Our Proposal to the MBTA

June 27, 2016

Cl-Duy8WMAAYdqJWe’re writing today to tell you about our ongoing efforts to advocate on your behalf and protect transit jobs from privatization. A few months ago, the executive board agreed to look for ways to reach a deal with MBTA leadership to lengthen our contract and prevent the outsourcing of Boston Carmen’s Union work.
Today, our chief negotiator and economist Tom Roth of the Labor Bureau and I will present an offer to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board that would extend our contract for two years and save the MBTA $24 million. While the plan would allow for potential privatization of the Central Warehouse operation (current employees would be absorbed by stockrooms at satellite locations), the offer is conditional on the agreement that MBTA leadership ends attempts to privatize work performed by Boston Carmen’s Union transit workers. This plan ensures long-term stability and wage protection for this union and we’re proud to put forth this plan to the public.  

We hope that MBTA leadership will give this proposal the consideration it deserves. This plan provides crucial cost savings at a time when it is needed while also ensuring that our employees – who have shown dedication and commitment to their work – are protected. We believe a public transit system is best run by public workers. This proposal shows that if we work in partnership we can keep public transit public.

Here are some details that I can share:

  • The plan proposes contractual wage increases to 1.5 percent per year in FY 2019 and FY 2020.
  • The plan also reduces the wages for new employees hired as of July 1, 2016.
  • The plan includes an MBTA contribution of $600 for every Local 589 employee and retiree to the Transit Employees Health & Welfare Trust Fund.
  • The language of the offer is strict, so that if the MBTA tries to outsource jobs, wages will snap back to previous progressions.
  • For current members, you can expect the 2.5 percent wage increases over the next two years, and 1.5 percent increases in 2019 and 2020.

Our calculations show that the wage reductions for hew hires would save the MBTA $26 million over the next five fiscal years, with the potential for over $120 million in cost savings over the next two decades.

We have already presented the plan to Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve. For months we have been asking for a seat at the table to help find solutions for the MBTA, identify cost savings, and ensure better service for our riders. These proposed changes will have a lasting effect on the MBTA and its budget. We believe that this plan is fair and beneficial to both the MBTA and our members.

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