NYC transit strike

I'd love to be the mediator in the NYC transit strike. (See this) article from MSNBC on the issue.

I am not completely educated on all the issues, but I think I have a pretty good understanding of what is at stake.

Let me first state that I think both sides have been guilty of hyperbole. Both sides have been guilty of trying to make mountains out of mole hills.

Thus far I am siding with the city on this issue. Of course I realize "the city" really consists of "the citizens" so if a majority of them asked me to "butt out" I would be willing to sit back and let them deal with their own mess. But I would point out to them that what goes on in NYC is a national issue. In the past NYC has put their hands out to New York State and even the nation when they faced economic problems, so I am wondering if NYC can escape "their problem" becoming "our problem".

Thus far I side with the city. Seems to me the sticking point is pensions. Transit workers buck at being asked to contribute a larger portion of their income towards their future pensions. But the city has already granted them a decrease in the retirement age to 55. The city only expects the workers to help fund the granted decrease of the retirement age. I think this is ultimately reasonable. In fact I think the age of 55 being retirement age is unreasonable, however the city has already agreed to this demand. Even our American soldiers, in the new reality, have had to accept either later retirement or decreased retirement benefits, but transit workers in NYC are being granted a decrease in the retirement age.

I also note that the transit workers time their strike for maximum affect. Yup, it is cold enough to get the attention of the average citizen. Yup, it is around Christmas time to get the attention of the retailers. Perfect timing for maximum extortion.

What do the citizen's of NYC want to do? Remember that whatever you decide to do you are working within a limited budget. Do you want mass transit to become prohibitively expensive? Even with what the city has offered you are going to face fare increases. How high do you want the fares to go?

There are valid arguments for the decrease in the retirement age of transit workers. The city granted this decrease in age. Is it really wrong for the city to demand the workers pay some of the cost of the new benefits agreed to? They city might not even be able to afford the already agreed to benefits.

Is it wrong to ask the workers to pay some of the costs to at least slow the slide towards bankruptcy?


Blogger Little David said...

I wish to update my article.

I am beginning to think that perhaps some of the reports I have heard/read about the issues might have been in error.

I have heard conflicting reports about the 55 year old retirement age. The most recent report claims this age is the one that has existed for some time, and is nothing new.

There is some justification for the rather young retirement age. I would imagine that the transit workers must pass a physical to continue their occupation since this is required of commercial truck drivers. While it is not exactly a rigorous physical, it does eliminate some people, and as with everything else that comes with age, it is harder for the individual to pass as they get older.

I guess NYC decided to deal with this "problem" by allowing the workers to retire at a rather young age.

Also, I understand that negotiations might have been dragging on for a couple of years without a new contract. During these years I would imagine workers did not get any raises to keep up with the cost of living.

I sure wish reporting included ACCURATE reports on what the issues really are, instead of sound bites from Mayor Bloomberg that are basically nothing more then hyperbole.

12/22/2005 06:26:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home