SEPTA's board of directors approved a new contract Thursday for the agency's transit police.

The police union, which staged a nine-day strike last month, ratified the contract April 5. Under the agreement, each of the 210 members of the Fraternal Order of Transit Police will receive a $1,250 bonus immediately and a 12 percent increase in pay over four years.

The agreement also includes small increases in longevity pay and clothing allowances, and doubles the death benefit to $500,000 for any officer killed in the line of duty.

The contract includes no "certification" pay for officers — money for officers who meet annual requirements to keep their jobs. That pay was one of the issues during the strike.

The pact will increase a police officer's starting annual salary to $38,765 and the maximum salary to $64,233 by the end of the contract in March 2016. SEPTA says that, including overtime pay, the typical officer's pay is now $62,789 a year.

Also at Thursday's board meeting, John Johnson, president of the union that represents bus drivers and subway and trolley operators, called for more action by SEPTA and the legislature to protect bus drivers from assaults. More than 50 bus drivers were assaulted last year, twice as many as a year earlier.

Johnson, president of Transport Workers Union Local 234, said, "It's not just operators, but passengers, as well."

The union is seeking a law to add transit employees to a class of protected workers such as firefighters and police officers, and to upgrade attacks against them to aggravated assaults.

Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or