An arbitration panel last week awarded unionized transit workers at New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority an 11.3% raise over three years. The raises for Transit Workers Union Local 100 workers will cost an estimated $350 million, the MTA said.

“This award is extremely disappointing and fails to recognize the economic recession in the region and the impact of this downturn on the MTA,” the authority’s  interim executive director and chief executive officer Helena Williams said in a statement. “The award suggests that the MTA raid its underfunded capital program and rely on one-shot federal stimulus funds to pay for raises.”

The panel also reduced employee contributions for health care.

The decision came out the day after the MTA released its draft $28.08 billion five-year capital plan, which has a nearly $10 billion financing gap.

MTA staff will prepare recommendations for the board to deal with the additional cost, the MTA said.

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