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NYS AFL-CIO: Union Dues Now Deductible from State Income Taxes

As a result of the legislation passed and signed into law in April 2017, union members in the state of New York will have the opportunity to deduct their union dues from their state income taxes.

Two years ago, the New York State AFL-CIO, with support from unions across the state, led the charge for this legislation. And, we were successful.

Beginning this year, union members will be able to deduct their union dues from their state taxes if they itemize deductions on their state taxes. It is important to point out that tax payers can now itemize deductions on their state taxes even if they don’t itemize on their federal taxes. These deductions will put an estimated $35 million back into the pockets of union members like you throughout our state.

By working together we can accomplish great things. Stay tuned to the New York State AFL-CIO for more opportunities to support legislative issues that will benefit working men and women in New York.
 
In Unity,
Mario Cilento
President New York State AFL-CIO

Local 100 Director of Organizing Frank McCann (center) stands with STA and School Bus Division Officers including Orlando Vasquez, Jemary Pabon, Jamille Aine, and Division Chair Gus Moghrabi.
Local 100 Director of Organizing Frank McCann (center) stands with STA and School Bus Division Officers including Orlando Vasquez, Jemary Pabon, Jamille Aine, and Division Chair Gus Moghrabi.

Greenwich School Bus Contract Approved, 113 to 4

MONDAY, JANUARY 7 -- Members at Student Transportation of America, Inc. (STA Greenwich) have approved their new union contract by a margin of 113 to 4. The agreement for the school bus company was reached on Nov. 15 of last year, with Local 100 President Tony Utano joining the talks in the final hours to conclude the agreement. It features annual wage increases, important new guarantees on daily and weekly pay, and a host of benefit improvements. It increases pay by 3 percent in each year of the 5-year package, and the first increase is retroactive to July 1, 2018.  The compounding factor brings the actual total increase to nearly 16 percent.

In addition, Drivers and Monitors will now be paid their weekly picked run hours from the first scheduled day of school to the last actual day of school including all intervening school holidays, closures, scheduled or unscheduled vacations, unless the employee absents him/herself from work. The daily hourly guarantee goes from 5 hours per day to 5.3 hours per day (26.5 per week) in the 4th year of the agreement, and to 5.5 hours a day (27.5 weekly) in the 5th year of the contract.  Currently, Drivers earn $29.16 per hour and Monitors earn $17.00 per hour.  For the eight Spare Drivers and Monitors (a picked job), there will be an immediate increase in the guaranteed minimum hours to 7 hours per day or 35 hours per week.
 
The negotiating committee won increases in the Life Insurance Benefit for all employees, regardless of service time; a hike in the company matching contribution to a worker’s 401(k) plan, and an increase in the employer cap to both single and dependent health care coverage.  Finally, the committee scored wins on years-of-service bonuses for all workers, and safety bonuses for Monitors.

Tony Utano is Sworn in as President of TWU Local 100 by International President John Samuelsen

JANUARY 2019 -- After winning election as President of TWU Local 100, Tony Utano was officially sworn in under the provisions of the TWU Constitution as President by International President John Samuelsen.

President Tony Utano Responds to Gov. Cuomo’s Veto of Tier 6 Reform Legislation

“Late Friday evening, Gov. Cuomo vetoed legislation that would have removed the overtime cap on the final Tier 6 pension calculation for transit workers.

"This is a disappointment on numerous levels.

"However, the Governor’s veto message is hardly a rebuke of our efforts. It is quite the opposite. In his message, Gov. Cuomo recognizes the vital role of NYC Transit Workers in restoring the system back into a state of reliability. More importantly , he states that he is committed to developing a plan to address the overtime cap issue.

"Local 100 went down a similar road with our Veterans pension credit bill. That bill was initially vetoed and then signed into law the following year. So this veto is not the end of our fight on Tier 6, and we will plow forward into 2019 pursuing justice on this issue.

"Early in the New Year, we will be meeting with the Governor's office to discuss the "commitment" he referenced in his veto message.

"As we celebrate the holidays and reflect on 2018, it’s important to note that TWU Local 100 has advanced the issue of Tier 6 pension reform far beyond anyone else in the state. This is because of the tenacity and active involvement of our membership. Our efforts resulted in both the state Assembly and Senate passing our bill lifting the overtime cap earlier this year, and we end 2018 with a public commitment from the governor that he will work with us to address the issue.

"Fighting to reform pensions is always a long term operation and we have made incremental progress. In 2019 we will keep pushing forward toward the goal of lifting the overtime cap."

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