By Brad Segall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Negotiations between SEPTA and the union representing the engineers on its regional rail lines have reached an impasse, but riders shouldn’t worry about a work stoppage, at least for now.

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The National Mediation Board, which has been overseeing talks between the two sides, says those negotiations have broken down and it’s ending its efforts to broker an agreement.

The suggestion, binding arbitration, which the union says it would accept but the transit agency says it will not.

The next step is the creation of a presidential board to try to resolve the dispute.

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SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams says, “The BLET will have to wait at least 270 days before this process is complete, that means that a possible work stoppage on the regional rail would not occur until sometime in January.”

She says SEPTA has offered significant wage increases and has no plans to touch the pension plan. The engineers have been without a new contract since 2010.

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