With the Transport Workers Union set to mail out ballots for its members to vote on the new contract, there's continued debate about whether or not the transit workers got a good deal... but it looks like many members are getting a sweet payout, as there's a new "twist" in the contract. The MTA agreed to give a "unique pension refund for thousands of senior employees" (as Newsday put it) can mean $8,000-20,000 in checks to about half of the union's members. How? The union contibuted 5.3% , and then in 2001, only 2% was contributed, so the refund is for the earlier period's excess - or that's how Gothamist has sorta figured it. The extra money would seem to offset any strike fines. Of course, some anti-union types are freaking out (see the NY Post) about the refund which will cost the MTA over $100 million. Gothamist doesn't think there's that much to get angry about, because one would think that the MTA knows how to handle its money...and its employees.
The NY Times offers analysis that the strike was good for the TWU and TWU President Roger Toussaint, as they got an "impressive" number of things from the MTA (assault pay for workers who are attacked on the job, Martin Luther King Day off, etc.), but an accompanying article has some workers who are still on the fence about what the strike accomplished.