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Transport Workers Union Votes To Ratify 5-Year Contract With SEPTA

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 voted overwhelmingly Friday night to ratify the new labor agreement with SEPTA.

The new five-year contract includes improved pensions, wages and health care.

"This is a big win for our members and for SEPTA passengers," said TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown. "We achieved good wage increases and a huge improvement in our pension benefits, which was our members' main goal."

Pension increases -- a major talking point during the strike -- range from 12.8 percent for workers with 30 years of service to 15.2 percent for those with 38 years of service.  Monthly pension benefits will increase in each year of the contract.

The pension fund will be supported, in part, by a non-taxable contribution of $50 per week by union members.

The new agreement also includes wage increases of 10.5 percent over five years, with raises of 8.5 percent coming over the last three years.

"This is a good agreement for Local 234 members,"  Brown adds. "Our members told us their top priorities, and we came to the table with proposals to obtain their priorities."

TWU Local 234 members will also retain top of the line health care benefits.

Negotiations for a new agreement began in July 2016 and concluded on November 7th, following a weeklong strike by TWU members.

"We had a sound strategy, our members remained united and determined during the strike, and we negotiated an agreement that directly addresses the concerns of the vast majority of our members," says Brown.

The new five-year agreement also protects job security and seniority rights and provides tools for the union to tackle unreasonable time standards and reduce the current backlog of contract grievances pending arbitration.

SEPTA released the following statement...

"This evening, SEPTA was notified that members of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 234 ratified the five-year contract agreement that was reached on Nov. 7. The SEPTA Board Chairman or Vice Chairman, who the Board on Thursday authorized to finalize the agreement upon ratification, will now approve the contract."




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