Morgan Brown & Joy successfully represented the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in a statutory interest arbitration proceeding establishing the terms of the collective bargaining agreement for its largest union, The Boston Carmen, for the period 2006-2010. The Carmen represent approximately 3000 employees The Arbitrator’s Award is historic in that it requires new retirees to contribute to the cost of their health care premiums. Prior to this award, retirees paid nothing for their health care for life. The MBTA has sought retiree contribution for decades, without success until this award. Additionally, the MBTA was successful in achieving significant plan design changes in all health care plans that will save millions of dollars annually and over the life of the agreement. The parties engaged in 18 days of hearings before Arbitrator Nancy Peace between January and April 2008.
Contract disputes that cannot be resolved bilaterally by the parties must be referred to interest arbitration in accordance with state law. Under the principles of pattern bargaining, these terms regarding health care will be applied to all 6000 unionized employees at the MBTA.