PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Monday afternoon, TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown briefed the union's Executive Board on the final details of their tentative agreement with SEPTA at the union's headquarters.
The board set Friday, November 18 as the date for the contract ratification vote. The union members will cast secret ballots at depots and worksites across the city.
Details of the agreement will be publicized after union members have the opportunity to review the contract and vote.
“This is a contract with many important gains, especially on pension benefits and a host of non-economic issues effecting the working conditions and job security of our members,” said Brown.
“As everyone with experience in collective bargaining knows, we didn’t get everything we wanted -- but we came a long way from where we were prior to the strike. We made gains in pensions and wages, and minimized out-of-pocket healthcare expenses at a time when health care costs are soaring, while maintaining excellent medical coverage for our members and their families.”
SEPTA and TWU Local 234 reached a tentative deal early Monday morning to end the transit strike, now in its seventh day.
At 5:30 a.m. Monday, the two sides held a joint news conference at the union's local headquarters to make the announcement.
On the way in, FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported that SEPTA's board chairman confirmed they had a deal.
However, it could be 24 hours before full service is restored, officials said during the news conference.
"It really takes us most of the day to completely get up to full service levels. By tomorrow morning, though, the start of service, we should be good," SEPTA GM Jeff Knueppel said Monday.
SEPTA says city buses and trolleys, the Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line will resume throughout the day Monday. . Service on those routes is not currently operating and customers should visit SEPTA’s website, www.septa.org for updates.
Limited service to the Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines began around 9:00 a.m. Monday with trains operating roughly every 15 to 20 minutes.
SEPTA has announced Weekly and Monthly Transpass credit programs for riders with unused passes.
Unrelated to the service disruption, SEPTA’s 5th Street Independence Hall Market-Frankford Line Station will be closed today due to the Clinton campaign rally on Independence Mall.
Regional rail lines continue to operate with delays as commuters make their way in and out of the city without the use of trolleys, busses, and subways, one more time.
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Monday marks almost a week since 5,000 SEPTA workers walked off the job just after midnight Tuesday.
SEPTA and Transport Workers Union Local 234 representatives spent all night negotiating.
"We are pleased this morning to announce a tentative agreement with TWU Local 234. This will end the strike in the city. The SEPTA City Transit Division service will be phased back in today. We believe this agreement is fair to all our employees, and our customers and our taxpayers. We know that the strike has caused hardship for thousands of our riders, and we sincerely regret this disruption. We cannot thank our customers enough for their patience. We look forward to getting full service back to them as soon as possible," SEPTA Board Chairman Pat Deon said Monday morning.
The deal came as there were also several efforts under way to force the union membership back to work for tomorrow's elections.
The City of Philadelphia filed a motion in state court to get the subway, buses and trolleys back in service just for Election Day. Officials worries voters wouldn't be able to make it to their polling places.
SEPTA was also planning to return to court Monday morning, seeking an injunction to end the strike.
The transit agency argues that it poses "a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare" of the city.
Efforts to end the walkout went all the way to the top. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf also filed a brief, asking a judge to put a permanent end to the strike.
In the meantime, negotiations between both sides continued, as did hardships for SEPTA riders.
It was just before 5 a.m. Monday when we learned both sides were close to making a deal, and SEPTA's Board Chairman Pat Deon told FOX 29's Steve Keeley that a deal had been reached.
Keeley will continue to have live updates all morning long during "FOX 29 Morning News" and "Good Day Philadelphia."
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