MTA makes pact with bus, subway workers

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has reached a tentative deal with the agency's largest union representing 34,000 New York City bus and subway workers.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, flanked Thursday by MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast and Transport Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelson, announced the deal for a six-year contract, which includes 8 percent in wage increases, increased health care cost contributions by employees, and new health benefits.

The deal, signed by Prendergast and Samuelson at a news conference at Cuomo's Manhattan offices, still needs to be approved by the board of the MTA and TWU, and by the TWU's union members.

The tentative agreement for bus and subway workers comes after two years of negotiations, during which the unions balked at the MTA's demands for a three-year wage freeze. Prendergast said, ultimately, the MTA settled for a deal that was "consistent with our financial plan" and would not affect fares.

"We got to a point within the last 48 hours where we could get there, and we got there," Prendergast said.

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Samuelson said the deal achieved several of the union's goals, including raises in each year of the contract.

Cuomo said he believed the contract was fair, both to the MTA and to its "great public servants."

The MTA has yet to reach resolution in its nearly four-year long contract disputes with the unions representing most Long Island Rail Road workers. The two sides are set to make their cases Monday in front of a Presidential Emergency Board of mediators empaneled by President Barack Obama.

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