Staten Island Ferry Workers Win a New Contract After 13-Year Wait
Staten Island Ferry workers who have gone without a pay raise since 2009 on Monday announced the achievement of a transformative new collective bargaining agreement with the City that guarantees an immediate 28.55% retroactive salary increase for the ferry system’s roughly 120 engineers, captains and mates. Ninety-four percent of workers approved the contract, which expires in January 2027.
Previously, these essential workers were being paid significantly less than their counterparts at other ferry operations around the country. This wage adjustment not only recognizes the skills and expertise of the ferry officers but also ensures fair compensation for their work and should relieve recruiting and retention issues that are currently plaguing the ferry system.
It is an agreement 13 years in the making: Workers covered under the contract last received a raise in 2009. Since then, they have been cast adrift to the frustration and bewilderment of workers, local elected officials and Staten Island Ferry commuters facing service disruptions with little notice.
Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) Secretary-Treasurer Roland Rexha offered a fitting summary of the union’s victory: “On this Labor Day in 2023, we have achieved a remarkable feat — transforming the lowest paid ferry jobs in the nation into the highest paid. This accomplishment was made possible by our members transitioning to a 40-hour work week, providing immediate relief, and resolving staffing shortages. Now, New York City can offer the reliable service that Staten Islanders truly deserve.” Read more in THE CITY and the Staten Island Advance!