June 28, 2011

Long Island Rail saves ticketing hours, cleaning crews

N.Y. MTA's Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) ticket window hours at more than 18 stations and two heavy-duty cleaning crews that help keep stations neat will be saved under a key agreement reached between the LIRR and Transportation Communications Union (TCU).

In a successful effort to keep some ticket windows open for the public that had been slated for closure and to retain the current level of cleaning services, TCU leadership and LIRR management agreed to temporary changes in contract rules.

The agreement, which extends to March 2012, modifies some of the Union's contractual work rules and contract provisions and provides sufficient savings to avert the planned layoff of 17 ticket clerks in 2011. That would have resulted in the closure of ticket offices and the reduction of ticket window hours at a total of over 18 LIRR stations.

The reductions — originally included in the LIRR's financial plan — will now be averted for at least nine months. The LIRR hopes to discuss an extension of this temporary agreement to avoid shutting ticket windows and laying off employees in 2012.

In hammering out the short-term agreement, a reduction in the number of clerks will be accomplished through attrition and will result in five LIRR ticket offices being kept open two days a week instead of closing. The LIRR has saved $1.3 million through the reductions and the agreement with the TCU. The agreement also reduces by half the number of ticket offices that would have seen reductions in window hours.

The TCU represents unionized ticket office personnel and other clerical positions at LIRR as well as station cleaning crews.

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