SEPTA, union break off negotiations
Public transportation in Philadelphia should operate as normal Monday even after negotiations between SEPTA and the union representing transit workers broke down Sunday night.
All contracts between SEPTA and Transit Workers Union Local 234 have expired; the last deal ended at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
But TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown vowed Sunday his workers would not immediately strike.
SEPTA says it has put a two-year contract on the table, as the union requested,and that the deal includes pay hikes each year — 2 percent the first year and 3 percent the second year, up from an initial offer of 2.75 percent in year two. The deal would, however, require workers to put an extra 1 percent of their wages toward health-care premiums.
“Despite assertions by the TWU leadership that we were very close, the union has refused to engage in bargaining since Friday afternoon when SEPTA put an offer on the table,” SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said in a statement Sunday evening. “Not a single counter-offer on economics since that time. They have made no efforts to close the gap or respond in any meaningful way.
“Union said they had to have a two-year deal with wage increases in each year. The Authority wanted a longer-term deal, but in the interest of avoiding a work stoppage, we entered into discussions of a two-year contract.”
A strike would involve all city transit lines and suburban buses and trolleys, totaling about 900,000 daily trips, NBC10 reported.