Negotiators for BART management and unions representing more than 2,800 workers are back at the table today to try to reach an agreement before the Thursday deadline that’s been set by management.
The two sides met throughout the weekend but no agreement has yet been reached. Contract negotiations began April 1.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson has said management has “an internal goal” of reaching an agreement by midnight Thursday but he’s also said management doesn’t have any plans at this point to impose a new contract if an agreement isn’t reached by then.
He said management hasn’t decided what the next step will be if there’s no agreement by Thursday.
Members of BART’s three largest unions voted by overwhelming margins last month to authorize a strike, but there are no plans to strike at this time.
Johnson said management is committed to achieving $100 million in labor cost savings in order to cope with its large budget deficit, which is estimated to be $310 million over four years.
Union leaders have said they want management to look more closely at a proposal they’ve made that they say would achieve $760 million in long-term savings.
Johnson issued a press release late Sunday night headlined, “BART union negotiations hit snag over wasteful work rules.”
Johnson said today the dispute over work rules hasn’t caused an impasse in negotiations but he said it is a sticking point.