Employee Union Approves Tentative BART Agreement

January 4, 2014 23:02 pm · 6 comments

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and foreworkers, approved a tentative four-year BART agreement on Friday night, according to union representatives.

Members of the Service Employees’ International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, will vote on the pact on 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.”

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

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.

BART management had said the pension contribution increase was one of its goals in negotiations that began last April 1 and included two four-day strikes in July and October by members of ATU Local 1555 and SEIU 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.

The agreement also allows qualifying employees more flexibility in how they pay for the costs of their family medical leave.

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Random Task January 5, 2014 at 9:33 AM

yawn….oh the double dip starts soon …..they stole free pay on top of vacation and sick leave they got weeks of anytime pay all funded by taxpayers ……now the tickets go up as well as parking and still your car will probably be stolen so they can double dip you paid parking spot for another mark ………union corruption at its best …..enjoy you wanted it …no crying now

Funny January 5, 2014 at 1:21 PM

@Random Task

Are you one of those that watches Fox news all day? clearly you haven’t educated yourself on this topic at all. The unions gave back the section that caused the problem saving BART about 44 million. They exchanged it for safety improvements to be made now instead of later.

Double dipping isn’t available to BARTS unions and haven’t been for years. I’m not sure of the police unions. Take a Train Operator they retire at 2% per year of service. They are now fully vested after 15 years. (the union agreed to make this period from 5 years to 15 this contract also saving the district millions) The earliest they can retire is age 55. So if an employee works for BART for 30 years and over the age of 55 they would retire at 60% of their base pay. This calculation does not include overtime so no spiking of pay or double dipping.

As far as the fare increase thats been in the making for years. Did you notice that during the four year contract hat the Unions took huge cuts over 100 million the fares still increase and so did parking

People need to focus on this terrible BART Board of Directors thats wasting money constantly on useless projects like eBART. BART police is non existent because BART police Management tells them to “Lay Low” after the incident at Fruitvale. So now they are going to allow criminals to terrorize the patrons and employees. Tell me how often you actually see an officer in the station or on a train? If you don’t think this is true ask an employee. I’ve heard stories of Stations Agents calling for Patrons that have been attacked etc and BART police taking 15-30 minutes to respond.

Don’t believe all the media hype you hear and look into the situations. I actually go to the Board of Directors meetings and it’s an eye opener what these idiots approve. literally billions go to things nobody wants and don’t help riders at all. I ride BART everyday so I feel very vested in the system. I don’t work there.

Julio January 5, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Many more of us should go to the board meetings. You would see how truly ignorant most of them are. Then you have some board members who also are raking in the money because they are on many other boards. Check these guys out folks and you would never vote for any of them again.

Bubbles January 6, 2014 at 12:19 AM

People are so quick to always blame the employees. This BOD is out of control. They waste millions all the time. Time for them all to go!!

Jim January 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

@Funny…but the union also gained in the re-negotiated contract…not having to contribute as much to their pensions…something the board was trying to change…so don’t go all “foxnews” on randon task….the union gained too…and I have been to the board meeting also…I agree the board is worthless…but it also needs to be noted that the union employees have pretty cushy jobs for the pay they receive, the benfits, and the pension without much of a contribution….the true focus needs to be on the WHOLE organization…from the Board down to the maintenace worers…it’s corrupt…top to bottom

Frontline January 7, 2014 at 1:09 AM

@Jim actually nothing changed in the re-negotiated portion of the contract for the pension. They are contributing the same amount as the originally negotiated contract. The Board of Directors tried to change the vesting time from 15 back to 5 years. The reason is Management’s average length of stay is 2-8 years. This new 15 year vesting is bad for Management. The frontline workers average 18-27 years. The BART district will save millions with it the vesting period going to 15 years.

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