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SEPTA, Union Report Signs Of Progress After Contract Talks

By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The last of SEPTA's contracts between its Transport Workers Union, Local 234, ends on Sunday at midnight.

On Thursday night, negotiations continued between the union and SEPTA officials as they tried to reach a new contract agreement.

Union President Willie Brown says wages and healthcare contributions are some of the major points in the new contract that they are trying to iron out with SEPTA officials.

"This is the most productive meeting we've had since we started negotiating. We are close, we are pretty much agreeing on a possible two year contract. There is no reason why we can't get this thing done," Brown said.

And across town, union leaders gathered in an Emergency Joint Executive Board Strike Meeting to discuss the matter at hand.

Brian Pollitt is the union's Executive Vice President.

"As long as they're talking, we're working. We are not trying to strike," Pollitt said.

If an agreement is not reached, the union's 5,500 bus drivers, subway and trolley workers and mechanics could go on strike as early as Monday.

SEPTA says they are preparing an advisory for the public on what they should do in case there is a strike.

But Brown adds that he is confident they will get a new contract hammered out in the next few days.

Talks will continue Friday morning.

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