Penn releases contingency plan in case of SEPTA strike

The plan would provide free transit to all Penn, Drexel, Penn Medicine and CHOP employees

· April 9, 2014, 5:54 pm   ·  Updated April 10, 2014, 10:13 am

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As a potential strike looms over SEPTA, Penn has already taken steps to ensure that employees are able to get to work everyday should a strike occur.

Penn Transit Services has released a SEPTA Strike Contingency Plan outlining what Penn will do if SEPTA goes on strike. Through the contingency plan , a campus bus service and parking areas will be available to people who can no longer use SEPTA to get to work.

Penn Transit Services has partnered with Drexel University, Penn Health System and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to provide free transit to all employees of these institutions.

The possibility for strike stems from contract negotiations between Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA. The union’s contract with SEPTA expired in mid-March, and there has not yet been a new deal put in place. While the  5,000-plus workers in the union have continued to go to work for now, there are fears that if a new contract is not negotiated quickly, a strike will happen.

SEPTA spokesperson Manuel Smith said that there is “no news so far” as to whether the union will strike. Union representatives could not be reached for comment.

If a strike does occur, it would not impact SEPTA’s regional rail services or LUCY bus routes, as different union workforces operate them.

SEPTA said it offered the TWU a two-year contract on Sunday night with wage increases of two percent in the first year and three percent in the second year. However, under this deal, workers would have to spend an extra one percent of their wages on a health-care premium.

SEPTA is currently waiting for a response on the deal from the TWU.

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