From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!
SEPTA officials are locked in active negotiations with the union representing the transit authority’s police force to avoid a potential strike.
Negotiations are taking place at SEPTA headquarters, with sessions lasting several hours each day, according to spokesperson Andrew Busch.
FOTP Lodge #109, which represents SEPTA’s 178 patrol officers, has been working without a contract for the last seven months with the main issue reportedly being pay.
In an interview with WHYY News Tuesday, Busch said progress on the talks has been “hard to come by.”
“But as long as the two sides are talking or are agreeing to talk, we’re hopeful that there won’t be a strike,” he said.
If a strike occurs, SEPTA has deals in place with the Philadelphia Police and other local departments to fill in the gaps.
“SEPTA would work with law enforcement partners to ensure that we have basic patrol coverage and that we’re also getting supplemental help on emergency responses,” Busch said. “We have agreements in place with Philadelphia Police and a number of the smaller police departments in the city and region.”
FOTP rejected SEPTA’s offer Monday, which would’ve increased wages by 13% over three years and would’ve included a $3,000 signing bonus, arguing SEPTA hadn’t matched the proposal given last month to SEPTA employees who are members of the Transport Workers Union. That strike would’ve halted operations of city bus and trolley routes, along with the Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line.
Regional Rail unions have also authorized a strike, but Busch said there isn’t an “imminent threat of a strike” that would impact service.