August 5, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Trenton, NJ – The two NJ Transit unions that rejected the March deal covering most of the railroad’s workers have ratified contracts, ending more than five years of often-stalemated negotiations.
The train conductors, Local 60 of the United Transportation Union, approved a deal July 23 by a vote of 545–322, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers ratified their agreement by 184–140 on July 22. NJ Transit’s nine other unions had agreed to contracts in March that gave them a 21% raise through 2019, retroactive pay, and limited their health-insurance costs, but Local 60 and the Engineers voted no, with workers telling the Bergen Record that they would still be paid less than Long Island Railroad employees who do comparable jobs. The two unions, which represent about 40% of NJ Transit’s unionized railroad workers, also did not want to be transferred to a new health-insurance plan. The contracts they ratified, agreed to on June 25 just before a strike deadline, will let workers keep their current plan if they pay more for it. Read more