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Union Wins Tier 6 Refunds

Local 100 has reached an agreement with the MTA that will result in refunds of thousands of dollars to Local 100 members. Local 100 President Tony Utano uncovered a serious error in how the MTA is calculating paycheck deductions for some Tier 6-covered transit workers who exceed the overtime cap (currently approximately $17,000 for 2021) under the Tier 6 plan.

Before turning to litigation, President Tony Utano addressed the issue in a letter to the MTA last month.  The MTA subsequently admitted their error after meeting with Utano and union counsel Denis Engel. As a result, the MTA has committed to correcting the situation as soon as possible, probably as soon as September, and to provide refunds to those who have been overcharged. They could not commit to a timeframe for refunds – but Utano made clear that any and all such refunds must be paid as soon as possible. Until the MTA completes a comprehensive review, the authority can’t state how many members will be receiving refunds.

According to the Tier 6 plan covering transit workers (Transit Operating Force 25-Year/Age 55 Retirement Plan), an employee should only be paying pension deductions based on his/her 40-hour pay rate, plus earned overtime up to the cap set by the plan in a given year.

A worker whose base rate, for example is $70,000, will pay pension deductions on that amount plus overtime up to approximately $17,000 in 2021.  Therefore, deductions should stop at $87,000 in this example for the rest of the year.  However, the MTA has been deducting contributions from certain members not yet identified on all monies earned over and above the cap, according to them, since 2015.  The MTA believes that a computer programming error is the cause of the problem.

“We will closely monitor how the MTA rectifies this situation,” said Utano.  “It will take time for them to correct it and get the overpayments back to our members caught up in this situation.  But we are determined to ensure that management complies with the statute quickly.”  

Local 100 will be providing periodic updates on this developing victory for pension justice.

Union Message on the Tragic Loss of Life in Haiti

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TWU Local 100 is heartbroken over the loss of life and devastation in Haiti caused by the earthquake that struck Saturday. We extend our deepest condolences to any members who have family and friends in the country. You are in our hearts and prayers.
-- Tony Utano, President, TWU Local 100

 

50 Years Plus for Brooklyn Bus Operator

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In the Photo: President Utano and Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp with Bus Operator Cristo, Cristo’s son and daughter, and the Honor Guard.

AUGUST 11 -- It was a packed house at the Flatbush depot Wednesday as Bus Operators, managers, and union leaders all came together to honor Bus Operator Silverio Cristo for an amazing feat: 50 years on the job. And he’s not done yet.

Cristo, 81, said he has no plans of retiring. He’s going to keep doing what he’s done – quietly, humbly, and reliably – since 1971: safely get Brooklyn riders to their destinations.

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WPIX Report: Why the MTA Must Bring Back the Cash

Bring Back the Cash!

AUGUST 10 — TWU Local 100’s campaign to resume cash transactions at subway booths received a big public boost Tuesday from an impressive contingent of elected officials and advocates.

State Senator Julia Salazar, Assemblymember Catalina Cruz – and eight other members of the State Legislature – demonstrated their support by holding a well-attended press conference Tuesday with Local 100 President Tony Utano, Stations Vice President Robert Kelley, and other union leaders. Advocates from the Straphangers Campaign and the Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled also came and voiced their support at the event outside the Broadway Junction subway-bus hub in Brooklyn.

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Workers Worldwide Mourn the Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

The labor movement across America and the world is mourning the unexpected death of Richard Trumka, President of the national AFL-CIO since 2009, and a major force on the labor scene for more than 40 years.

Local 100 President Tony Utano said: “Brother Trumka’s passing is a shocking and devastating loss to our great labor movement. He was a devoted and passionate fighter for the rights of workers on the job, and for social justice and equality for all people here and abroad. We in TWU are all deeply saddened by his death, and we send our most heartfelt condolences to his family, and to our brothers and sisters at the AFL-CIO in Washington.”

The son of a coal miner in western Pennsylvania, Trumka went to work in the mines as a teenager. But he also went to college at Penn State and Villanova and became a staff attorney with the United Mine Workers of America union's Washington office soon after graduating law school in 1974.

He became the youngest man elected president of the UMWA in 1982 at the age of 33 and led the union on a series of strikes over the next 13 years, including the nationally famous Pittston Coal Strike.

He became the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO in 1995 and President in 2009.

Upon hearing the news, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer interrupted Senate proceedings on August 5, 2021 to say: "I rise today with some sad, some horrible, news about the passing of a great friend, Rich Trumka, who left us this morning. The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most."

New Radio Campaign Honors the Transit Workers who Responded to the Attack on America on 9/11

In a new radio spot, TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano salutes the over 3,000 transit workers who responded to the Attack on America on September 11, 2001. The campaign began on August 1 and will continue through the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

$102,500 in Scholarships is Awarded at the Union Hall; First Goble Scholarship Winner Announced

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photo: Members of Garrett Goble's family stand with the first recipient of the Garrett Goble Scholarship, Jake Burns and his father, Train Operator George Burns.

AUGUST 2 -- Fifty-Eight lucky scholarship winners, with parents and other family members, thronged the Union Hall today to pick up scholarship award envelopes worth $102,500. The annual scholarship program is endowed by M3 Technology, which provides life insurance and disability benefits to Union members on a voluntary basis.

The scholarship program has grown each year in increments of $25,000, with two winners receiving $10,000 each, six getting $5,000, and Fifty getting $1,000 each. Scholarship winners are predominantly college-bound children of Local 100 members, but can also be spouses of members or children or grandchildren of retirees.

For the first time, a scholarship named after fallen Train Operator Garrett Goble in the amount of $2,500 was also awarded this year. The winner, Jake Burns, a Yale-bound High Schooler, is the son of Train Operator George Burns. His name was selected in a blind drawing by Garrett Goble's son, Noah, earlier this year.

President Tony Utano, speaking at today's event, said that the Union is looking to raise the amount of the awards given each year in order to make a meaningful contribution to the high cost of attending college. The scholarship program is coordinated by Assistant to the President Shannon Poland.

See the highlights of the awards here.

CED Mourns Prince, Car Inspector, 32

Car Equipment Department is grieving an unexpected and tragic loss of a TWU Brother Car Inspector, Bhagwant Scrichawla (Prince) who worked in the truck shop of the 207 Overhaul Shop. According to police, Prince's life tragically ended early Wednesday (7/28/2021) morning when he lost control of his car on the Long Island Expressway in Queens and struck a tree at about 4:30 am.

At the time of the accident, Prince was on his way to work, where he was highly respected and had earned for himself a solid reputation as a giving soul during his seven years of service.

Rob Ruiz, who is TWU Chairman of the 207th Street Overhaul Shop described Prince as someone who always came to work, was respectful and was always ready to help others without looking for anything in return.

Prince was only 32 years old and leaves behind a 3 year old son, loving girlfriend, parents and siblings. His funeral took place on Friday, July 30th, in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, and many friends, co-workers, and family were there. CED VP Shirley Martin and all the officers of the Department share their deepest condolences.

 

Get Vaccinated Now -- the Delta Variant is Spreading

Last week the Director of the CDC made it plain – 97% of new COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who are unvaccinated, making COVID-19 a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

The Delta Variant is spreading and the Union recommends that everyone get vaccinated right away.

More than 65% of eligible adults in the U.S. now vaccinated -- but only 47% of our MTA Brothers and Sisters are vaccinated. More needs to be done so that we can protect ourselves and our families.

These are facts:

Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.
Vaccines reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Vaccines are also effective against COVID-causing variants, which are spreading across the U.S.
 
Vaccines are free and easy to get these locations

MTA vaccination site at 130 Livingston St, Brooklyn (Wednesday and Thursday for employees and eligible family members)


Pop-up sites at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal (daily)
New York; https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
New Jersey: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine
Connecticut: https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal
In your community or county – visit Vaccines.gov to find a nearby site.

You can also reach out Transit at teamvaccine@mtahq.org and they will put you in touch with an expert who can answer your questions. Here are some additional resources.

CDC Vaccine FAQs

NYS Dept of Health

NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene

MTA Employee Resource Center

 
Get vaccinated. The life you save could be your own or that of a family member. It's not only about fatalities. COVID-19 can produce long-lasting adverse effects after you recover from an infection.

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