John Samuelsen offers to pay the MTA $35 million a year in employee contributions to avoid layoffs. What?!

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Back in 2010 TWU Local 100 President offered to pay the MTA $35 million dollars to avoid layoffs. Samuelsen figured it was best for employees to pay the MTA, which is a multi – billion dollar company to stop layoffs. Read Below.

DAILY NEWS ARTICLE

MTA nixed our bid to save $35M and workers’ jobs, says transit union chief

The MTA rejected a union offer of approximately $35 million a year in employee contributions that would have avoided laying off workers, the transit union chief told the Daily News.

The offer would have also staved off some service cuts already in motion, Transport Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen said yesterday.

The union contributions were earmarked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority‘s participation in a state-approved early retirement program. The money would allow the authority to reduce head count more slowly through attrition – rather than abrupt layoffs.

Hundreds of pink-slipped bus drivers, mechanics and other workers have been told to turn in their uniforms and badges at a NYC Transit facility tomorrow.

Service cuts, including the elimination of dozens of express and local bus routes, have begun. Some routes saw their last runs Friday, and others shut down last night.

“We want the riding public to know this is on Jay Walder, and not on the union,” Samuelsen said, referring to the MTA chairman.

“We made a reasonable offer to provide immediate funding in the short term to get through this crisis, and he walked away from it.”

Under the union proposal, deductions would be made automatically from workers’ biweekly paychecks on a temporary basis, Samuelsen said. There are approximately 34,000 MTA workers represented by Local 100.

The MTA yesterday released a statement saying it agreed to mediation but it wouldn’t stop the layoffs. If talks are successful, workers potentially could be brought back, the MTA said.

In exchange for the funding, the union wanted the MTA to agree in writing not to lay off transit workers during the contribution time period.

The MTA balked because it doesn’t want to be tied down by an ironclad no-layoff clause because of the unpredictability of the economy and its finances.

– Pete Donahue (Daily News/Local 100)

http://m.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/06/27/2010-06-27_mta_nixed_our_bid_to_save_35m_and_jobs_sez_union.html

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