Presidential board sides with SEPTA on key factor in union contract dispute

The emergency board convened by President Obama after last month’s SEPTA regional rail strike is siding against the unions on a key issue in a contract dispute with the transit agency.

It recommended the two unions, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, should get wage increases but should not get a bump in pay based on pension improvements in a 2009 contract SEPTA struck with another union.

The board also did not recommend retroactive raises, as the unions were demanding.

It also made suggestions on issues like health care, paid time off, and uniforms.

SEPTA and the two unions can resume talks anytime but do not have to adhere to the board’s recommendations.

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