SEPTA update: contract news

The SEPTA Board signed off on a five-year contract for suburban Victory Division bus and trolley operators on Dec. 17.

The contract, modeled after the one signed with Transport Workers Union Local 234, gives drivers an 11.5 percent wage increase over five years. Pensions payouts to a 30-year worker will increase by 11 percent, and worker pension contributions will increase from 2 to 3.5 percent.

United Transportation Union Local 1594 members ratified the contract Dec. 13.

In other union news, members of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ appeared before the board to protest a new window-washing contract for Market East Station.

Jeff Hornstein, mid-Atlantic area organizing coordinator for the SEIU, said that the new contractor does not employee unionized window washers and has a poor safety record.

SEPTA also released November’s financial report, showing continuing revenue declines in the face of a poor economy.

Passenger revenue for November was $6.4 million, or 16 percent, below expectations. Passenger revenue for the current fiscal year is $12.7 million, or 7.5 percent, below budget.

SEPTA attributed the sharp revenue decline to the TWU strike, which shut down City Transit Division service for six days.

Passenger revenue for regional rail was also down, coming in $427,000, or 3.6 percent, worse than budgeted. The Regional Rail Division is $1.9 million below budget for the fiscal year.

The authority is $9.5 million below budget projections for the fiscal year.

The SEPTA Board also approved a series of contracts reviewed by its administration and operations committees, which you can read about here: http://planphilly.com/septa-approves-new-contract-pilot-study-sleep-loss.

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