SEPTA wants to resume bargaining and end transit police strike

Mark Abrams
March 07, 2019 - 1:24 pm
SEPTA transit police union have called a strike.

Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's the second day of a strike by some 180 SEPTA Transit Police officers, and the transit agency is urging their union negotiators to come back to the bargaining table.

After talks broke down and the transit cops exchanged their police radios for picket signs, both sides acknowledged that they were close to a deal.

"We're urging the union to come back and talk," SEPTA's Andrew Busch said.

RELATED: SEPTA Transit Police union on strike after negotiations break down

He says it's in no one's best interest for the strike to continue.

"We're obviously not wanting this to be a long-term situation," Busch said. "Nobody wants a long-term strike, nobody wants a strike at all for that matter."

Troy Parham, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Transit Police, says the wage package offered by SEPTA isn't the issue.

"I can just tell you there's some work rules, some working-condition rules," Parham said.

Sources say the main stumbling block was rules surrounding the wearing of body cameras by officers. 

Parham says, even with SEPTA's plans to have supervisors patrol the system and Philadelphia police and suburban police departments helping out, it's not an ideal situation.

"I understand that they lead the public to believe that there's going to be adequate coverage, the same as it would be if we were there, but that's just not true," he said.