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SEPTA, TWU union avoid strike, reach two-year deal

Without resolving two of its key issues, SEPTA and its largest union still came to terms on a new contract and avoided a large-scale strike.

But instead of afive-year deal, the two sides agreed to a two-year pact.

According to The Inquirer, Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA agreed Friday night to a wage increase, said to be 5 percent over the two years of the deal.

But the two main sticking points — workers pension compensation as compared with management and contributions to health-care benefits — were left for consideration in the next contract.

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Willie Brown said last week that if talks hadn't progressed further enough by Halloween night he would consider calling for the some 5,000 workers to go on strike.

He said the possibility of striking through Tuesday's election wasn't among his concerns.

SEPTA Board Chairman Pat Deon said in a statement that the new deal "is fair to our union employees, our customers and the taxpayers and balances the needs of our valuable workforce, while operating the transit system in the most efficient manner possible."

The deal is still pending union ratification and SEPTA board approval.

 
 
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