When in doubt, punt.
The two year contract signed by TWU Local 234 and SEPTA at 11:00 last night is a truce, not a peace treaty. It includes a 5% raise over the two years of the contract term, which is higher than what management was offering and lower than what the union was demanding, but does not resolve any of the pension or benefits issues that were at the heart of TWU’s rhetorical justification for strike threats.
It doesn’t matter. TWU got as much as it could, and got the ability to come back in 18 months (contracts like this are backdated to the expiration of the previous contract, so this one runs to April 2016), with a presumptively better political environment to try another time. That is a good ending.
TWU 234’s rank and file will be voting on ratification of the contract sometime next week, so it’s not over, but unless Willie Brown has an unexpected (and futile) rebellion from his members, the drama should be done with.