Twenty two months ago, SMART Transportation Division Local 61 (Philadelphia, Pa.) train service members working at SEPTA ratified their contract from the previous round. Now, for the first time in recent memory, these same members have ratified a new agreement governing the rates of pay and working conditions of conductors and assistant conductors on that property prior to their next scheduled wage increase. A vast majority of those voting, 87 percent, voted to ratify the agreement. The short-term pact runs through June 4, 2017 and includes general wage increases, increased instructor allowance, increased uniform allowance and same sex spousal benefits amongst its provisions.
Transportation Division Vice President John Lesniewski, who assisted with negotiations, expressed his gratitude to General Chairperson Bernard Norwood, as well as his negotiating committee consisting of Vice General Chairpersons A. J. Bright, Michael Stevens, Raymond Boyer and General Secretary Nelson Pagan for their professionalism, tenacity and commitment to finding an equitable agreement in a timely manner for the benefit of our Local 61 members.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a metropolitan transportation authority that operates various forms of public transit—bus, subway and elevated rail, commuter rail, light rail, and electric trolley bus—that serves 3.9 million people in and around Philadelphia. General Chairperson Norwood and his committee represent approximately 350 active rail members on this property.