PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA and its largest union, Local 234 TWU, have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, avoiding a strike that was slated to start Monday morning. Spokesperson Jamie Horwitz said Friday the union representing 5,000 workers reached a tentative deal for a new two-year labor contract.

“I am very pleased that we were able to come to terms without a strike,” TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown said in the release. “Our members are essential workers who move Philadelphia and who have risked their lives putting their own families at risk during this pandemic.”

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Sources told CBS3 negotiations accelerated this week, with both sides reaching the deal early Friday morning after working through the night.

The contract includes 3-percent wage increases each year of the agreement. Union members will also get a pandemic hazard bonus; that will be $1 for each hour worked between March 15, 2020 and March 15, 2021. That’s up to $2,000.

A release from the union said this is also the first time two weeks of parental leave will be included – for both men and woman. That applies to birth and adoption.

Sources told CBS3 safety turned out to not be a bargaining issue during the negotiations, but both SEPTA and the union plan to make announcements on the topic in the future.

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For a complete breakdown of what is in the proposed deal, click here.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement with union leadership on a contract that is fair to our employees and financially responsible for SEPTA,” SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. said in a release Friday morning. “I look forward to the SEPTA Board’s vote on the contract at its next meeting.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted about the deal, praising both sides for “negotiating in good faith.”

 

SEPTA said all services will operate on regular schedules. A union ratification vote has been scheduled for Friday,  Nov. 5.

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Stay with CBS Philly for more on this developing story.