No Strike for Suburban SEPTA Drivers in Montgomery County; Tentative Contract Deal Reached

A Route 101 trolley heads back to Upper Darby from Media.
Image via Heather Khalifa, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

A strike has been averted for SEPTA’s suburban operators with a tentative SEPTA contract agreement reached, writes Thomas Fitzgerald for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The new SEPTA contract for 365 members of SMART Local 1594 expires 12:01 a.m. Friday.

The union had considered a strike over mandatory overtime rules. The union members operate SEPTA’s buses, trolleys, and light-rail cars of the Norristown High-Speed Line in the suburbs.

The new tentative contract was confirmed Thursday by SEPTA, avoiding any service disruption.

“We’re happy. We think the agreement is fair to the employees and fiscally responsible for the agency,” said Andrew Busch, SEPTA spokesperson.

Members of SMART 1594 will get the same financial terms given last month to SEPTA’s largest union, Transport Workers Local 234, representing about 5,000 workers in city transit.

Operators will receive 3% annual raises each of the two years of the contract and a one-time pandemic hazard bonus of one dollar for each hour worked between March 15, 2020, and March 15 of this year, to a maximum of $2,200.

The drivers will also receive paid parental leave. There will be no changes to health and pension plans.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about the tentative contract agreement.