SEPTA’s police union is threatening to strike Wednesday if a contract is not reached with the transit authority.
FOTP Lodge #109, representing SEPTA’s 178 patrol officers, has been working without a contract since March, with the main issue reportedly being pay.
In November, FOTP rejected SEPTA’s offer that would’ve increased wages by 13% over three years and included a $3,000 signing bonus, arguing SEPTA hadn’t matched the proposal given 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.
“We do think it’s fair and consistent with those other agreements,” SEPTA Spokesperson Andrew Busch said in an interview with WHYY News on Tuesday. “So we’re hoping to work through some more things and hopefully come out with a tentative agreement that is good for both sides, and that won’t result in a strike.”
If the strike occurs, Busch said the transit authority has plans with the Philadelphia Police and other local departments to fill in the gaps, specifically addressing posts throughout the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, and Regional Rail hubs in Center City.
“It’s not a plan that we want to put into place. And it’s not one that they could continue long-term,” Busch said. “But we do have to plan for any contingencies and make sure that we have the ability to continue to safely offer service to our customers and keep our stations open.”
Regional Rail unions have also authorized a strike, but in an interview with Busch in November, he said there isn’t an “imminent threat of a strike” that would impact service.
WHYY News reached out to FOTP Lodge #109 and is awaiting a response.
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