We have been in negotiations with the MBTA for over a year. The lack of progress has been frustrating but the fact of the matter is that the Local 589 arbitration award and the legal fallout that followed have stymied nearly every union on the property. Now that the issue with 589 has been settled and the MBTA has seemingly accepted the award we feel that there will be progress on a new contract with TEA and the MBTA. We have recently given them what we feel is a reasonable proposal. We have been promised a response soon. Our negotiating team will then have a decision to make: accept, counter their offer or call for mediation. The seriousness of their offer will dictate that decision. Contract language still needs to be agreed upon but much of the language in there is standard. There are a few issues still needing to be ironed out but the majority of our issues have not been seen as a problem. Our attorney and Labor Relations have agreed in principle on many language issues. The ones that remain are extremely important to us and we will continue to discuss. If we take their word that they are determined to reach a voluntary settlement, we should be able to reach an agreement on contract language. In conclusion, we are trying very hard to reach an acceptable voluntary agreement and we are hoping that we are close to doing so

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