BART Will Meet with Union Leaders in Attempt to Reach Agreement

December 12, 2013 8:00 am · 25 comments

BART and its two biggest labor unions will meet on Thursday to try to resolve a dispute over a contract provision that calls for employees to receive up to six weeks of paid family medical leave annually.

The talks will be the first negotiations since Oct. 21, when BART reached a tentative agreement with the unions that ended a four-day strike.

Members of Service Employees Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and foreworkers, approved the agreement on Nov. 1.

But shortly after that BART management said they hadn’t intended to include the paid family medical leave provision in the agreement.

Management said the provision and had been mistakenly inserted by a temporary employee and that they had only discovered it while conducting a final review before submitting the agreement to BART directors.

On Nov. 21 BART directors approved the contract without the paid family medical leave provision and told union leaders to take the agreement back to their members for another vote without that provision.

Leaders of SEIU Local 1021 and ATU refused management’s request and instead filed a lawsuit last week alleging that the transit agency’s directors had acted unlawfully and must honor the terms of the tentative agreement.

However, members of a smaller union, American Federation of State, County and Local Municipal Employees Union Local 3993, which represents about 210 middle managers, voted last week to approve the contract without the paid family medical leave provision, according to BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

AFSCME Local 3993 officials couldn’t be reached for comment today.

SEIU Local 1021 spokeswoman Cecille Isidro said today that the negotiating session will be “an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion to try to reach a fair and equitable resolution for a contract.”

Trost said talks have been scheduled for both Thursday and Friday.

Isidro said a federal mediator will help the parties try to reach an agreement.

The tentative agreement on Oct. 21 ended a four-day strike by BART employees. Employees also went on strike for four and a half days at the beginning of July.

Union leaders say they don’t plan to call for a strike at this time but they haven’t ruled out that option if the paid family medical leave issue remains unresolved.

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{ 25 comments }

1 ML December 12, 2013 at 8:08 AM

I hope they come to the reasonable agreement that the lazy union thugs will accept whatever compensation they are offered and like it. Those lazy uneducated bums don’t actually earn minimum wage, let alone the six figures they are getting paid. I worked hard to get a college education. Now they ask me to pay an extra five dollars a week of my hard earned pay so they can afford to live here? Hey Bart workers, you should have learned to do something vital to the community to actually earn a living.

2 anon December 12, 2013 at 9:13 AM

I hope they fired the HR director. What a lack of oversight. This should never have happened.

3 Charles-the-cat December 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM

BART is at fault for not reading their own contract. On the other hand, if someone mistakenly gives you more money than you agreed to, the only ethical thing to do is not take it. Legal, perhaps, but not ethical. I support unions in general but in this case, they’ve lost my respect and support.

4 Chuckie's Wife December 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Why don’t the unions just demand that BART pay all it’s employees, but give them 52 weeks paid leave annually? Lazy idiots. If I was in charge, I’d fire them all and hire people who want to work.

5 Where are the ploliticians? December 12, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Where are the elected officials to help work out an agreement? They showed up to mug for the camera at the end of the negotiations why not now? hhmmmm, maybe they don’t want to lose those contributions(bribery) from the union leaders…

6 TC December 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The agreement at issue was a “TENTATIVE AGREEMENT”.

What part of “tentative” don’t the unions understand?

7 DrDuran December 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM

ML – you’re mad because your commute might be affected but BART workers should have learned something vital to the community? Do you not get the irony in your comment?

8 California Nightmare December 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM

What is there to negotiate about? A mistake was made. Correct it and move on.

So sick of these greedy union monopolists, and the incompetent BART Board of directors that enables them.

What is the “secret sauce” that these dysfunctional, selfish groups have in common? Answer: The vast majority are members of the ruling Democrat party.

9 Anonymous December 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Poster 5 makes a good point. Why haven’t we heard from De Saulnier?
Because he is the unions poodle.

10 Mark December 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

There is no dispute. Go to work or strike.

11 Random Task December 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

wow #8 finally someone who can see past 6″ in front of their face the unions… bart management… and dems are like chocolate and peanut butter they go together to make a great looking and tasty product ….problem is they are all in the same package and mingle in the same wrapper with the same focus to make us pay for it …….meaning we get to pay for it over and over again

12 Random Task December 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

yes the bart management should be held responsible for not seeing that the unions pulled the same scam they always pull after hours of long negotiations they throw in ridiculous requests so they will have a bargaining chip problem management let it go they obviously were not ready to do their jobs …why is not one person fired ……THIS IS PUBLIC MONEY BEING RAILROADED TO A BUNCH OF THUGS WHO HIDE BEHIND THE DEMS SKIRT SHUT BART DOWN AND CLEAN HOUSE ………………Not one will do that because this state is dem and is skimming the top anyways …….so as usual lemmings have forced the working class to pay for their ignorance …..any questions

13 Sacto Rob December 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

All Governor Brown had to do was call a special session of the legislature to pass the bill enforcing the no-strike clause in the BART contracts, and none of this would even be an issue now.
But Jerry Brown and the supermajority Democrats running Sacramento value the public unions (and their campaign contributions) more than they value the actual public.
http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Bay-Area-lawmakers-cool-to-transit-strike-bans-4917695.php

14 ML December 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Random Task, I guess here in California we just have to get used to the unions and the democrats taking advantage of us working class people.

15 Anonymous December 12, 2013 at 12:49 PM

DeSaulnier wont have anything to do with this anymore then Bonilla will. Both took over $500,000 in contributions from organized labor.

Represent you? Got to be kidding.

16 O' thou losers of BART.... December 12, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Nice job, bart…talk about potentially striking again during the holidays. way to get into the holiday spirit and ruin everyone’s christmas and new year’s.

At this point, we would be better hiring illegal immigrants to do their jobs for them. at least those people are hard working. I would love to see the look on some of these lazy, heavyset creatures when they go to work only to find out that they have been replaced by more efficient and hard working people who actually want a job and are willing to do it well.

17 Jake December 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Union will ask for more “family” leave, like twelve weeks instead of six!

18 pete December 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Do these union whiners contribute to California SDI? If so, then they’re already eligible for 6 weeks of PFL.

19 Elwood December 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

What’s to negotiate? BART’s position should be NO, period.

Look for the corrupt politicians (Skinner, DeSaulnier, Bonilla, Handsome Gavin Newsom etc.) to put pressure on the silly BART board to capitulate.

20 Don't Censor Me Bro December 13, 2013 at 3:50 AM

Ask any BART employee if they would feel the same if the “Mistake” had been such that their pay was noted as: $1,000 per month?

Or if their share of health care cost was $920 rather than $92/month?

21 Don't Censor Me Bro December 13, 2013 at 3:51 AM

@ #18 and from where do such monies come?

22 @20 Don't .... December 13, 2013 at 8:59 AM

That’s why you check the figures. I’m sure those were important enough to check on both sides. That mistake is not likely to happen.

23 pete December 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Censor #21,
Not sure what you mean by your question…obviously funding of Calif PFL comes from worker “contributions” i.e. CA SDI withholdings. My point being if these unions participate in CA SDI then they should not being going to BART (taxpayers) for something different/better.

24 DrDuran December 13, 2013 at 10:45 AM

BART does not participate in the CASDI system, they’re “self insured” for both disability and workers comp.

25 Bubbles December 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM

I love people on here. It’s always the unions faults. The unions went in and negotiated a fair contract and BART numerous times signed off on it. By the way with over a million dollars spent on fancy negotiators. Then when the heat comes off of management for killing people with drivers with NO experience they decide to cry we didn’t read what we signed. So many 1% puppets on here. Nobody living in Concord is a 1% person so start sticking up for the working class. Don’t be jealous because others are bettering themselves. Stop whining! Employers are taking advantage of employees like crazy thank god we still have some sticking up for themselves. I lost benefits at my job last week because they said we can get obama care now. Who does that benefit the employer.

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