SEPTA Strike Contingency Plans
As of this printing, employees of SEPTA’s Philadelphia transit division are negotiating their labor contracts with the organization. If an agreement is not reached, there is the possibility of a transit strike beginning 12:01 a.m. on Monday, October 31, 2005. This strike would affect SEPTA’s bus, subway and Market-Frankford El service inside Philadelphia’s city limits in addition to suburban trolley and bus services operated by SEPTA’s Red Arrow and Frontier Divisions. The strike would not impact SEPTA’s Regional Rail services, which are operated by different union workforces. We understand that a transit strike will pose transportation problems for many Penn faculty, staff and students. To provide assistance to those affected, Penn Transit Services has developed a contingency plan for campus bus service and special parking areas. Details are below.
We also recommend some additional measures for departments and individuals that may provide assistance and help maintain regular University operations and services:
• Administrators are encouraged to be as flexible as possible in adjusting hours for staff in order to meet the needs of individuals and the operating requirements of their departments.
• Departments can facilitate car pools by setting up an employee communication system, e.g. designated bulletin board space.
• To alleviate traffic and parking congestion, individuals living near campus are encouraged to walk to work as an alternative to using public transit, while those in suburban areas are encouraged to take rail transportation (again, SEPTA’s regional rail will not be affected by the strike). The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is also encouraging people to “Bike the Strike.” See their website www.bicyclecoalition.org/bikethestrike.htm.
• Whenever possible, schedule arrival and departure times for off-peak commuter periods.
During a transit strike, University business will continue as usual. Absence from work will be charged as lost time, except for individuals taking bona fide sick days or paid time off. We urge everyone to make transportation plans in advance of the potential strike. Please allow sufficient time for the delays you will likely encounter in your commute. We encourage administrators to use discretion in making reasonable allowances for lateness attributable to transportation conditions. Any questions concerning the time off guidelines may be directed to the Division of Human Resources, Department of Staff and Labor Relations at (215) 898-6093.
This contingency information prepared by Penn Transit Services is available on the web at www.upenn.edu/transportation. To contact Penn Transit Services directly, please call (215) 898-8667.
—Marie Witt, Associate VP, Business Services
—John J. Heuer, Vice President, Human Resources
Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 9, October 25, 2005