BARTlogo.pngMembers of BART’s second-largest union voted Tuesday against management’s proposed contract, which calls for wage freezes for three years and a 0.75 percent increase in the fourth year.

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, voted 100 percent against the contract.
About 76 percent of the union voted, ATU Local 1555 President Jesse Hunt said Tuesday.

Members of the transit agency’s largest union, the BART chapter of Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 1,400 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees, will vote on Thursday.

Leaders of the two largest unions said last week that they don’t think management’s proposed contract is very good but they want to give their members a chance to vote on it.

Jean Hamilton, the president of BART’s third-largest union, Local 3993 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents about 200 middle managers, hasn’t yet scheduled a vote for her members because she said she needs to get more information from management.

The contract for the unions was to expire on June 30, but an agreement was reached to extend the contract until July 9.

Shortly before midnight July 9, leaders of the transit agency’s two largest unions said they will have their members vote on management’s contract offer even though they don’t think it’s very good.

Hunt said union leaders will be contacting state mediators and expects negotiations with BART management to resume sometime next week.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said he expects negotiations to continue in a week or sooner.

Union leaders had said if union members vote to reject the contract, they would then ask Gov. Schwarzenegger to declare a 60-day cooling off period.

However, Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that he won’t declare a cooling off period in BART’s negotiations with its labor unions if he’s asked to do so.

In a short statement, Schwarzenegger said, “I urge the parties to continue bargaining and to successfully reach an agreement without any strikes, lock-outs or other job actions.”
Schwarzenegger said, “The public expects that the parties will remain at the bargaining table until an agreement is reached.”

BART and its five unions have been bargaining since April 1.

Members of ATU Local 1555, SEIU Local 1021 and AFSCME Local 3993 all voted overwhelmingly last month to approve a strike if a settlement isn’t reached on a new contract.

There also are two small unions that represent BART police officers and managers. However, members of the police unions are barred from going on strike.

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