Current agreement for SEPTA’s largest group of union workers expires Oct. 31, hazard pay and leave policies among top issues.
PHILADELPHIA – Negotiators for Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 234 and SEPTA management will meet across the bargaining table at Noon, Tues., Aug. 31 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to exchange proposals.
“Life happens,” said TWU President Willie Brown. “In addition to the usual bargaining over wages and benefits, leave for parents and others caring for family members along with hazard pay are major issues for this round of contract talks.” Brown added, “Death and illness also happen. Other transit agencies have provided additional compensation for workers who became sick or died due to Covid-19, SEPTA by contrast sends grieving families a fruit basket.” Eleven TWU members have died due to coronavirus-related causes, nearly 1,000 have tested positive for exposure to Covid-19 during the pandemic.
In a video sent earlier this month to the 5,000 TWU 234 members who work at SEPTA, Mahlikah Askia, a SEPTA cashier summed up the view of many TWU members this way: “Hey, we were out here, on the front line, doing what we were supposed to do, putting our fears aside and coming out every day. I really think SEPTA needs to take that into consideration. Let’s get away from business as usual.”
TWU 234 represents more than 5,000 workers in the Philadelphia area, including workers at SEPTA and Upper Darby Municipal workers.