SEPTA Talks with Unions for City, Suburban Transit Lines Stalled

While SEPTA Regional Rail trains are back to work thanks to an order by President Barack Obama, there is apparently no progress in talks between SEPTA and the union representing workers on city and suburban bus, trolley and elevated/subway lines.

Talks between Transit Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA management are stalled over health care cost sharing. Currently, union members pay 1 percent toward health care.

A SEPTA labor relations official wrote that the union has been “bombarding the Authority with detailed requests for health care information.”

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Interview: Willie Brown Doesn’t Want a SEPTA Strike — but He’s Ready to Have One Anyway

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

It’s going to be a scary weekend for commuters in the Philadelphia region: The final contracts between SEPTA and its unions expire at midnight Sunday. The unions haven’t declared they’ll go on strike then — assuming the two sides still can’t settle a contract — but many residents were caught by surprise in 2009 when a SEPTA strike broke out suddenly after the last home game of the Phillies-Yankees World Series that year.

Willie Brown, the high-profile head of TWU 234, SEPTA’s largest union, won’t declare a strike deadline. He says he doesn’t want a strike. But he’s willing to have one if the two sides can’t get a contract. He talked to Philly Mag this week.

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