BART Board Approves Tentative Agreement with Unions

January 2, 2014 13:23 pm · 18 comments

BART directors voted 8-1 today to approve a tentative agreement that could end nine months of labor strife with the agency’s employee unions.

Shortly before voting in favor of the pact this morning, BART director Robert Raburn said, “We’ve had nine months of gestation and I’m looking forward to this having a healthy effect because we need to have a good relationship with our workers.”

The only board member to vote against the agreement was director Zakhary Mallett, who said he opposes it because it doesn’t include a net increase in the amount of money employees must contribute to help pay for their retirement costs.

BART management had said the pension contribution increase was one of its goals in lengthy negotiations that began last April 1 and included two four-day strikes in July and October by members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021.

Mallett said employees will pay more money for their retirement but that will be offset by pay increases BART is giving to its workers.

“All we’re doing is increasing our subsidy to them,” Mallett said.

Director Gail Murray said that although the agreement “isn’t perfect” and “is more money than I would have wished to pay,” she believes it’s a reasonable deal because it requires employees to accept new workplace rules that will make the transit agency more productive and efficient.

After the vote, board president Joel Keller said, “This was a negotiated process that resulted in some dissatisfaction on both sides but that probably shows that this probably is not a bad contract.”

The tentative agreement reached on Dec. 21 resolved a dispute over a paid family medical leave provision that management said had been inserted by mistake in a previous tentative agreement but leaders of the two unions said was intended by all parties to be part of the pact.

The new agreement doesn’t include paid family medical leave but does expand paid time off for bereavement leave to include deaths of grandchildren or stepparents of a spouse or domestic partner.

The tentative pact also calls for the construction of break rooms in the Daly City, Millbrae and West Oakland stations and allows qualifying employees more flexibility in how they pay for the costs of their family medical leave, plus additional administrative changes to the contract.

Members of ATU Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and foreworkers, will vote on the agreement on Friday.

Members of SEIU Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, won’t vote on the pact until Jan. 13.

Des Patten, a top negotiator for SEIU Local 1021, said he’s hopeful that the members of his union will approve the agreement, saying, “We worked long and hard for our members so they could vote ‘yes’ on it.

Chris Finn, a lead negotiator for ATU Local 1555, said he’s hopeful that his union’s members also will approve the contract, as the executive board is recommending approval and already has had a meeting with union members to address their questions.

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1 Mark January 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

And the union rep said on the radio this morning that it will take their workers a long time to overcome their bitterness about the way they were treated during the strike.

2 Bart should be a January 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Privately managed non profit organization accountable to the elected representatives of the people.

3 MikeyV January 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Great, BART fares are set to increase 5% and parking is going up 50 cents at many lots.

Fun story: On Monday, leaving the city, I thought I’d founf a seat for me and my pregnant wife. No such luck, both seats were smeared with whole chunks of sh*t. Delicious?

4 Lake January 2, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Long time to get over bitterness – GAG GAG!!
9 months of Whiny sniveling, the public has to listen too. GAG GAG!!
It’s such a tough job running an automated system – perhaps they need to find real jobs.

5 The Authority January 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM

#2: BART is run by a Board of Directors who are elected by the people. They are funded partially by fares and also by property and sales taxes as well as transportation grants. There certainly is no profit turned and no dividends paid. Feel better now?

6 Mark January 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM

BART workers should be non-union at will employees.

7 Concorddad January 2, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I’m wondering how long people are going to blame everything on the frontline workers? I have mentioned and so have many others the Fare increases are set to increase and so is parking on a schedule through I believe the article said 2020. This is something the BOD sets long before contracts are signed.

Nobody comes on here and complains when the BOD approves almost billion dollar projects that nobody wants? This BOD spent millions on high priced negotiators that STILL couldn’t read and caused major problems. Come on if you don’t like whats going on vote out the BOD and everyone keeps the same people on the Board time and time again. So put up or shut up!

Second this I have to comment on is the dirty trains. I have gotten on the train in Concord many times and it was truly clean and by the time I got to the Airport it was beyond trashed. Can you imagine what happens on New Years etc. You can’t complain about paying more and want things perfect. Thats life. I agree these trains get nasty but there’s also a lot of nasty people in the Bay Area!!

8 No Bart January 2, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Bart still stinks!

9 @7 January 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

IMO it is the frontline workers who deserve most of the blame. They should not be able to strike. They vote their union reps in. They know they are overpaid, and know they wouldn’t be if not for their union, so naturally they sit by passive as little lambs and let their union bosses fight with the BART board.

I agree the board should be voted out. They were much too passive in the negotiations I don’t understand why BART uses union workers in the first place? Can anyone explain that to me? Does the voting public have any say whether or not BART uses union workers?

10 Frank C. January 2, 2014 at 3:48 PM

@mark #1….

Great……now we get 4 more years of their poor attitude.

They don’t realize how good they have it,..

11 Concorddad January 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I always say to the people the complain about BART. I have lived in other places and BART is great if you ask me. If you don’t like it DON’T ride it. Take your car and your happy little self and sit in traffic. People on here have way to much time to complain. Thats probably why BART employees have a bad attitude dealing with you all everyday!

12 Bubbles January 2, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Sometimes you folks still amaze me. I watched the interview today also about the contracts. The section that management “Messed up on” was a section worth about 40 million. The unions decided they have been through enough with management and the lies. They take promises to fix a few safety related items. They settled the section for what amounts to about 3 million. Obviously this was another stunt my the Board of Directors.

The employees are talking about the bitterness and healing over the deaths of their co-workers.

Everyone in here is perfect I always forget that.

13 Jim January 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

All I see is mo money mo money…and the board bending over and giving it to them…eventually no one will be able to afford to ride and driving will be cheaper…once that balance is offset…bye bye BART and it’s dumb-ass employees…

14 Random Task January 2, 2014 at 6:08 PM

yeah for real the bart workers treat the riders like garbage even though they are paying their way …..why is that because they are union and screw every one every time……the dems push for the unions and stear more their way because the unions use tha public money and your fares to sponsor dems running for office ….so if you live in concord and ride bart you are paying for dems to be elected with public money ……..conflict of interest not if your a dem being funded by the unions with everyone elses money ……..must be why this state is dem and has been since bart opened and now this state is in ruins and 2nd on the list of states being run into the ground at tax payer expense ……fun huh

15 Julio January 2, 2014 at 6:21 PM

“We need to have a good relationship with our workers”. Well, you don’t and they don’t care to have any relationship with you bart board members.

Bitterness and healing over the deaths? Really?

16 Anon January 2, 2014 at 6:52 PM

“And the union rep said on the radio this morning that it will take their workers a long time to overcome their bitterness about the way they were treated during the strike.”

They are luck to have jobs.

‘The employees are talking about the bitterness and healing over the deaths of their co-workers.”

The dead guys violated BART & common sense rules — like look down the track to see if a train is coming as I be standing on the tracks- if I was the insurance company–I would not pay off a dime

17 ML January 3, 2014 at 11:23 AM

#17 you are definitely right. These lazy union thugs are lucky to have jobs. We should outlaw all unions and fire all of these uneducated lower class people. Then the taxpayers could demand hiring workers that would be happy to work for whatever we educated people want to pay them. We could staff the whole system with illegals. They work hard doing whatever you tell them to for cheap.

18 @ML January 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

We could staff the system with hard working people who would do a good job for fair pay without holding the public hostage so they can be overpaid.

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