Second NJ Transit employee union rejects contract deal
The voting by members is complete and a second NJ Transit union has rejected the offer that averted a strike in March.
According to NJ Advance Media, members of UTU Local 60, which represents conductors, also turned down the deal. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen earlier announced on their website their rejection of the deal.
Representatives from both unions have not returned calls about the vote. NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder in an email said that "both ratifications failed by narrow margin." She said that 14 other unions voted to ratify the deal by "significant majorities" and the agreements are now in effect.
Snyder said a 60-day cooling off period is in effect and the two unions "have the right, under the Federal Railway Labor Act, to request the resumption of negotiations. In the event the two unions make that request, NJ Transit will meet with them."
Details of the agreement reached in March that avoided a strike by 4,000 NJ Transit workers were never officially released to the public. Gov. Chris Christie during New Jersey 101.5’s “Ask The Governor” program in March said it is good deal for both the union and taxpayers and included a 2.3 percent pay increase.
“When you add their additional contributions they have to make for health, which are significant, the average net increase is 1.7 percent,” he said.
Christie said a fare increase would not be required.
Since the strike was averted NJ Transit has faced questions over its use of audio and video recordings of riders on its light rail lines and its vague answers about their use. The agency is also without a permanent director after former Amtrak executive William Crosbie changed his mind because of concerns over relocating his family from Virginia.