Union officials said they would move forward with plans for a BART strike on Monday after walking out of contract talks today.
Union leaders called BART a “no-show” at today’s talks in a statement released this evening, saying they walked out after waiting for management negotiators and a that “never showed up.”
“BART management is engaging in what is called “surface-bargaining,” said Jose Mooney, spokesperson for Service Employees International Union 1021. “They’re trying to appear in public like they are working to keep the trains running, but they’re doing nothing to respond to good-faith offers by BART workers aimed at avoiding a strike.”
BART officials said they had told the union they would have a proposal ready by 5 p.m., but when they submitted it to the mediator at 3:45 p.m., they were told the negotiators had already walked out. BART spokesman Rick Rice said management delivered a new economic proposal to the mediator this afternoon, and received a response from the union to a proposal made Thursday.
He said the latest BART proposal increased the salary offer and reduced the amount employees would contribute to pensions and health care.
“We’re disappointed,” Rice said of the union’s decision to break off talks. Contracts with BART’s two biggest unions, SEIU 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 155, are set to expire Sunday at midnight.
Union members voted earlier this week to authorize a strike that could begin as early as Monday.
© 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.