SEPTA Strike is Over

SEPTA and its largest union settled their differences late Sunday night, ending a strike that was about to enter a second work week.

Buses, trolleys and trains were back in service for Monday morning's commute.

And SEPTA offered to redeem Transit Passes for the City Division until noon, when a decision is expected on whether riders can be reimbursed for passes they paid for but couldn't use during the strike.

The settlement capped off a tug-of-war weekend between both sides.

On Friday, a deal seemed imminent after SEPTA and its largest union, TWU Local 234, reached a "handshake agreement" on the biggest issues -- salary and pension.

On Saturday, the union balked and backed away when it got the written contract delivered and refused to take it before members for a vote because even though the biggest issues had been settled over wages and pension, there was trouble with the details.

That made the Good Will Governor, Ed Rendell livid. He walked away from the table and threatened to take the state's $7 million in state funding with him if the offer wasn't put before union members by midnight Monday.

Local 234 President Willie Brown volleyed back with "I'm not for sale. I will not sell my membership out," and flat out denied that there was ever an agreement, handshake or otherwise.

On Sunday, both sides did settle their differences, ending the six-day strike.


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"It's a good agreement for the taxpayer," Rendell said, adding "Willie Brown did his job."

SEPTA management made two changes to reach settlement: a minor change in the National Healthcare language and agreed to pay for three years of dental coverage.

The contract offer was signed by the union leadership, expected to be presented to the membership Monday and a ratification vote would be scheduled in a week and a half, according to Brown.

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