[Update below] As rumblings of
a "slowdown" "enhanced care" continue (seriously, the R train we took this morning was moving like a bus) the MTA and its largest union, Transit Workers Local 100, are set to return to the negotiating table. And though the last set of talks broke down because of leaks to the media, the Post today has some interesting details reportedly already agreed upon by the two sides. Most notably, when the contract is signed subway operators and conductors will be able to take three (paid) days off if they witness someone being hit by a train.
Currently only conductors can take three days off after such an accident, and only if the person struck is killed. "Protecting conductors and operators from these horrible incidents underground was one of the main goals [in talks]," a union source told the tabloid. Mental health wise, such an agreement is a no-brainer, but the deal could still be another headache for the MTA's bottom line when you add it all up. Last year 50 people were killed after being struck by trains and 154 people were hit and injured, according to the paper's statistics.
As for other agreements between the two sides, most things are still up in the air. Bargaining is expected to resume today, though MTA Chairman Joe Lhota is not expected to be there (though he says he talks to TWU head John Samuelsen daily). The crux of the fight for the five-year contract appears to be the usual: raises. The Union wants at least 1% more a year, reportedly, and the MTA is willing to discuss it—if the union gives an equivalent amount of givebacks and concessions.
Update 9:50 a.m.: MTA Chairman Joe Lhota just released this statement regarding the Post's story today: “It is the MTA's policy not to negotiate through the press. However, we will not allow inaccurate or leaked statements regarding negotiations to stand as fact. Today’s New York Post story is harmful to the collective bargaining process.”