February 23, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Trenton, NJ – The 17 unions representing workers on New Jersey Transit rail lines all voted to authorize a strike, union officials announced Feb. 10. But union officials said they would not walk out on the March 12 deadline if negotiations are underway.
"We are certainly hopeful that NJ Transit gets back to the negotiating table," said Stephen Burkert, general chairman of the SMART Union transportation division, which represents conductors. "We have no official date." The current management proposal is for a 6% pay raise coupled with an 800% increase in health-insurance premiums, which Burkert said means workers would pay between $400 and $700 a month, and “half of our coalition members would take a pay cut.” One problem, Burkert said, is that Gov. Chris Christie has the power to veto any agreement. Read more