As expected, the MTA reached a tentative deal with the Transport Workers' union, over two years after the TWU Local 100's last contract with the agency expired. It appears the MTA has agreed to raise wages—by 8 percent, stretched out over the five years—without forcing a fare increase.
As per a statement from Governor Cuomo's office this afternoon:
Under the terms of the agreement, TWU workers would receive increases within the 2% cap that Governor Cuomo has achieved with state labor contracts (1% increase in each of the first 2 years, beginning with 2012, and 2% increases in the last 3 years). Employees would pay an increased share of health care costs - increasing from 1.5% to 2% percent of the employee’s salary - but would receive important new benefits including paid maternity/paternity leave, coverage of health care for surviving spouses of deceased TWU retirees, and improvements to dental and optical benefits.
Earlier the state seemed pretty against wage increases, with Cuomo and the MTA advocating for a three-year wage freeze. New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento heralded today's deal, noting that "[w]age increases in every year of the contract, full retro pay, and massive improvements to health benefits will ensure the economic security and wellbeing of 34,000 transit employees and their families," (Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said they'd "reserve final judgement" until the final contract could be reviewed).
Though Cuomo's camp insists fares will not go up with the wage increase, there's no word on how much the pay hike will drain the MTA. The agency's budget, which has been set through 2017, doesn't have a whole lot of wiggle room for a cost increase.
More importantly, the tentative deal paves the way for Mayor de Blasio to negotiate city workers' contracts. About 152 union workers have been left with expired contracts. "I think these are separate situations,” Cuomo told reporters. “The mayor will negotiate his contracts separately."