July 11, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—The MTA and LIRR unions resumed negotiations in New York on Thursday, one day after the MTA’s CEO went to Congress in Washington, D.C. asking Congress not to impose settlement terms that the MTA insists would benefit union members. After the meeting, the two leaders of the MTA and unions told the press they are still negotiating the union’s counter-proposal.
Emerging from the Proskauer Rose law firm on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, Anthony Simon, the chairperson of District 1 for the transportation division of the Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union, said that he had good discussions with the MTA.
“We had good discussions with the [MTA] chairman [Thomas Prendergast]. We did make a counteroffer. Further discussions is all I’ll say that is going to go on from this point on,” said Simon.
When asked by a reporter what is the counteroffer, Mr. Simon said he didn’t want to discuss it in public.
Another reporter asked whether the MTA was sincere during Thursday’s negotiations.
“I think everybody in that room has the same intent right now to make sure we can prevent a strike,” said Simon.
Andrew Siff of NBC New York during the presser asked (not shown in the above video) Mr. Simon what had transpired between Thursday morning, when Mr. Simon said he wasn’t prepared to make another counter-offer, and the press conference at 5:00 pm when he said that both sides are now discussing the union’s counter offer.
“What changed is that the chairman was in the room,” said Simon.
Mr. Prendergast, who didn’t attend Tuesday’s negotiations at the Proskauer Rose law firm, said after Thursday’s meeting that both sides will continue to discuss the union’s counter offer.
“They came in and made a formal counter offer, which was discussed. We’ve got more discussions to have. We’re all concerned with trying to reach resolution with this particular issue and we will continue the discussions,” said Prendergast.