Nov 1, 2021 - News

SEPTA strike averted as transit agency and union reach tentative deal

Riders on SETPA walk on the platform beside a subway.

Passengers exit a SEPTA train at a commuter rail station in Philadelphia on July 30. Photo: Hannah Beier/Getty Images

SEPTA service will remain on track Monday.

Driving the news: The Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA are moving closer to ratifying a two-year deal, which averted a potential strike.

  • Both sides reached a tentative deal on the union's new contract last Friday, days before its previous one was set to expire.

Why it matters: A strike would have shut down bus, trolley and subway services in the city, disrupting commutes for thousands of riders.

Details: Under the proposed contract, union workers will receive 3% yearly wage hikes, pandemic hazard pay bonuses and parental leave provisions, among other things.

  • Juneteenth also will become a paid holiday for workers.

What they're saying: TWU members are "essential workers who move Philadelphia and who have risked their lives putting their own families at risk during the pandemic," union president Willie Brown said in a statement.

The other side: "SEPTA's frontline employees were critical to keeping our region moving during the worst of the pandemic, and this agreement reflects their dedication and sacrifice," said SEPTA CEO and general manager Leslie Richards in a statement.

What's ahead: The union is expected to hold a ratification vote on the new contract Friday.

  • SEPTA's board members also must approve the contract, though the timeline for that decision remains unclear.

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