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CBS 2's Marcia Kramer Gives Breakdown Of What Both Sides Want In Potential LIRR Strike

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With 10 days to go Thursday before a possible Long Island Rail Road strike, many have been wondering just how far apart the two sides really are.

As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the United Transportation Union discussed a union counteroffer Thursday, but ended the day with no resolution and no further date set for resuming negotiations.

This is how their differences break down.

What They Want:

• Both sides agree on a 17 percent raise. The union wants the raise spread out over six years, the MTA seven years;

• The union wants no changes for workers on health or pension contributions;

• The MTA said new workers should double the health care contributions made by current workers, and permanently contribute to their pensions. Currently, the workers pay into their pensions for only 10 years.

• The union says the period it takes for workers to reach top pay should stay at the current five years, while the MTA wants to increase it to 10.

Dollars And Cents:

LIRR workers are already highly compensated and the best paid in the country.

• An LIRR conductor makes $36.25 per hour. Conductors at the five other largest railroads – Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, the Metro-North Railroad and NJ TRANSIT – make an average of $28.46 per hour.

• The average pay of an LIRR worker is $87,182, while the average pay of a metropolitan area worker over the age of 25 is $40,000.

The LIRR serves an estimated 300,000 riders, who are balanced against the demands of 5,400 railroad workers.

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