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MTA sweetens contract offer as LIRR strike looms

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NEW YORK (AP) — With less than a month before a potentially crippling Long Island Rail Road strike, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority offered a new proposal to union workers.

But the LIRR union’s lead negotiator Anthony Simon says the offer is still not what the unions want.

The MTA said Tuesday it has offered a 17 percent wage increase over seven years. Its earlier offer called for an 11 percent hike over six years.

The unions are pushing for a 17 percent increase over six years.

The MTA offer also seeks concessions including requiring current employees to contribute 2 percent of regular pay toward health care costs. Currently, LIRR workers don’t contribute toward their health insurance.

A strike could come as early as July 20, affecting 300,000 daily riders.

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