SEPTA Transit Police Go On Strike Without Warning

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –-  SEPTA’s transit police walked off the job this afternoon with very little notice to management.

SEPTA and the Fraternal Order of Transit Police were in negotiations early this afternoon when, at 1:40 p.m., the transit police announced a strike as of 2 p.m.

“We were given 20 minutes’ notice that they were going to go on strike,” says SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney. “Considering the security of the SEPTA system of Philadelphia, we don’t think that was fair warning.”

The two sides have been negotiating since before the last contract expired, nearly a year ago, and union spokesman Anthony Ingargiola says the union thought they were very close to an agreement.

“We had asked SEPTA to meet one final marginal condition and, in what seems like a dispute over a couple of quarters, SEPTA slapped our members in the face instead of giving them a fair contract,” he told KYW Newsradio this afternoon.

Ingargiola declined to provide details, but union sources said the dispute was over the pay rate for officers who received special certification training. They say the union wanted an additional 25 cents an hour for officers after training, and SEPTA’s offer was 15 cents.

The union says only $50,000 of expense separated the two sides, but neither side would budge.

Maloney, the SEPTA spokesman, says the transit agency wants to reassure the public about the safety of SEPTA’s rail, subway, and bus lines. He says that supervisors are on patrol, and Philadelphia Police have been made aware of the strike and are stepping in, focusing on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines, and at 69th Street Terminal and the Frankford and Olney Transportation Centers.

photo7 SEPTA Transit Police Go On Strike Without Warning

SEPTA Spokesman Richard Maloney and Deputy Commissioner Blackburn (credit: Cherri Gregg)

SEPTA also released a statement that read, in part:

“SEPTA was notified early this afternoon by Fraternal Order of Transit Police that SEPTA police officers would go out on strike as of 2:00 pm this afternoon.

While SEPTA management was hoping to negotiate a new contract without a strike, we have implemented a contingency plan to deal with this situation.

We do not anticipate this labor action will affect any transit operations or service.”

SEPTA’s transit police officer union held a rally Wednesday evening, explaining why they went on strike.

Union President Richard Neal says they had no choice.

“At no time did we want to go on strike but SEPTA forced our hand to do what we had to do right now.”

The union says they already made concessions and they’ll get back to the table when they feel SEPTA is serious

There are more than 200 transit officers in the bargaining unit.

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  • Anon513

    I take SEPTA pretty regularly whenever I go into the city and I’ve seen them on the Blue Line (El) and on Buses. Some of them have Dogs with them. So, SEPTA Police is doing a good job of making their presence known to the Public. It’s just sad that they can’t be in all places at all times, and thugs know it and watch out for their time to strike.

  • RiderStrong

    There are Septa police? I ride it everyday (NHSL and MFL) and had no idea.

    • floyd whitaker

      You dont see the septa police? really? maybe thats a good thing, you have not been robbed, beaten up or assaulted in any way while riding septa? Good, that means they are doing the job! Walk in frankford or north philadelpha on the street and see how safe you feel, how many cops will you see? By the way, were you looking for them? We normally see what we want to see. No one really notices the police until you need one!

  • » Blog Archive » Septa Transit Cops Are Officially On Strike

    […] a stalemate this afternoon, the subway cops abruptly announced they were leaving their posts. From CBS Philly, “‘We were given 20 minutes’ notice that they were going to go on strike,’ says […]

  • NS

    This won’t make a difference because SEPTA Police are useless, ineffective, and invisible. They don’t do their jobs to begin with!

    • Troy T. Parham

      Thats interesting, how many times have you been a victim of a crime on SEPTA? Didnt think so…. SEPTA police must be doing something right!

      • NS

        They haven’t “done” anything in years. They are the most useless police department in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!

    • Troy T. Parham

      And im sure you make the best burgers in town, so you have done the world a great service!

  • Just Me

    Well, isn’t this just great? SEPTA Drivers are being attacked left and right and Transit Police are going on strike this afternoon. Well, the thugs are going to have open season on Drivers, Operators, and Riders.

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