Three things to know in Philly today:
SEPTA, UNION TALKING - BUT NOT WITH EACH OTHER: To break the impasse, the Daily News learned last night, the TWU was considering four scenarios for wages, none of which included the $1,250 signing bonus that was part of the contract offer the union rejected early Tuesday, according to a source close to negotiations. None of the proposals for the five-year contract includes a raise in the first year. For the remaining four years, the proposed raises were:
3 percent each year;
3 percent for three years and 2.5 percent the final year;
1.5 percent every six months;
1.5 percent every six months expect for the last six-month period, when it would be 1 percent.
Depending on the scenario, money could be freed up to solve other stumbling blocks, the source said. (Daily News)
TRANS WOMAN FILES SUIT AGAINST LIBRARY: Although trans woman Bobbie E. Burnett wants to leave her job at the Free Library of Philadelphia as soon as possible, she won’t leave yet. Burnett, describing her work environment as “hostile,” said she won’t leave until she receives legally enforceable assurances of adequate compensation for the discrimination she says she’s endured within the library system. Problems for Burnett began in 2001, when she notified supervisors of her intent to transition to the female gender. Since then, she’s been transferred to eight different library branches, denied the use of unisex staff restrooms, passed over for advancement and unfairly restricted in her interactions with patrons, the lawsuit alleges. Library officials failed to take corrective measures to alleviate the problematic work environment, according to the lawsuit. (Philadelphia Gay News)
PARENTS WORRIED ABOUT FLU VACCINE, AUTISM: Many parents in the region keep calling their pediatricians to see if the the H1N1 vaccine has arrived. But others don't want their kids to get the shot at all – even when it's available. Public Health officials in Delaware report low participation during the first week of school vaccinations – especially in one school that serves students with autism. Delaware's Division of Public Health reports that at the Brennen School in Newark, only 10 out of 320 students got the vaccine. This is a tough issue for parents of children with autism, says Theda Ellis, who directs Autism Delaware, a non-profit advocacy organization. She says worries about a connection between autism and vaccines still prevail. (WHYY_
For commuters, the denial meant lost work hours, missed school days, and a status quo of disruption. TWU chief Willie Brown, obstinate as a toddler, was absolutely correct: there was little reason not to hate him.
Unionized labor may have its downsides, but the steady decline of union membership has been disastrous for American workers, including Pennsylvanians. That's one reason the TWU deserves your backing.