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-- today two of the Philadelphia transit strike this has importance nationwide at one.
He had all the raw numbers we first told you about yesterday -- The average salary of the walk up 52000 policy they have -- -- my awful is at an annual built in full aside right.
The average cost of the transit welcome -- health insurance -- 520 bucks a year that is.
Only ten dollars a week that's less than the 530 bucks a year but I didn't union dues.
Bubble we're joined by Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell who was called the welcome is nuts for going out on strike -- supplies to have you with -- And could well that's right you know -- -- not it's got to.
To turn down who you're talking about what already exists in their salary and benefit package.
To turn down the offer -- management made and I help move management because that.
Management is it got declining ridership in the short run.
So -- -- came in we put a little of our transportation flex economic development dollars into this.
So I'll move management we move them in a position where this was an excellent contract with the union under any economic times but in the midst of this recession.
This is a great contract and they were not still walk out.
But that what is it a great deal for the taxpayer yeah.
I think -- -- national implications because all across the country we've made promises for pension and health benefits for retired government welcomes how to put it to you -- -- there.
We can't afford we camp site.
Well this is an affordable contract that was that one thing that there was clear with -- his management we needed to be able to afford.
Every part of this contract so for example his pension increases in the contract but that's paid for by a higher level of contribution by the employees.
So it was a win for -- five years of labor peace.
Which helps build up ridership.
It was a win for that union because they did get benefit increases in even in -- time of economic Chris.
-- -- -- -- -- I'm so I'm terribly sorry governor but but look if you're transit look at Philadelphia as I understand it or your -- bus driver in New York City you look for the state.
You could retire the age of 55.
I live for the rest of your life on half pay and basically free health gap for the rest of your life that's a promise.
That it's extremely frail health care is incorrect and a free health care is incorrect what -- they plan you have to have thirty years you have to have thirty years ahead.
So it's not like you can retired 55 after eight or nine years and you have to have failures and for every year or less than thirty.
The package declined significantly.
But at 55 you can retire and 88 it is half -- life.
-- extremely cheap medical calf -- life amid bat is an enormous promise it's sick it's it's a great package there's no question about it which is why these guys were nuts for going on strike.
And why they were even crazier the way they did it.
-- because they did nothing but tick off the entire one million transit riders.
Because they did it at 3 in the morning people woke up they have no idea the subways weren't running.
If they listen to radio or TV went down in the subway stop and found.
No transportation they have no chance to make alternative.
Plans but the unions should have done.
Is gone on strike at the end of the rush hour for the evening shifts of you don't have time deploy to to plan.
-- back in the early nineteen pages president Ronald Reagan fire the -- -- will focus when they went down upon what was essentially an illegal strike.
Would you consider doing the same thing the nuclear option -- -- -- what look at they go out on strike.
That's stranding thousands and thousands of people would you consider firing them.
Who we can't under the other provisions that apply in the collective bargaining agreement we can't do that.
But but I'll give an example Stewart when I was -- in 1998.
We took a forty day strike forty days that's more than five weeks transit was out.
In Philadelphia to win back control of management to change the work rules that have literally given the employees control of management and management decisions.
That was very very important and it -- -- -- and a much better financial position.
And -- doing well except the last four months.
Ridership has been increasing dramatically.
And we're headed in the right direction I -- mass transit as a great future.
But the men and women -- make up the union have got to understand the economic realities.
I'm just not -- the tax is but that the full count the money required in the years to come the governor -- when that Rendell.
A follow this would be the most important and Stuart hear is this contract will be concluded without any additional increase in fares got it.
Governor Ed Rendell that's for joining us appreciate it.
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