A catastrophic Long Island Rail Road strike was averted Thursday for 300,000 commuters as MTA officials and union leaders reached agreement on a new contract.
The deal, signed shortly after 1:30 p.m., came three days before Sunday’s 12:01 a.m. deadline. The contract provides workers with 17% raises over six-and-a-half years, and includes first-ever LIRR worker contributions toward health care costs, officials said. The cost of the contract was not immediately disclosed.
"This deal puts no additional pressure on the fares," Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast said at a press conference at which the deal was signed.
Momentum for the agreement began gathering after a Wednesday morning meeting that brought both sides back to the bargaining table, with the threatened weekend strike looming large.