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March 06, 2019

SEPTA transit police go on strike after contract negotiations break down

SEPTA Transportation
04242018_SEPTA_fire_TC Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

An eastbound trolley enters the 19th Street station.

SEPTA’s Transit Police officers called a strike Wednesday afternoon after talks broke down between SEPTA and the Fraternal Order of Transit Police Lodge 109 over a contract agreement.

“These officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the riding public — and do it in a professional, caring and compassionate manner," FOTP 109 president Omari Bervine told Fox29. "And they need to be compensated fairly.”

SEPTA police supervisors will remain on duty, according to a release from SEPTA, and will work on patrol through the transit authority’s system. 

The Philadelphia Police Department also will provide assistance while transit police are on strike.

“SEPTA has been negotiating with the FOTP in hopes of reaching a fair and equitable contract agreement,” SEPTA said in a release. “We urge the FOTP to return to the bargaining table so a resolution can be reached.”

A number of transit police had established a picket line outside SEPTA headquarters at 1234 Market St. by Wednesday afternoon:

The FOTP Lodge 109 represents the 178 officers throughout the SEPTA Transit Police Department.

Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass issued a statement Wednesday, saying it "cannot be overstated how much we value and need our SEPTA Transit Police officers,” and that she hopes the negotiations will be resolved soon.

SEPTA said customers can still call 911, or dial SEPTA Transit Police dispatchers, if they need assistance or need to report suspicious or unusual activity.

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