Assemblywoman Baker Introduces Bill to Ban BART Strikes

February 26, 2015 16:00 pm · 45 comments

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, has introduced legislation that would ban strikes by BART employees such as the two walkouts that crippled Bay Area commuters in 2013.

Baker’s chief of staff, Nanette Farag, said that Baker’s bill takes a different approach than a bill by introduced by state Senator Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, last year that would have banned strikes by public transit employees.

Huff’s bill was killed by the Senate Public Employees and Retirement Committee in January 2014.

Farag said Baker’s bill, AB 528, which was introduced on Tuesday, wouldn’t impose an outright ban on transit strikes and would simply enforce no-strike clauses in contracts for BART employees and other public transit workers.

Farag said the walkouts by BART employees in July and October of 2013 exposed a loophole in current law.

She said after the contract for BART workers expired they went on strike even though management had honored the lapsed contract by paying benefits and wages during contract negotiations.

Union leaders argued that they weren’t bound by the no-strike clause because the contract had expired, according to Farag.

She said the bill by Baker, who just took office last month, would prevent strikes by providing that if the transit district honors its part of the expired contract, employees must do the same and honor their no-strike clause.

Farag said, “This is not an all-out ban on strikes and would provide more equity to workers and BART riders.”

Pete Castelli, the executive director for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents more than 1,400 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers at BART, said Baker’s bill is “very damaging” because BART’s management and unions have been working hard on building a better relationship and preventing future strikes.

“This opens up old wounds and makes both workers and management think about a difficult time,” Castelli said.

He said SEIU Local 1021 opposes any bill that would take away workers’ collective bargaining rights and he thinks it’s “very unlikely” that Baker’s bill will pass.

Farag said the next step for the bill is for it to be assigned to a committee, most likely the Labor Committee or the Transportation Committee.

Baker represents the 16th assembly district, which includes Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.

1 John Pope February 26, 2015 at 4:26 PM

If (when?) this fails because the BART transit unions will hold their bought-and-paid-for-politicians’ feet to the fire, we must then qualify a state-wide initiative to ban any and all transit workers from striking, and then have the electorate pass the initiative.

2 Russ Sayin February 26, 2015 at 4:36 PM

I’m pretty sure pigs will fly before this ever becomes a law………

3 Steve February 26, 2015 at 4:41 PM

This proposed legislation is ridiculous.BART learned it’s lesson.Next time the union pulls that crap BART simply stops paying benefits and wages and the union will fold .Hit them in the back pocket.We do not need a law to make that happen.

4 Barf! February 26, 2015 at 4:45 PM

And Barf again!

5 Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 4:54 PM

The head goon for SEIU is opposed because it will “open old wounds”

He really said that, really.

Well Bonilla tell us how you feel.

6 RANDOM TASK February 26, 2015 at 5:10 PM

@5 you know what opens old wounds ….when bus company does not do their job because of a strike …same with BART…..the riders pay your salary through fares and taxes a double dip and still they strike if you don’t like the pay move on …when a 120k bart driver whines and strikes when 500k workers are in the area are out of work then this is what you get ….50 years of dems rule have made a bunch of entitled freeloaders…. at least make it so they cant dictate their own salary through gorilla tactics this is the wage like it or go elsewhere there are plenty who will work for your wage now …move along

7 Adridgefamily February 26, 2015 at 5:14 PM

That would be awesome! You can’t tell us that Bart is a vital part of life, then let the union thugs shut it down when they get their feelings hurt.

8 thx4youropinion February 26, 2015 at 5:19 PM

This is great news.

But don’t forget Orinda City Councilman Steve Glazer (now the Mayor of Orinda) who was pushing the petition to ban BART strikes, day after day after day.

That person risked his political career with his lobbying. BART unions came up with more than a quarter million dollars to try to defeat him.

BART unions are very expendable. They are made of paper CBAs. And nothing more.

9 Silva February 26, 2015 at 5:22 PM

It’s never worked before.

10 Elwood February 26, 2015 at 5:36 PM

@ Steve #3

If BART cut off their checks and benefits you can bet that the same bought and paid for politicians who control the chicken**** BART board will swoop in again to force a settlement to the liking of their public employee union masters.

11 jw February 26, 2015 at 5:38 PM

@ #8,
Under normal cirumstances I doubt I’d ever vote for Glazer for anything…but the freak show that is CA and especially the Bay Area is nowhere near “normal”, so the mere fact that so many labor unions are trying to defeat Glazer for State Senate is the sole reason I (and my wife) voted for him.

12 thx4youropinion February 26, 2015 at 6:14 PM

@ #11 jw — Reason enough. ANY politician who can prove their interest and worth does require union money will have my consideration. That’s why I search each candidate to see exactly from whom they get their “allowances.”

13 Voodoo February 26, 2015 at 6:34 PM

Unions are scum.

14 @13 February 26, 2015 at 6:44 PM

And management are saints ?

15 ConcordDad February 26, 2015 at 7:04 PM

Ive never really been involved in Union stuff till a good friend of mine joined the BART union. He’s a Mechanic at BART and said it’s a crazy world there. He said yes the employees get paid well and get good benefits. The crazy part is the Media Machine that Management is in making the employees look so evil. Management told the unions on the first day of negotiations that they wanted them to strike it only makes them look good. They never came to the table again until they were forced to. Then they just sat there and look at the mediators. The ONLY reason they actually ended up doing anything is after they tried driving the trains with people that had one day of training and hit and killed those two men. The buddy of mine said it’s truly crazy to work for a place that the management hates you and will cut your throat to make you look bad. We have to remember what we hear in the Media is what the people with the big $$$$$ want us to hear. Next time ask around and find out whats really going on. He said none of the employees wanted to go out on strike. They knew they didn’t have public support and they don’t get paid.

Everyone always says unions are useless now days. I used to think that but then I think to myself. If this is true why are corporations and people spending billions every year to make them disappear? if they just wanted to treat employees well and pay them fairly people wouldn’t join or create unions.

16 ConcordDad February 26, 2015 at 7:06 PM

Side note the benefits package they accepted they are paying more of their medical and are now for the first time paying into their PERS pensions now.

17 Jerk February 26, 2015 at 7:20 PM

Corporation = Scum

18 Jihadi John February 26, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Who rides Bart anyways? It’s smelly, dirty and Obama’s sons sleep and live in the trains

19 Mtz Guy February 26, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Unions are scum.

20 Ven Exeter February 26, 2015 at 7:49 PM

I agree with #5, it would be interesting to hear Susan Bonilla’s opinion on this. Bonilla’s constantly making press releases about one senseless piece of legislation after another, but you can bet she’ll be dead quiet about this. Kudos to Catherine Baker for being the first Bay Area politician in years to propose legislation that will actually benefit the average citizen rather than some corrupt special interest group.

21 Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 8:04 PM

The SEIU votes no through their surrogate ,Susan Bonilla .

Bought and paid for Susan?

22 Always Right February 26, 2015 at 8:20 PM

Susan Bonilla is owned by the government unions so don’t expect her to help stop BART strikes.

I voted for Steve Glazer for exactly the same reason as jw. He is the only viable candidate who will stand up to the thug unions running this county and state.

23 L,H February 26, 2015 at 8:51 PM

I am a union member. Having a voice in the political process is a good thing but unions totally dominating politicians like Bonilla is not good for the public. Even the uber liberal Contra Costa Times called her out for being a union shill.

I don’t believe Susan Bonilla has a sense of honor or dedication to public service. Some politicians really do.

She exemplifies what’s wrong with the country ,and the Republicans are just as bad. We need to vote people like her out and get some moderate folks in.

24 thx4youropinion February 26, 2015 at 9:34 PM

@#18 — I think I’ve ridden BART once in the past two-three years. BART means nothing to me. That strike screwed up everyone who depends upon BART, or others who generally drive — from ambulance, to police, to fire department, to personal transport, to cabs, to buses, to residents, to visitors — the list goes on.

Any politician up for re-election had better keep this in mind.

And BART employees should remember that they are very traceable. Next time the public might not be so patient with them.

25 kax February 26, 2015 at 10:11 PM

Wait a minute. An excellent idea…Never happen in the Socialist State of California…..

26 Anonymous February 27, 2015 at 6:35 AM

Re Bonilla :this woman told us she was perfectly in touch with her constituents. Then she voted to allow boys in girls bathrooms in public schools. I know this is an issue me and my neighbors were really concerned about/ NOT.

If you look at her contributors it’s the far left that purchased her outright.

27 Cautiously Informed February 27, 2015 at 7:55 AM

Excellent idea.

28 The Mamba February 27, 2015 at 8:22 AM

It’s amazing that this is common sense and yet is still in any way controversial. The fact that this won’t be passed is everything that’s wrong with our state and country.

29 Eddie Monsoon February 27, 2015 at 8:31 AM

#23 the CC Times is anything but liberal. Geez the undereducated of Claycord really need to get off the computer and head back to class

30 anon February 27, 2015 at 9:03 AM

“The ONLY reason they actually ended up doing anything is after they tried driving the trains with people that had one day of training and hit and killed those two men.”

These guys were not looking & got killed for their own screw-up – no sympathy form anyone in the real world. Its not a freeway with drunks — the train is on a track..real professional.

31 anon February 27, 2015 at 9:08 AM

It’s about time someone had the balls to do something.

32 Stater of the Obvious February 27, 2015 at 9:44 AM

the most powerful and corrupting union in California is the California Teachers Association. They are dumping tons of cash into Joan Buchanan. The voters rejected them once recently when they ran their own Treasurer, Tim Sbranti, hopefully they’ll see Joan Buchanan for what she is too. A union puppet.

33 rw February 27, 2015 at 12:09 PM

BART sure does employ a bunch of whiny babies. Whiny babies who bring to the table qualifications that would only land them mediocre retail jobs in the mainstream employment market. To listen to these cry babies, they are completely clueless just how worthless they are in the real world. I hope this bill becomes law and strikes that cripple the Bay Area commute will not happen.

34 WC February 27, 2015 at 12:44 PM

@32 Joan loves teacher tenure…. says it all. I’m sorry in the real world it’s pay for performance. Perform you get paid, don’t… you get shown the door.

@15
Everyone always says unions are useless now days. I used to think that but then I think to myself. If this is true why are corporations and people spending billions every year to make them disappear? Cause unions are funding politicians to make rules that benefit unions only, not the customer. Look at the longshoreman, they want to prevent any technology/automation that will make the port more efficient. Who benefits from that…I’ll let you answer.

35 ConcordMike February 27, 2015 at 12:50 PM

This is actually about terms in the No Strike Clause in the contract. The BART employees were allowed to go on strike because the contract that contained the No Strike Clause had expired. So once the contract expired, they felt they were allowed to strike. With that mentality, since their contract expired, then BART should be able to replace them with lower paid employees, right?
Either way, even if Baker’s measure gets approved, you can rest assure that BART employees will slow down the trains, make sure “equipment failures” increase, call in sick… anything to interrupt the commuters day.
I was with a couple of unions, and the only ones that are great are the teamsters.

36 Anonymous February 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

Eddie if you think the Times isn’t liberal I would be interested in selling you the toll plaza in the Benicis Bridge. Go back to the Daily Kos

37 Sacto Rob February 27, 2015 at 1:47 PM

There go those dang Republicans again, proposing legislation that benefits the great mass of people and not just the union campaign contributors. But don’t worry folks, the wonderful people who brought you the last two BART strikes and the fare increases that followed will club this legislation to death before it makes it out of its first committee hearing.

38 @Always Right #22 February 27, 2015 at 2:13 PM

I have to disagree that Glazer is “the only viable candidate who will stand up to the thug unions running this county and state.”

Perhaps you forgot that Buchanan, – and I’ll quote the Times here, “fell out of favor with local public employee unions for her 2012 bill that curbed pension spiking in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
The bill closed a gaping loophole in Brown’s “pension reform” package and stopped some of the most egregious abuses in California. Her actions represented a principled stand in the face of great political risk.”

That took a lot of courage. Much more than Bonilla has ever shown.

39 Anonymous February 27, 2015 at 2:41 PM

I am getting sick and tired of the endless attacks on Bonilla. I eagerly await one person coming forth to defend her. It’s lots more fun if one of her supporters that can read would venture out and defend this vapid big butted woman

40 Kurt February 27, 2015 at 3:41 PM

You might wait a long time for anyone to defend Bonilla. People are sick of being bullied by unions like BART and the teachers unions . She could care less about keeping BART running or quality education . Contributions is all she cares about.

41 Drons February 27, 2015 at 4:22 PM

The people on this page make me laugh. Anyone looked into the funding of Glazier? He’s the only one I continue about every other day get a flyer from. Funny a bunch of “Organizations” out of Orange county. Keep drinking the rich Kool aid people.

42 No Bonilla February 27, 2015 at 4:42 PM

Embarrassed to have Bonilla representing us, and embarrassed to have DeSaulnier anywhere near. Searching for candidates with integrity, and pickings are slim. The two mentioned above are way past any hope of exhibiting decency.

43 @No Bonilla February 27, 2015 at 5:33 PM

If you are embarrassed by Bonilla, then vote for Buchanan. Joan Buchanan is the only one who can beat Bonilla, so I’ll be voting for her. As said in #38, Joan Buchanan has courage that Bonilla has never shown.

44 throwaway February 27, 2015 at 10:59 PM

Joan Buchanan is really the only viable candidate in my opinion.
Also its damn near impossible to force a union to give up their bargaining chip. Now i ride bart daily and everyone here that is too good for bart because its smelly and old doesnt mean many people rely on it. I agree striking like that shouldnt be allowed. Its public transit that we the people pay for. But at the same time Glazer, Baker and I guess now Bonilla are saying they are gonna ban it. Its not gonna happen. At least even if it were gonna happen itd take at least six years. Its a bunch of lies.

45 ConcordMike February 28, 2015 at 5:26 PM

I agree with you. But how would BART riders know the trains were purposely being slowed down or “equipment failure” since that’s an everyday occurrence now! I have to take BART. The BART idiots cut the trains to eight cars at rush hour and then the Idiot Lying Driver yells at people (honest to gawd) “if the trains too crowded to board, wait for the next train, it’s right behind us”. Yeah, right behind in 20 more minutes and it’ll be just as crowded, if not more.
I wish they’d strike and I’d wish they’d be replaced.

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