Major comparison between NYCTA, LIRR & Metro North, from salaries, ridership & operating budgets.


There are 3 things that need to be looked at in terms of pay in the next round of negotiations. Cost of Living Allowance, the New York State downstate adjustment for state employees, and comparison within the industry (LIRR, MNRR, etc.). However if rumor is to be believed, President Samuelsen will be “going for the money” this contract by asking for more…night differential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, had we had a Cost of Living adjustment in our current contract, we would have had a modest 1% boost in pay.

This would not be in lieu of our general wage increases, it would be in addition to them, as when I worked for the United States Postal Service we got raises 3 times a year. General wage increases in November, and Cost of Living adjustments in April and September.

New York State Civil Service Law section 130.6 states, “Location pay, as negotiated with employee unions, is added to the base pay of all employees…” As of 2008, the current downstate adjustment for New York State employees working in the 5 boroughs is $3,026 per year. However to get this immediate increase in pay, it must be negotiated by the union. Is our union even asking for this?

As of February 2015 Long Island Railroad locomotive engineers made $41.646/hr at top pay.

New York City Transit train operators only earned $33.825/hr at top pay at that time.

Meanwhile, it takes New York City Transit 2 weeks to carry the amount of passengers LIRR carries in a year.The 2016 operating budget for NYCT is $10.9 billion, while it carries over 2.4 billion riders annually.

The operating budget for LIRR is $1.9 billion while only carrying a little over 87.6 million riders annually.


If we have 27 times as many passengers as LIRR, then why is our operating budget only 10 times bigger? We do all the work, they get all the money. Why is that? Does the NAACP need to get involved in our next round of negotiations?



Not to be forgotten in all of this is how we are constantly shortchanged by the state government when it comes to our capital budget. Our raises do not get funded through the capital budget however, when the capital budget gets squeezed, the operating budget is next!

Recently, Governor Cuomo announced that he would make an $8 billion payment to the MTA as part of a deal with the city also contributing to the MTA capital budget.

However it was later found that this money was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. “The state’s additional contributions beyond an initial grant of $1 billion would, as Cuomo noted, be available to the MTA only “after MTA capital resources planned for the capital program…have been exhausted,” and the state anticipated fulfilling its funding pledges for the 2015-2019 capital program by 2025-2026.

For those keeping score at home, 2025 is supposed to be the launch year for the MTA’s second five-year program after the one currently under endless review.

With the measure also increasing the MTA’s debt ceiling to $55 billion for capital expenditures from 1992-2019, it’s clear that the governor wasn’t too interested in ponying up the billions in a way that would prevent future pressure on the MTA’s operating costs in the form of ever-increasing debt service obligations.


Thus, his October promise was anything but a promise and simply consisted of debt, debt, and more debt. The capital program, meanwhile, still hasn’t been approved, and the MTA can’t spend money on needed projects yet.”

Where was the outrage from the media? Where was the outrage from the union???


– Ben Valdes

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Twitter: ProgressiveAct


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