Please forgive the lack of information for the past few weeks in regards to our contract arbitration. Until we had clear and concrete information, we felt it was not in our best interest or yours to post inconsistent or unconfirmed facts.
Although we have employed patience and a commitment to resolve this issue with the MBTA and their representatives, our good-faith efforts have only been met with false promises and half-truths. We were given assurances by the parties involved that they were committed to putting to rest this fool’s errand of an appeal and move onto the next contract. None of these assurances have been realized.
Make no mistake; we understand and share your frustration with this whole situation. We recognize your desire to exercise your rights as union members to make your feelings and voices heard. We do not disagree, but we must all be careful of the choices we make and actions we take. Kneejerk reactions to highly charged matters can sometimes lead to bad choices and negative repercussions, which can have long lasting effects. This does not mean, however, that we are going to sit idly by while our collective bargaining rights are challenged and attacked.
Today, we met with the MBTA’s General Manager, the General Counsel, the Director of Labor Relations, and the Assistant Secretary of Transportation to discuss the Garraty Award. It appears that the MBTA is trying to strong arm us and leverage this current award to help facilitate a resolution to the next contract. Our answer to them was a clear and resounding NO! We will not allow you to hold this award hostage to settle any outstanding issues or impending contract matters!
Our counsel as well as the entire executive board was informed about today’s meeting. We have another meeting with the MBTA on Monday, which they requested. They informed us that they were going to speak to the secretary and the governor regarding today’s meeting and let them know of our refusal to bend or comply with their request for a partial award implementation. It is our hope that they will see this executive board and our Union as a strong determined group who will not be bullied or goaded into a deal that is not in the best interests of our members. Furthermore, we hope they will finally adhere to and comply with the court order and implement the Garraty Award.
Over the next few days, we ask for your patience and indulgence. We understand that is a lot to ask since you have already been waiting too long for something that is rightfully yours. Rest assured that we will exhaust all options available to us to bring this matter to an end. We will also explore avenues not yet taken in response to the MBTA, the General Manager, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Governor’s callous disregard for the collective bargaining process and those hard-earned benefits and economics we were granted under the arbitrator’s decision. We hope that all our members – old and new – will rally behind those decisions and join us in solidarity when that time comes.
Boston Carmen’s Union