PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — SEPTA city transit workers say they want hazard pay included in their next contract, according to a recent poll.
Transport Workers Union Local 234 conducted an online poll of its members asking them to rank their priorities for upcoming labor negotiations. After a year and a half of operating SEPTA vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic, union President Willie Brown said members want hazard pay established in the next contract.
“It’s going to drive the negotiations, because again, when you consider that our people have been on the front lines, that’s what everybody’s stuck on,” Brown said. “We’re on the front lines, and they want to be compensated for the risk they’re taking.”
Brown said about 800 of the union’s 5,000 members have tested positive for COVID-19. Ten have died from the virus.
“In the last couple of contracts, we paid more into the benefits here or there,” Brown said. “[The members] want to hold the line to keep their benefits at the same level and not pay more into it. But it seems the No. 1 thing that’s unusual is hazardous duty pay.”