My sense is that public opinion falls on the side of the MTA, basically calling the TWU assholes for short-circuiting the city a week before Christmas for their own selfish reasons.
Since 1999, transit worker salaries have more than kept pace with inflation, rising to an average of $63,000 for train operators and $54,000 for conductors. The MTA proposal would have boosted those numbers to $68,000 and $59,000 while opening the door to substantially more. Toussaint responded by demanding raises totaling more than 25% and refusing what he called givebacks.
It's definitely bad timing. And maybe the TWU is in the wrong. But this reminds me of how it's so easy for us to get accustomed to the status quo. When it's 60 degrees and the temp dips to 35, we run for our winter coats and shiver. When it's been 10 degrees and it shoots up to 35 degrees we feel like throwing on shorts and tees.
So maybe this is similar. We set the bar so low for those who are truly the engine of any metropolis that we are indignant when they ask for a small percentage of their actual value.
Everyone says the transit workers cost the city millions by pulling a stunt like this. So if they're so invaluable, doesn't that mean they should be paid millions? Or at least $60-70K.
Teachers should be taking note. Their salaries are probably in gross need of a correction also. No one gives money away for free anymore. You have to demand it and leverage your position.
Until civil [servants], teachers etc. start making ARod paper, my freelance ass says power to the people.