Monday, March 15, 2004


The Inquirer reported some of the items that came out of the one-year contract in today's editions.

For starters, in lieu of a pay increase (which usually averages 3 to 4 percent), TWU workers would recieve a one-time, $1,000 bonus. Additionally, the status quo remains on health-care issues.

Some union members, though, seemed uncomfortable over the fact that this was a one-year deal instead of the traditional 3-year pact:

"It's like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound," said Darryl Nutter, 43, a shop steward and engineer on the Market-Frankford Line. "Personally, I wouldn't accept [the deal]. I would like to have a three-year contract in our pocket." Inquirer

Meanwhile, the health-care issue remains at the forefront of the contract negotiations:

SEPTA now has a health-care contract with Independence Blue Cross that caps annual price increases at 15 percent. But once that deal expires in August 2005, SEPTA can expect a 30 percent increase in health-care premiums, sources at both SEPTA and Local 234 said.

In its talks with union workers, SEPTA had sought a 16-month labor deal that would last until the end of the Independence Blue Cross agreement.

But Local 234 was wary of any contract that would end in the summer, when ridership is lower and the threat of a strike less potent. So the labor deal was capped at one year.

SEPTA once again warned of fare hikes and service cuts when it's FY 2005 budget is announced later this month.

So much for changes, huh?


Philadelphia Daily News

Delaware County Daily Times

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