I figured, unlike the last big news where I didn't blog about the contract resolution between the Port Authority and ATU 85 until about 5 days after it happened, I should address the latest news more promptly.
The details of the contract have been released. I won't regurgitate the details about it but you can find the full report and article here. For the most part, the new contract doesn't deviate too far from the fact finder's report that was published in August. The pay raise doesn't bother me that much, it's more of a cost of living adjustment. The only issue is the fact that the Port Authority will have to foot the bill for some who retire early, and will have to continue to pay health benefits for those same individuals.
I guess you can't get everything, and I think these compromises have helped slow the bleeding, but will not, I believe, be able to stop it. I am concerned that we will run into a similar situation to what we just endured in Pittsburgh when the next contract rolls around. I think the Port Authority will realize (or someone will make them realize) that further cuts must be made, and ATU 85 will resist next time just like they did this time. Only, next time the economy may be in a different place and the union could be much more empowered than they were in this case. Time will tell.
These are, if nothing else steps in the right direction. The new contract, combined with route restructuring and other reforms being thrown around the Port Authority could lead to increased ridership and less $$$ wasted.
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