Open thread -- What do you think of the SEPTA union's demands?

This morning, Philadelphia woke up to a transit strike. Commuters are desperately seeking alternative ways to work, while trolleys, buses, and subways sit idle. In an article in today's Daily News, Kitty Caparella explains what separates the two parties at the bargaining table:

But to [SEPTA union chief] Brown, what derailed the talks was the underfunded pension plan and the right for employees to pick the equipment they work on based on seniority.

"SEPTA has looted our pension plan and we cannot stand for that," said Brown. "They have the money."

Rendell said that SEPTA offered a five-year contract with no raise in the first year, a 2.5 percent hike in the second year and 3 percent raises for each remaining year of the contract.

The offer also included a first-year $1,250 signing bonus and would increase payments to the pension from 5 percent to 11 percent, he said.

Union workers also would not have higher health-insurance payments.

What do you think? Is the union being reasonable? Should SEPTA management agree to these demands?

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