Friday, October 24, 2014

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Access-A-Ride Workers Reach Deal To End Strike

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TWC News: Access-A-Ride Workers Reach Deal To End Strike
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Faced with impending layoffs, Access-a-Ride workers struck a deal Wednesday to end their nearly three-week long strike.

Under the terms of the proposed contract, drivers will receive a two-percent retroactive pay raise, and a four-percent raise in each of the next three years. They will also get a signing bonus.

Access-a-Ride provides door-to-door service for people with disabilities. Half of the city’s Access-a-Ride companies have been on strike since April 22nd.

A potential deal to end the strike was rejected last Thursday after the union misread a proposal by the Paratransit Operators Coalition. In the wake of that collapsed deal, the coalition threatened to start firing drivers.

The final deal is similar to the one that was rejected by the union last week.

An attorney for the Paratransit Operators Coalition issued the following statement: "After an intense effort and long hours, we have reached a compromise agreement with the leaders of ATU Local 1181 that is in the best interests of all parties. While we wish this strike could have been completely avoided, we are grateful to know our employees will soon be back at work providing safe and reliable Paratransit service to our valued riders.”

The New York City Transit Authority also released a statement saying: "We are grateful that our 12,000 daily customers will be able to use Access-a-Ride service that they depend on for daily travel. Provided the contract is ratified, we will resume normal operations as quickly as possible."

The agreement still has to be approved by union members, but their attorney says he doesn't foresee a problem.

The vote will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday.
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