MTA: New York Post 'Harmful' to Union Negotiations

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A disputed tip to a tabloid about MTA employee contact talks could deal a damaging blow to negotiations -- according the MTA Transit Authority's top honcho, Joseph J. Lhota.

In today's New York Post, an article claims that the MTA "has caved to several costly union demands," including "one concession agreeing to give subway operators three paid days off when they hit someone."

An exasperated-sounding Lhota fired back with a statement this morning, disputing the paper's reporting.

"It is the MTA's policy not to negotiate through the press. However, we will not allow inaccurate or leaked statements regarding negotiations to stand as fact. Today's New York Post story is harmful to the collective bargaining process," he said.

A Transportation Workers Union Local 100 source told Runnin' Scared that this article -- and others on bargaining talks recently in the Post and Daily News -- have egged on mistrust between the MTA and the guild, making the already prickly bargaining process even trickier.

Our source says that the Post's article refers to a specific contract that only pertains to rapid transit operators. Both sides have come to an agreement on this particular contract, but it wouldn't be set in stone until union employees OK it in a vote.

The source adds that this accord contains lots of other info -- not just time-off related to accidents.

As not to play the "blame the Post "game, Runnin' Scared did reach out to the author of the article via e-mail and phone to get her take on the MTA's reaction. We'll update if we hear back.

Also worth a mention: Last week the TSU came out against reports both in the Post and the News that contract talks had reached a standstill. The spokesman told Runnin' Scared that negotiations were going well, and that mentions of a potential MTA strike were completely bogus.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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The MASS Transit Authority?  You must be talking about some other place...

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