An MTA supervisor is suing her union for axing her as vice president just months after she won the position in an election, court papers reveal.
Transit supervisor Sweets Abbitt won the election last November and was set to serve a four year term as vice president of station supervisors — which gave her a $60,000 boost per year in pay and benefits for representing workers.
In June this year, she filed a grievance with New York City Transit’s labor relations department that said all station supervisors at her level were performing duties outside of their job title — such as doing office work at the agency’s headquarters or the Rail Control Center. She wanted them to be given a salary equivalent to the work they are doing, the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court shows.
The Subway Surface Supervisor’s Association president Michael Carrube then fired her from the elected position and posted a letter on the union’s website that said she violated the union’s chain of command, the suit says.
Abbitt said the constitution forbids a union leader from just canning an elected officer and replacing her with a person he appointed on his own .
“I suffered tremendously this summer,” said Abbitt. “I was humiliated when they put me on the website. How can they defame me like that?”
Her suit says she could not be suspended or expelled without charges and a trial committee.
Carrube said he didn’t exceed his authority, and that a trial committee would ultimately decide Abbitt’s fate. He said he filed union charges against Abbitt, who said she didn’t receive them.
“The president has the right to remove the staff under the constitution as he sees fit,” said Carrube.
The MTA doesn’t comment on pending litigation, a spokeswoman said.