Trains keep running as SEPTA, union continue talks

    Contract talks continue today between SEPTA management and the union representing 4,700 bus, trolley, and subway operators in Philadelphia. The two sides have agreed to talk beyond the contract deadline.

    Contract talks continue today between SEPTA management and the union representing 4,700 bus, trolley, and subway operators in Philadelphia. The two sides have agreed to talk beyond the contract deadline.

    Transcript:
    Unlike during contract talks in 2005 that resulted in a seven day strike, union officials have decided to play nice during this round of negotiations. Transport Workers Union Local 234 President Willie Brown pledged last week to keep negotiating beyond the contract deadline that passed over the weekend.

    SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney says while negotiations this month have been largely civil, there’s much work to be done.

    Maloney: “I don’t think we’re any closer to a deal than we were last week. We still have a lot of very substantive issues to discuss and agree upon, but it’s a common phrase, but very apt in collective bargaining, that as long as you’re talking, you’re making progress.”

    Key issues in the negotiation include pension and healthcare costs and wage increases.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090316septa.mp3]

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