BART’s two biggest labor unions will vote this week on management’s contract offer but the president of the third-largest union said today that she still doesn’t have enough information to have her members vote on it.
Jean Hamilton, the president of Local 3993 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents about 200 middle managers, said her bargaining team met with BART negotiators today but management refused to provide any more details about its contract offer.
Hamilton said, “AFSCME is just waiting for the district to give us a fully formed proposal” and alleged that management “hasn’t done its homework.”
Hamilton said no further meetings have been scheduled and said management will be “up a creek without a paddle” if her union doesn’t vote on the contract.
Leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and the BART chapter of Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union said late Thursday night that they’re not happy with management’s proposed contract but they will give their members a chance to vote on it.
Members of ATU Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, will vote on Tuesday.
Members of SEIU Local 1021, which represents about 1,400 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees, will vote on Thursday.
BART management made its offer late Thursday night on the 99th day of its negotiations, shortly before the unions’ four-year contract expired. Union members will work without a contract until they vote on the proposed new contract.
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.
Asked what would happen if ATU Local 1555 and SEIU Local 1021 approve the contract but AFSCME Local 3993 doesn’t, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said, “We’ll cross that bridge if we get to it.”
Johnson said, “We met with AFSCME today to explain the proposal and to answer their questions. We are happy to continue to meet with them to answer any follow up questions they may have.”
Johnson said the contract achieves management’s priorities of saving $100 million in labor costs and eliminating wasteful and unproductive work rules.
Management said throughout the negotiating process, which began on April 1, that it wants to reduce its labor costs because it faces a projected $250 million budget deficit over the next four years.
General Manager Dorothy Dugger said on Thursday that BART’s estimated deficit is now even larger.
Dugger said new estimates, based on declining ridership and sales tax revenues, indicate that the four-year deficit could even be $60 million larger, for a total shortfall of $310 million over that period.
Johnson said management’s proposal freezes employees wages for three years and provides a tiny 0.75 percent increase in the fourth year.