November 11, 2023
Members of the Transport Workers Union Local 234, SEPTA's largest union, voted on Friday to officially ratify new contracts with the transit agency. The vote included the City, Frontier, and Red Arrow bargaining units, all of which overwhelmingly endorsed the agreements.
Voting took place throughout the day and extended into the evening, with members casting their secret ballots at various worksites and bus depots across the city. The ratified contracts bring about significant improvements for the TWU-represented employees, including a 7% across-the-board wage increase and a $3,000 bonus for each member.
Aside from monetary gains, the newly approved contract introduces a boost in pensions for those planning to retire within the next year. Additionally, a long-overlooked disability pension benefit has been doubled, addressing a historical gap in the compensation package.
The negotiations, spanning from July to October 27, resulted in mutual agreements on various work-related issues. The parties involved focused on minimizing forced overtime, enhancing attendance records, providing more opportunities for time off, and implementing training programs for union members to support SEPTA's transition to a new zero-emission bus fleet.
TWU Local 234 highlighted the significance of the agreement, emphasizing its positive impact on members' financial well-being during a period of heightened inflation. They also noted its potential to aid SEPTA in recruitment and retention efforts.
"This was a good agreement for our members. It will put more money in our member’s pockets during a time of high inflation and help SEPTA with recruitment and retention,” said TWU Local 234 President Brian Pollitt. “But, I want to emphasize that it is very much a work in progress. It is only a one-year agreement. Much work remains, especially as it relates to compensation, safety, and security issues."