US board seeks deal in Philadelphia transit case

WASHINGTON (AP) — An emergency board appointed by President Barack Obama to mediate a dispute between two unions and a Philadelphia-region transit authority is recommending an agreement that would base wage increases on other recent settlements and make any new benefits retroactive.

The emergency board also recommended that train engineers receive an increased hourly wage of $33.09 by Sept. 7 to preserve a 10.4 percent historical differential between engineers and conductors.

The board turned down a request by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority employees for higher guaranteed benefits for those who retire before age 62. But it sided with employees that they should not have to wait eight years before being able to get single days off. The ruling stems from a one-day strike ended by Obama.

Union officials say they will have a response once they can review the report.