here to keep you informed on this site but just know that everyday work is going on behind the scenes on all of these contracts.
I thank you again for your patience as we work through this process and I assure you we will have contracts in all TSO units soon.