Elliott Sander, CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, of which the LIRR is an element, praised the accords, which "respect our employees while ensuring a fair deal for the MTA and our customers," he said.Both the MTA and members of the 10 unions representing them have approved the agreements, which include pay raises of 4 percent retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007, and 3.5 percent from Jan. 1, 2008. The pact also includes provisions that reduce future pension costs for the LIRR and increase pension contributions by the employees."I am extremely pleased with the labor-management teamwork that characterized this round of contract negotiations and culminated in an overwhelming rank and file affirmation," said Helena Williams, president of the LIRR. Williams praised Anthony Simon, general chairman of the United Transportation Union, saying he was instrumental "in bringing the railroad's diverse unions together." The unions represented in the agreement include the Transportation Communications International Union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Independent Railway Supervisors Association, the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association and the UTU Yardmasters. The negotiations were headed by the UTU's Simon and Gary Dellaverson, finance director of the MTA and formerly head of collective bargaining at the agency. The Board of the MTA approved the agreements Jan. 30 after ratification by the unions' members.
©2008 Community News Group
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