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SEPTA Police On Strike

SEPTA transit police officers went on strike Wednesday, March 21, after contract talks broke down.

SEPTA transit police officers walked off the job around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 after announcing a stalemate in contract talks, according to reports from NBC10 and the Philly.com.

The officers of the Fraternal Order of Transit Police Local 30, provide security on subway platforms and on mass transit commuting routes throughout the region, according to Philly.com.

SEPTA officials told NBC10 that there is a contingency plan in place and that officials are currently meeting to discuss what the next step will be.  SEPTA held a news conference at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss the plan. According to SEPTA officials, privat esecurity firm Allied Barton Security will be in place starting today and local police will continue be involved in keeping riders safe.

Both news sources said the transit police have been working without a contract since April 2011, after the last contract expired on March 30 of last year.

"We haven't had a contract since," an Fraternal Order spokesman told Philly.com. "They won't give us anything. They're insulting us when it comes to the stuff we're asking for. Real basic things, a modest increase in the pension."

The Fraternal Order of Transit Police, which represents more than 200 transit police, is reportedly asking for a 2% increase in the pension, but a SEPTA management spokeswoman, Jerri Williams, said that the Fraternal Order receive one of the most lucrative pensions.

SEPTA established a pattern of contract increases with its other unions, and what the Fraternal Order is asking for is higher than that pattern, according to Williams, and that is why SEPTA has rejected their requests.

Philadelphia police will be on hand to respond to any calls for service on SEPTA subways, buses and trolleys, according to a report from the Associated Press.

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