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MTA Bus Contract UPDATE: Message from TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen

On Friday, October 23, 2015 we will hold a full main table bargaining session with the MTA in an effort to achieve a contract that brings MTA Bus members parity on wages and benefits, and that once and for all addresses the inequity in the pension plan. Myself, Vice President John Day and the entire union negotiating committee will participate. Everyone on the union side of the table is committed to securing pension improvements that are not tied to concessions of any kind. I hope to be able to report a positive outcome to this crucial collective bargaining session with management. 

NY1's " In Transit" with Local 100 President John Samuelsen

From NY1's website

In Transit 10/2/15

NY1 VIDEO: The newest In Transit rounds up the week's headlines on the transit beat. [. . .] This week's guest is TWU Local 100 chief John Samuelsen, who slams Mayor de Blasio on transit funding.

Bangladeshi-American Transit Workers Enjoy a Day with Their Families

Bangladeshi Picnic

The annual Bangladeshi-American transit workers' picnic took place on Augst 19 at Heckscher State Park on Long Island, and hundreds of union members, mainly from the Stations Department, turned out. There was great food for all, and swimming at the beach. TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen and the other top leadership -- Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips, Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray,and Admin.VP Angel Giboyeaux -- were also on hand. Thanks to Executive Board Member Tareque Ahmed, who organized the event. Enjoy the photos!

NYCT Cleaner Dustn Jackson, who worked at Bleecker Street, was shot last Friday.
NYCT Cleaner Dustn Jackson, who worked at Bleecker Street, was shot last Friday.

New Arrangements for CTA Dustin Jackson

Arrangements for Brother Dustin Jackson, 37, who was murdered off duty in a senseless act of robbery and gun violence over the weekend, have been changed from our earlier post.  The correct ones are as follows: Viewing and Funeral Services: Friday, July 24, 2015, 4:00pm-9:00pm at the Caribe Funeral Home, 1922 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11234. Phone: (347) 507-9278.

Local 100 Mourns Patrick Donohue

The wake for Patrick Donohue – twin brother of Pete Donohue, newest member of our Communications Staff - is at the Bordentown Home for Funerals 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. The address is 40 Crosswicks Street, Bordentown, NJ 08505. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church of The Sacred Heart at 343 South Broad St. Trenton, NJ, 08608.

Pat dedicated his life to helping the less fortunate in the city of Trenton, NJ., as described in the Daily News:

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Pat Donohue Family Fund to support family and educational expenses for Pat’s son, Patrick James, and daughter, Catherine, or one of his favorite charities (see links below).

The Pat Donohue Family Fund

The Greg Grant 94 Ft. Academic Sports Academy (mailing address: P.O. Box 3432, Mercerville, NJ, 08619).

The family will be establishing another fund in the near future to support community programs and activities aimed at improving the lives and opportunities of Trenton residents in need, which was Pat’s mission and passion.

We Win! Bus Operators should not be treated as criminals before the facts are in.
We Win! Bus Operators should not be treated as criminals before the facts are in.

Vision Zero Bill Clears Senate, 54-6

JUNE 23 -- TWU Local 100 members celebrated in Albany as the union-backed bill overriding part of the City's vision zero law passed the State Senate by an overwhelming majority. Front and center in the photo is Theresa Gallagher, with two thumbs up, the first bus operator to be arrested under the vision zero law back in October of 2014. The law would prevent arrests of bus operators on the scene of accidents where they were in the "right of way" and a pedestrian was struck, as long as there is no evidence of reckless conduct on the part of the operator. The law does not prevent an arrest later when an investigation is complete. In voting for the law, legislators including Senate Sponsor Martin Dilan said that "an accident is an accident," and that professional bus drivers should not be arrested on the scene if there is no evidence of recklessness. TWU members are up in Albany lobbying the State Assembly to pass a companion bill.

Report: NYC Bus Driver's de Blasio Protest Brings Traffic to a Crawl

JUNE 16 -- The New York Post reported this morning in a copyrighted story that "angry bus drivers slowed down traffic to a crawl" in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Aerial shots published by the paper showed buses backed up from Wadsworth Avenue, where there's a left turn onto a busy intersection, up 181st Street to the bridge over the East River into the Bronx. Bus Drivers were intent on avoiding turning onto intersections while pedestrians were crossing. Both buses and pedestrians have the right of way, but there are no dedicated turn signals on 181st street to stop pedestrians from crossing while buses are turning. TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen told the Post: "The point of today's outreach is to educate and instruct drivers how to operate under the de Blasio Administration's Right of Way [law]. They should not move their buses until the crosswalk is completely free of pedestrians." Read the entire article here.

Bagpiper plays mournful dirge as Straphanger's Gene Russianoff looks on
Bagpiper plays mournful dirge as Straphanger's Gene Russianoff looks on

A Sad Day in Brooklyn for New Subway Cars?

TWU Local 100 members attended a “mock funeral” for 940 new subway cars that may never hit the rails because the MTA’s capital program remains largely unfunded. The funeral, which was conducted by the Straphangers Campaign in the Jay St/MetroTech station in Brooklyn, featured a bagpiper and a wreath for the high-tech R211 cars that would replace “clunkers” built in the 1970s now on the A, F and R lines.

Transit officials have urged the state and city to increase subsidies to help plug the $14 billion shortfall in the $32 billion capital plan. The 2015-2019 plan would fund system repairs and upgrades, expansion projects like the Second Ave. subway, and replacement of equipment like subway trains and buses. About a dozen Local 100 members, officers and staffers showed their support for capital plan funding by attending the proceedings.

TWU Family Day Brings 5,000 to MCU Park at Coney Island

A Message from John Samuelsen:

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the incredible, unprecedented  success of our annual Family Day. The wonderful families that make TWU Local 100 such an amazing institution were on full display. The sun was shining (for the most part), and the aroma of grilled meat and fish was floating all over Coney Island. Our Family Day has now developed its own unique style of awesome divisional tailgating, with all kinds of great food and "interesting" beverages.

A member gave me a cup of  Trinidadian vegetable soup yesterday. I'd never had it before (not too much Trinidadian soup on the stove growing up with an Irish mother), and it was unbelievably delicious. Our softball team dominated. We retained the TWU tournament trophy once again. Thank you to all our Local 100 soft ball players. I'm thankful to our sister Locals who graciously made their way to Coney Island and contributed to the success of our day. Local 252 president Debra Hagan spent the day with us, and fielded a softball in the tournament, as did Pat Flannery with Local 2001 and Angelo Cucuzza with Local 501. Steve Hamm of Local 299 brought his squad. Thanks for fielding your teams and spending the day with us! And president Mike Conigliaro and the Local 101 membership once again proved themselves to be an incredible 'solidarity" partner with Local 100.

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Rangel Calls Vision Zero Bus Op Arrests "One Big Damn Mistake"

Powerful Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel took aim at the de Blasio adminstration on Monday for making "one big damn mistake" by allowing MTA Bus Operators to be arrested under the new Vision Zero law. He visited the Mother Clara Hale depot in Harlem on 145th and Lenox along with Assemblyman Keith Wright, and City Councilwoman Inez Dickens, both of whom back amending the law so as not to subject Bus Operators to arrest. TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen has called criminalizing the work of Bus Operators an outrage, noting that the Union is supportive of Vision Zero's goal -- to make driving in New York City safer -- but is backing Intro. 663 in the City Council because the law, as currently written, mandates police to make arrests even if there is no negligence or recklessness on the part of the driver. President Samuelsen gave a shout-out to union members on WBLS radio with on-air personality Dr. Bob Lee, who also came to the depot.

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