Unions representing Long Island Railroad workers are upset that the MTA has decided to go public with negotiations on a new contract.

With a possible strike next month, the MTA called a news conference yesterday to outline its latest offer.  It includes a 17 percent pay hike over seven years, but concessions would be made for future employees.

"Our offer gives the unions, all current workers, everything that the union has asked for in their final offer before the Presidential Emergency Board and everything that they've repeatedly said that they would accept," said MTA Director of Labor Relations Anita Miller.

The LIRR unions are upset, claiming the agency went public with the offer before discussing it with them.

The lead negotiator for the unions, Anthony Simon, also said the offer is less than the Presidential Emergency Board recommended.  He accused the MTA of trying to provoke a strike.

"The MTA has not budged.  What they've done is smoke and mirrors again," Simon said. 

The sides are expected to meet again on Friday.  Without a deal, a strike could come as soon as July 20.


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