SEPTA and local unions begin negotiations in Center City

SEPTA tracks. Credit: Mural Arts Program
SEPTA tracks. Credit: Mural Arts Program

President Barack Obama’s team of negotiators are bringing SEPTA and rail workers together Monday in a Center City hotel to kick off week-long discussions on a new deal.

“SEPTA, as part of the process, had to turn in a brief or a summary on our position and then we’ll be presenting that as part of this today,” said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch. “Today is starting (negotiations) off and then we’ll go from there.”

The roughly 400 rail workers — including members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – left their jobs for one day on June 14. Workers quickly returned after President Barack Obama appointed a Presidential Emergency Board, per a request from Gov. Tom Corbett, to try and settle the dispute.

The Presidential Emergency Board, brought in to bridge the demands between the unions and SEPTA, will make a recommendation on how the contracts should be handled on July 14.

But whatever recommendation, the unions and SEPTA are not forced to accept it. Essentially, Obama’s order put the rail workers back to work, and in the meantime, brought together a team of skilled negotiators to try and figure out a resolution.

Obama’s order prevents rail workers for striking for 240 days. If a resolution isn’t met within that timeframe, another strike is possible in February 2015.

The 400 workers are asking for pay increases, retroactive pay to the end of their last contract in 2010 and an increase in pension contributions from SEPTA.

SEPTA officials claim the demands are unreasonable.

Both BLET Division 71 and IBEW Local 744 have not yet responded to requests for comment.

_____________________

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…