(NEW YORK) — After 13 years of negotiations, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the City of New York have reached an agreement on a new contract. The landmark deal will have significant implications for the Staten Island Ferry, as it brings the wages of all officers (deck and engine) in line with industry standards.
The MEBA represents all five officer titles at the Staten Island Ferry (captain, dhief engineer, marine engineer, assistant captain and mate) and all of those titles have been without a contract for over 13 years.
Previously, these officers were being paid significantly less than their counterparts at other ferry operations around the country, according to the MEBA. 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 makes the Staten Island Ferry the highest paying public ferry system in the country.
The agreement also includes a retroactive payment of wages to the engineers as part of a settlement of a prevailing wage determination that the MEBA won on behalf of its members in August 2022. That determination required the city to pay Maersk chief engineer and first engineer wages retroactively and going forward. This means that they will receive compensation for the difference between their previous wages and Maersk wages, dating back to the start of the 13-year negotiation period.
The union also secured large increases above the city pattern for the deck titles that were not part of the prevailing wage determination – this also includes retroactive payments dating back to 2010.
The contract was put out to the bargaining unit for a ratification vote last week. It passed with more than 97 percent casting a ballot and nearly 94 percent voting to accept.
– Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association