[D-G] buenjornio los bambinis

NZ pretzelworld at gmail.com
Wed Dec 28 23:49:55 PST 2005

just to follow up with the news here is more re-blogging....
it looked like nothing was going to happen for a couple more days when
suddenly this (what is interesting is the selling out of pensions, all
that for this? sheeesh!):

New York Transit Deal Shows Union's Success on Many Fronts
NYTimes, Published: December 29, 2005

"It's a good contract for the union in that it does keep in place, for
the most part, benefits that are extremely favorable to them," said
Steven Malanga, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, a
conservative research organization, who called last week for firing
the strikers. "For them, you can say this is a great deal."

When union president, Roger Toussaint appeared before television
cameras at 11 p.m. on Tuesday to announce the settlement, he commented
little except to read an impressive list of new worker-friendly
provisions: raises averaging 3.5 percent a year, the creation of paid
maternity leave, a far better health plan for retirees, a
much-improved disability plan, the adoption of Martin Luther King's
Birthday as a paid holiday, and increased "assault pay" for bus
drivers and train operators who are attacked by passengers.

Then Mr. Toussaint announced a big surprise: Some 22,000 workers will
each receive thousands of dollars in reimbursements for what are
considered excess pension contributions; for several years, these
workers paid more toward their pensions than other workers. For those
workers, that money will easily offset the fines of slightly more than
$1,000 that most of them face for taking part in the illegal strike.
The union itself could still face a $3 million fine that a judge
ordered because of the 60-hour strike.

In early talks, the authority made a big issue of increasing
productivity by, for example, calling for station agents to empty
trash cans and station cleaners to change light bulbs and paint over
graffiti. But the union got those demands dropped.

"The M.T.A. had three goals: health premiums, pensions and
productivity," Mr. Brecher said. "They got one out of three - that's a
far better batting average than many people get in bargaining with
municipal unions."

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