SEPTA spent $423K on lawyers during strike: Report

SEPTA spent $423K on lawyers during strike: Report
Metro file photo

For the six-day strike by its workers union in early November, SEPTA dished out more than $420,000 to two law firms for negotiations, according to a report released Thursday by PlanPhilly.

Ballard Spahr, which led negotiations for Transport Workers Union Local 234, billed the transit agency $310,013 for issues relating to the union.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney billed SEPTA an additional $113,375 for the agency’s attempt to win an emergency court injunction to end the strike, a move that did not succeed.

Negotiators on both sides failed to hammer out an agreement on pension reform, health care and wages by an Oct. 31 deadline.

At midnight on Nov. 1, TWU Local 234 president Willie Brown announcedthat the 4,738 unionized employees who ran the city’s bus, trolley and subway routes would not show up to work.

SEPTA’s legal counsel and the union, represented by in-house attorney Bruce Bodner, clashed throughout the negotiations, and fought their battles in news releases to the media.

The six-day shutdown came to an end early on Nov. 7, and service was mostly returned to normal by Nov. 8, Election Day.

To read the full report on SEPTA’s spending, visit PlanPhilly is published by NewsWorks, the online home of WHYY News.