So, why did the union reject the MTA's last offer? The MTA was now offering 3% raise increase for year 1 of a 3 year contract, then 4%, and 3.5% for the final year, up 1.5% from last week's offer - which is still much less than what the Transport Workers Union wanted (8% for each of the 3 years), but the TWU had signaled they might agree to it. However, the pensions and benefits were the sticking point, and this was what the MTA was asking for:
The authority dropped its demand to raise the retirement age for a full pension to 62 for new employees, up from 55 for current employees. But the authority proposed that all future transit workers pay 6 percent of their wages toward their pensions, up from the 2 percent that current workers pay. [Via the NY Times]
This certainly marks TWU president Roger Toussaint as fierce and not backing down, something most of his union wanted from him.
What do you think? The Times also looked at how the union is "uniquely aggrieved." The Daily News' Juan Gonzalez calls Toussaint a "masterful tactician." And Amy's Robot has iPod- and PSP-combatible audio and video footage of Toussaint's 3AM speech - thanks, ADM!
And have you seen the TWU Local 100 ads? The one we saw had the Patrolmen's Benvolence (aka the police union)'s Patrick Lynch supporting the TWU, while there's another with two older ladies. Interesting media blitz!