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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Tom Prendergast and Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 President John Samuelsen late last week announced a tentative labor agreement has been reached to settle a 2-year-old contract dispute between the MTA and the union.The tentative pact contains no fare increases while providing a fair and reasonable five-year contract to TWU Local 100's 34,000 transit workers, the officials said in a press release issued by Cuomo's office.The terms call for TWU workers to receive increases within the 2 percent cap under state labor contracts — a 1 percent increase in each of the first two years, beginning with 2012, and 2 percent increases in the last three years. Employees would pay an increased share of health care costs — increasing from 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the employee's salary — but would receive new benefits such as paid maternity/paternity leave, coverage of health care for surviving spouses of deceased TWU retirees, and improvements to dental and optical benefits.The tentative agreement is subject to approval by the TWU Local 100 executive board and ratification by members, and subsequent approval by MTA's board. The contract will be accommodated within revisions to the MTA financial plan, authority officials said."This is a fair and equitable contract for transit workers," said TWU's Samuelsen.
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