BART Unions Leave Bargaining Table – BART Warns Strike Could be Imminent

June 30, 2013 21:31 pm · 31 comments

BART officials are warning riders that union negotiators have left the bargaining table and a strike could start at the end of regularly scheduled service today.

BART spokesman Rick Rice said management and union negotiators reached tentative agreements on 11 items today, and that BART remains prepared to return to the table.

“We have a long way to go but we can’t get any closer if we aren’t at the table,” Rice said.

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 midnight.

BART and union officials had returned to the bargaining table this afternoon at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown, after talks broke down yesterday.

Officials with Service Employees International Union 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 155 had walked out of negotiations Saturday afternoon stating that BART had failed to come to the table with an offer for more than 36 hours.

BART presented a new offer Saturday that included an increased salary offer and reduced employee contributions for pensions and medical benefits. Union leaders have rejected it however, saying earlier today that the proposal would constitute a “net pay cut” unless numerous hard-to-meet conditions were fulfilled.

ClipperCarder June 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Dear BART:

This is the reason for the “hate” in the love/hate relationship we have with you.

– Your Ridership

Mark June 30, 2013 at 9:42 PM

I hope they cut some of the union clowns loose.

Flippin' Tired June 30, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Fire them all and hire people at reasonable rates and benefits. Do not be held hostage to these extortionists.

still anon June 30, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Note to Management: DON’T CAVE!!!!

kaygels June 30, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I will work for half of what they make and never fuss about it. I have been looking for a job since October. Hire me!

Jolly June 30, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Sad that the workers are hurting the low income and disabled that rely on bart.

It's getting old June 30, 2013 at 10:17 PM

The union isn’t gaining any friends by pulling this BS every few years, yet they never seem to pay any consequences for selfishly costing the folks in the Bay Area with real jobs time and money. I’d love to see some kind of a class action against the union on behalf of riders, but I’m sure they are protected from that kind of thing.

These union employees live in such a fantasy land. Not only do they have a hell of a deal on their benefits and pensions but the amount they make in overtime is disgusting. The fact that the AC Transit union is threatening to strike as well for no good reason is even more revolting. I’d gladly put up with a rocky few months of commuting if it meant that BART and AC Transit could go union-free and we’d never have to deal with this again.

I don’t and will never understand the mentality of a union worker. In my line of work if you aren’t happy at your job, you don’t threaten to stop working. You go out and get a different job. Then again, what else are BART workers skilled enough to do?

DMZ June 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Once again things have gone to far.
Hire people who WANT to work.

Safety Second June 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

SEIU…Second-rate Employees In Unions… They are all so expendable… Just a bunch of marginal workers who don’t have the balls to compete in a free market…Punk ass whiners – Fire then all…

Granny Snagkitten June 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Someone should have brought some good home baked cookies & a pot of coffee. It’s hard to walk away when there are home baked cookies on the table.

kdid June 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM

FIRE THEM!!! Hire people at a reasonable rate and get control of this runaway train!

Native June 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM

They should throw in some guys with power washers to hose down the gross stairways and escalators at Embarcadero and other stations every night or even once a week. That would be money well spent.

Seriously June 30, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Let them all go. There are plenty of qualified replacements available. A 23.2% raise with the average salary they pay is nothing more than GREED.

PH Dad June 30, 2013 at 11:26 PM

I’ve had about an 8 percent raise in the last five years with a pay freeze over the last two. Add increased health care costs and retirement contributions and I have zero sympathy for the BART union employees.
If you look at the typical salary with overtime it’s pretty appalling. The one person we have to thank for all of this is Jerry Brown who was instrumental in allowing unionized public employees to strike.

Kevin June 30, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Dear Bart. I make a measly 14 bucks an hr. I will gladly be a janitor at your current rate of 50k a year. Train me for 2 weeks and I will gladly be a train operator at your current pay of 130k a year. IF i need to pay a quarter of that to my retirement and benefits I won’t mind.

Forget the union and hire those that will work

T-Bone June 30, 2013 at 11:30 PM

i’ll work for a portion of what they make and and benefits

KAD June 30, 2013 at 11:37 PM

It hurts me to say this because I am a union supporter usually but the union is way out of line on this one. The large financial institution I have been working for has not given us more than 2 – 2.5 percent raises for the last 4 years. They should feel lucky to get the 8 percent for 4 years that BART is offering. I also pay a lot more than $92.00 for my health care.

This is our future June 30, 2013 at 11:41 PM

They make 70,000 to 80,000 a year and want a raise ill do that job for 60k a year HIRE ME!! I will seat on my but and take questions and answer What bart goes where? for 60k a year with the ecom the way it is.

Union Worker July 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Union contract employees have to renew contracts when the old one expires. Negotiation process is the only way to negotiate the terms of the new contract. The workers are always going to start high and the employers are always low. Then they find the middle ground.
For those who don’t like unions: your work is dictated by your job description which can be changed. Your rate of pay, vacation accrual, sick time, benefits, retirement, and your employment is all at the will of your employer.
A union contract brings everyone to the table to negotiate these terms. What’s wrong with that?
A strike is a major inconvenience for many riders, I’m sure, but if the Union felt strong enough to vote on it, there was good cause.

I really don’t understand why people people care about what people are being paid and are against Unions. If you want to make more money, get a new job or start your own business. If you got time to worry about what others are making, you should go back to school or get a second job.

xworkerbee July 1, 2013 at 12:17 AM

It was reported that the average BART employee makes $71,000 a year plus $52,000 in paid benefits. They also average 10 to 12 weeks of paid vacation and receive a $43,000 per year pension. They should fire the entire lot of them and start over with people who are willing to work for this kind of pay. They’re running a f-ing transit system, not performing brain surgery here.

Anonymous July 1, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Dear Union Worker:
When you instruct not to care what other people are paid you miss the point. We are paying their wages, out of our budgets, which for most of us have decreased. Why do think firefighters, cops and teachers have taken pay cuts?

It’s because the economy sucks and the spoiled tone deaf BART workers don’t want to share in tough times.

I will not vote for any director that doesn’t understand that commuters don’t need more money in their pockets.

huey9k July 1, 2013 at 2:03 AM

Dear Bart. I make a measly 11 bucks an hr. I will gladly be a janitor at your current rate of 50k a year. Train me for 2 weeks and I will gladly be a train operator at your current pay of 130k a year. IF i need to pay a quarter of that to my retirement and benefits I won’t mind.

Forget the union and hire those that will work

sheik July 1, 2013 at 2:09 AM

BART Unions get a beautiful deal — insurance for self and dependents at 92.00 per month. For myself I have to pay 402.00 per month and 225 for each dependent. I have no pension available to pay into. Each union person ought to put themselves in the lowest pay job and pay their bills and survive. They wouldn’t be able to do it. SF Muni people are the same AS the Union members. They were offered $1. increase per year…I just got .10-cents for the past two years. Add up pay and benefits of these people and they wonder why we common people dislike them….sitting at a computer, inserting a key, and letting the world go by why you do not have to “work”—-computers and third rail are the workers! Give us a break people!!!!

robert July 1, 2013 at 3:52 AM

if Bart workers go on strike, then some of the poorest of the ridership WILL lose jobs that they are late for, WILL go to jail for missed court dates, WILL lose their kids for missed visits…and on and on. it’s just not right that workers in such a vital position are allowed to create these situations. I dont think they should be legally allowed to strike.

robert July 1, 2013 at 3:58 AM

@ Union Worker

Do you think the money to pay for Bart salaries comes out of a magic hat? We care about how much they get paid because we are the ones who pay them. I have little sympathy for people who make 2-4 times as much money as me, and ten times as much as the poorest of the people who have no other option except to depend on those workers being at their jobs.

I could really care less about how much they make, but they shouldn’t hold all of up hostage in order to get even more. They make enough to be comfortable.

Joe July 1, 2013 at 4:51 AM

I’m very pro union and belong to the Teamsters. I’m a journeyman in my field. That said, BART shouldn’t be allowed to strike. There are certain public employees that should have binding arbitration. The station agents and train operators have no real skills that are transferable in the real world. I’m all for collective bargaining, but 23%, really?

RanchgirlCA July 1, 2013 at 4:52 AM

Unions protect all the workers, to the point of being ridiculous. What about union workers who slack off all day long and then need to work OT to finish the actual work that could have and should have been done during their regular 8 hour shift. I’ve heard of this plenty, in regards to BART and the USPS. Even if a supervisor has a genuine issue, in the end, they are the ones who get in trouble for bringing it up. New workers, who work too fast… slow down, you make everyone else look bad. Heard this about CalTrans.

Fire them and replace them with people who want to work. There are plenty of them out there.

Officials with Service Employees International Union 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 155 had walked out of negotiations Saturday afternoon July 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM


NOT HAPPY July 1, 2013 at 7:01 AM

We should put a Referendum on the ballot that prohibits BART from EVER striking again!!!! And after that passes, another one to make them pay into their retirement! That’s what happened to the rest of us.

Anonymous July 1, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Jerry Brown needs to give the BART employees an ultimatum – “Go back to work or you’re fired.” Oh, but wait, Jerry Brown won’t do that because he relies on all those union contributions to his campaign fund and to his party. No more unions in government, or special districts! They’re fleecing America.

BCuzItsClaycord July 1, 2013 at 8:11 AM

KAD – at least you have gotten a raise……………the County and local cities have not give raises in over 5 year and County employees took a PERMANENT paycut of 2.75% and the county is not willing to give it back. Be ready the next folks that could go on strike might be the County.
As for BART none of us knows what has gone on at that bargaining table . All we hear is what the so called “news” and gossip blogs like Claycord are saying. There are 3 sides to this story – the union BART management and the truth which neither side is stating. And again I ask some of you have you ever even gotten off your sorry fannies and applied for the tsting to be placed on hiring lists at BART??? Of course not as you deem testing for an agency or job “beneath” you.

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