Union Rejects SEPTA Contract Offer, Wants Binding Arbitration

A strike by SEPTA workers could come as early as next week.

The last of several union contracts with SEPTA expires on April 6, and the head of the Transit Workers Union told the Daily News Thursday he’s not taking the current offer.

[TWU Local 234 president Willie] Brown told the Daily News yesterday that he won’t accept SEPTA’s initial offer of a five-year contract with no raises during 2014 and 2015, a 6 percent raise spread over the next three years, increased employee contributions to health care and no pension plan for new hires.

In a press release sent out to the media yesterday, the TWU said it would accept binding arbitration. “We’re ready to arbitrate,” Brown ‘said’ in the release. “The City Council says both parties should arbitrate. A majority of Philadelphia legislators say both parties should arbitrate. The question is – why is SEPTA refusing to arbitrate?”

“I’m still trying to get a contract,” Brown told Philly Mag yesterday, to which SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams responded: “SEPTA believes negotiations should occur at the bargaining table with the parties involved.”

A strike could come as early as next week, though obviously everyone would like to avoid that.

[Daily News]