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Samuelsen v. New York City Transit Authority

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

September 11, 2013

John SAMUELSEN, as President of Local 100Transport Workers Union of Greater New York, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY a/k/a MTA New York City Transit and Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, Defendants. No. 109909/2010.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a table in the New York Supplement.

Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq., New York City, for plaintiff.

Martin B. Schnabel, General Counsel, New York City Transit Authority by Robert K. Drinan, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, Brooklyn, for defendants New York City Transit Authority and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority.

MICHAEL D. STALLMAN, J.

In this action, a union alleges that a Memorandum of Understanding and the consolidation agreement that it entered into with defendants violated Public Authorities Law § 1203-a (3)(b), and must be declared void.

By order to show cause, plaintiff seeks a preliminary injunction (1) enjoining and restraining a " Consolidated Pick" involving the selection of jobs by defendants' employees; and (2) mandating each defendant's employees to proceed with picking jobs that are limited to jobs in depots run by each defendant. Defendants oppose the motion.

BACKGROUND

The background allegations of this action were set forth in the Appellate Division's decision in Samuelsen v. New York City Transit Authority:

" In December 2002, the TA and MaBSTOA executed a Memorandum of Understanding' with the Union (the MOU), which, inter alia, modified the CBA [collective bargaining agreement] to provide for the consolidation of MaBSTOA and TA surface transit operations. The MOU, also referred to as Attachment E,' provided, in pertinent part: The Authority and the Union agree to the elimination of the artificial distinction between MaBSTOA and the Transit Authority.[']

* * *

In August 2003, the parties executed a consolidation agreement, which created uniform probationary employment rules, a uniform disciplinary system, and uniform sick leave rules. It resolved various problems that had arisen in the course of consolidating the TA and MaBSTOA surface transit employees. To further effectuate the MOU, the parties established a joint job pick procedure, which allowed MaBSTOA employees to pick into' TA jobs and TA employees to pick into' MaBSTOA jobs. Under this new procedure, employees of each authority would pick their jobs in an order established by a single, integrated seniority list, known as the Consolidated Seniority List.' Employees hired prior to December 2, 2004, were grandfathered in,' to the extent that MaBSTOA workers had first pick of MaBSTOA' jobs before those jobs were made available to TA employees, and vice versa. Employees hired into either Authority after December 2, 2004 picked from any available job, regardless of whether it was a TA job or a MaBSTOA job."

(Samuelsen, 101 A.D.3d 537, 537-539, 957 N.Y.S.2d 27 [1st Dept 2012].)

Plaintiff, as president of Local 100, Transport Workers Union of Greater New York (Local 100) commenced this action in 2010, alleging that, as a result of the MOU and the consolidation agreement, defendants have " effectively made employees of MaBSTOA employees of the NYCTA for almost all purposes", in violation of Public Authorities Law § 1203-a (3)(b). (Schwartz Affirm., Ex A [Complaint ¶ 21].) The action seeks a judgment, among other things, declaring that " the 2002 MOU and 2003 Consolidation Agreement are void and unenforceable to the extent that they have effectively made employees of MABSTOA into employees of the NYCTA." ( Id. )

Defendants previously moved to dismiss this action. By decision and order dated May 16, 2011, Justice Emily Jane Goodman granted defendants' motion to dismiss. ( Samuelsen v. New York City Tr. Auth., 2011 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2415, 2011 WL 2138250 [Sup Ct, N.Y. County 2011].) In a decision dated December 20, 2012, the Appellate Division, First ...


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