Though it kicks some tough choices down the road, SEPTA deal good for all, analyst says
SEPTA and its biggest labor union have a tentative two-year deal that's expected to be approved by rank-and-file workers this week.
With the threat of a strike no longer on the horizon, what are analysts saying about the settlement with Transport Workers Union Local 234?
Richard Voith, a president of the financial firm Econsult Solutions and a former SEPTA board member, said the contract has something for everyone: a 5 percent raise for employees, no threat of a strike for riders, and financial certainty for management.
Thanks the settlement and the transportation funding bill passed by state lawmakers last year, Voith said, SEPTA is better off financially than it has been in years.
"They can be in a position where they have funding that's sufficient to continue their operations," he said. "They can build. They can create an environment where they can improve. So I think this is constructive. I think a strike would have been damaging at this point."
On the downside, the new contract leaves some major disagreements over retirement and health care benefits unaddressed. But Voith said those issues have at least been partially dealt with in past negotiations.
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