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9/8/2004



Rail News: Labor

SEPTA, UTU negotiate tentative conductor contract



The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and United Transportation Union recently reached a tentative agreement covering conductors. The parties settled on a pact — which must be ratified by conductors and assistant conductors, and SEPTA's board — while members of a second Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) were considering SEPTA's and UTU's final offers.

Earlier this year, SEPTA agreed to provide Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen-represented engineers longevity pay, but not UTU-represented conductors. In May, the first PEB recommended UTU conductors receive longevity pay, but SEPTA officials rejected the board's recommendation. The tentative agreement includes longevity pay for conductors.

"The agreement is an important recognition by SEPTA that the pay of conductors and engineers is wed together," said UTU International Vice President Bruce Wigent in a prepared statement.

If either party fails to ratify the agreement, the second PEB will recommend the "most reasonable" offer to Bush Administration officials.

SEPTA's commuter-rail division employs 365 UTU-represented conductors and assistant conductors.


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