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Wage Increases - Retroactive Pay - New Contract Stuff


June 17, 2008 

Dear BTOBA Sisters and Brothers, 

The BTOBA Executive Board has negotiated a new tentative contract agreement with Triborough that provides wage, increases and other economic gains, as well as improvements and enhancements to benefits, retroactive to March 1, 2006. The new agreement, which would run through May 19, 2009, is tentative pending ratification by the union membership.


More specifically, this new pact provides all BTOs with increases in wages (10.5% over the life of the contract), longevity pay, uniform allowance, Check-In/Check-Out, paid holidays, and in many other areas. In addition, for the first time in our history, BTOs will receive a ground-breaking law enforcement differential. We were able to remove clauses in the old contract that were detrimental to BTOs, especially those hired after 1997 -- for example, a clause that allowed Triborough to deny this group weekends off for their entire career. We also had the progressive discipline clause amended, and we got Triborough to make the current vacation scheduling permanent for all BTOs, which means those hired after 1997 are no longer at the mercy of management’s scheduling whims.


In addition, we fought back many of Triborough’s demands. Management wanted us to pay out-of-pocket for our medical coverage like other MTA unions. We said no. They wanted to eliminate Check-In/Check-Out. We not only said no, we won an increase. There are many more areas where we made gains and also rejected Triborough’s demands. You the full Memorandum of Understanding and now we have provided a synopsis of the highlights of the tentative agreement, along with the full Memorandum of Understanding. Also enclosed is a secret mail-home ratification ballot that must be received by July 10th. Please review all of the enclosed material with your family so that you can cast an informed ratification vote. The entire BTOBA Executive Board and the full Delegate Body voted unanimously to bring this contract offer to the membership for a vote.


In closing, we believe the increases, improvements and enhancements in this tentative pact will meet the needs of BTOs and their families well into the future and, therefore, respectfully recommend that you vote to accept this new tentative contract. 

In solidarity, 

The BTOBA Executive Board 

What We Won at the Collective Bargaining Table: 

A new 38 1/2  month contract retroactive to March 1, 2006 through May 19, 2009. 

Wage increases totaling 10.5% implemented as follows: 3% retroactive to March 1, 2006, 4% retroactive to March 1, 2007, and 3.5% retroactive to March 1, 2008. 

Top salary increases from $52, 714 to $58,444, along with differential and fringe benefits.


No employee out-of-pocket contribution to medical plan! 

A ground-breaking extra $200 annual law enforcement differential. 

Disciplinary improvements. A first discipline is expunged from BTOs’ record after five years without a subsequent discipline except for insubordination or termination cases. 

The current vacation scheduling system is permanent for all BTOs, meaning that all BTOs hired prior to 1997 are no longer at the mercy of Triborough’s mandatory vacation slots.  

Removed clause in old contract that precluded BTOs hired after 1997 from having weekends off. Triborough now has to give BTOs hired after 1997  at least 3 of every 10 weekends off, protecting all new hires against never having a weekend off during their entire career. 

Longevity allowance increased by $100 per step; also added a pensionable longevity step of $2,600 after 25 years of service.  

Uniform allowance increased by $100, from $1,100 to $1,200. 

Check-In/Check-Out amount increased by $150, from $2,122 to $2,272. 

Increase in TBTA’s contribution to the BTOBA Family Protection Plan benefits, including the annual sum of $2,500 per active member and retiree effective May 15, 2008 and $2,620 per effective Feb. 15. 2009. In addition, Triborough will make a one-time contribution of $130,000 to the Family Protection Plan. 

An extra paid holiday upon contract ratification, with future additional paid holiday accrual on Jan. 31st.  

All days for perfect attendance will be cashed out and paid at the higher Paid Holiday Rate. 

Improvements on Forced Overtime: In cases of forced OT, the junior BTO on the tour who has not worked OT that tour or who is not working his/her RDO, will be required to work ordered OT. 

OT can be offered to a BTO even when replacing an absent temporary worker.


Documentation is no longer required for the first three emergency personal business (EPBs) in a leave year (except for those taken the day before/after or on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, July 4th, Labor Day, and EPBs taken before/after RDOs or vacation.


A BTO who fails the gun-qualifying test is now entitled to a requalify on paid time, regardless of the score, on the same day or the next business day using rounds provided by Triborough (practice rounds are increased from 50 to 100, unless the BTO qualifies after the initial 50 rounds). BTOs in this situation will receive any necessary instruction prior to the requalification. 

A panel consisting of a Triborough and union representative will hear appeals in cases of firearm removal. If an agreement cannot be reached, the MTA director of security (who has law enforcement background), instead of the VP of operations, will make a ruling on the appeal.  

BTOs will receive OT up to 4 hours past their regular tour due to arrest duties. If arrest duties continue over 4 hours, instead of OT the next regular tour is advanced, with the BTO receiving straight time pay (including all differentials) for the advanced tour (instead of pay for the original tour. If arrest duties continue past 8 hours of the advanced tour, however, the BTO will resume OT pay for all hours beyond the 8-hour advanced tour.  

A suspended BTO can bid on a new facility (but cannot transfer to the new facility until the suspension is served). 

Additional affordable life insurance (approximately $200,000, without a medical exam) under the management group life insurance program is available to BTOs (paid by BTOs). Aflac is available to all BTOs for a two-year trial period. 

Additional Changes: First Step Salary will remain at $36,900 for the first year of employment following ratification of the contract and new Officers in the first 11 weeks of training at the Academy will be paid 15% below starting salary. (Approximately $100 per week) After the first year, Officers will be paid the full second year rate.

We Rejected and Defeated These Triborough Concession Demands:

Triborough wanted us to pay out-of-pocket for our medical benefits on an escalating percentage basis the same as other MTA unions, which have already surpassed 1.5% of their gross wages. We will not pay any premiums for our our medical coverage!

Triborough wanted to eliminate our Check-In/Check-Out. We not only said no, we won an increase in Check-In/Check-Out.    

Triborough wanted mandatory cash payments for two paid holidays, which would have meant loss of OT and a day off. We said no, and instead won an extra paid holiday and BTOs still have the discretion to take paid holidays as cash or days off.

Triborough wanted to treat a 6-hour notification of cancellation of OT as an absence, requiring a doctor’s note even though it isn’t even scheduled work.

Triborough wanted to transfer anyone at the tunnels who was not gun-qualified and authorized.. Instead, transfers to the tunnels will have to be gun-qualified and authorized.