BART Labor Talks Are Back; Contract Ends June 30

It’s that time again where BART employees and their higher ups seek to come up with a contract that pleases both parties. These contract negotiations happen every four years, and may even disrupt normal BART service if an agreement isn’t reached by the deadline.

Despite your commute gripes, (I know I’ve got mine) BART boasts a practically unheard of on-time rate of almost 95%. Workers say they want to be fairly compensated for their efforts in not only weathering the economic storm of the recession but helping grow BART’s ridership to nearly 390,000 a day. Add to the the perennial dangers of the job, such as working on active tracks and — perhaps worst of all — dealing with the public, and you’ve got a laundry list of reasons as to why the BART employees of SEIU 1021 and ATU 1555 are aching for a raise.

Conversely, while BART loves its employees and all their efforts, they’re also looking towards the costly future. the Chron adds that modernization is key to meeting the demands of an ever-increasing ridership. That includes maintenance center and station upgrades as well as their continued improvements on rail cars.

The Ex notes that 2009’s contentious negotiations may have had a happy ending, but that came after threats of striking on multiple occasions.

The previous contract included setting aside $100 million in savings over four years as well as a 1% pay increase if agreed upon goals were met. BART says that all five of its unions will see the increase.

“BART negotiations can be intense,” SEIU Local 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez said in a statement, “But BART members know that they have the strength and the support of our entire union in their efforts to reach a fair contract.”

Both sides have until June 30 to get their shit together and properly negotiate a contract that they can all agree on.

the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • GG

    “Workers say they want to be fairly compensated” … the problem is that by holding commuters hostage with prior strikes, they are already MORE than fairly compensated.

    • wildthing

      The unions don’t want to strike. But it is the only resolve if BART management refuses to negotiate fairly. The Unions would never strike under fair conditions. It takes two to tango. It is not the Unions holding you hostage but BART management. Have you ever thought about that?

  • GG

    “Workers say they want to be fairly compensated” … the problem is that by holding commuters hostage with prior strikes, they are already MORE than fairly compensated.

    • wildthing

      The unions don’t want to strike. But it is the only resolve if BART management refuses to negotiate fairly. The Unions would never strike under fair conditions. It takes two to tango. It is not the Unions holding you hostage but BART management. Have you ever thought about that?

  • wildthing

    There is more to it than the face of negotiation. There is a wealth disparity between the union workers and BART management. What the public does not realize is that BART managers get “raises” and have already received 12% over the last 3 years. They will also receive what the unions receive after the contract negotiations.

  • wildthing

    There is more to it than the face of negotiation. There is a wealth disparity between the union workers and BART management. What the public does not realize is that BART managers get “raises” and have already received 12% over the last 3 years. They will also receive what the unions receive after the contract negotiations.

  • JOHN

    Why should employees have to bear the financial cost of system
    improvement on their backs? Why not get rid of 30% of BART Managers, who
    are paid tremendous amounts of money, and do very little in the
    operation of the system. Employees made concessions in the last 2
    contracts, with the last one saving the district over 100 million, and
    still that is not enough? BART hires a “negotiator” at a cost of $400,
    000

    and not one says a word. The Board of Directors try to fire
    Dugger illegally and have to pay her $300,000 in extra compensation, and
    no one says a word. But employees try to get a fair contract, with
    raises, and the public is outraged. All I can say is that the powers
    that be have sure done a good job of setting working people against each
    other.

  • JOHN

    Why should employees have to bear the financial cost of system
    improvement on their backs? Why not get rid of 30% of BART Managers, who
    are paid tremendous amounts of money, and do very little in the
    operation of the system. Employees made concessions in the last 2
    contracts, with the last one saving the district over 100 million, and
    still that is not enough? BART hires a “negotiator” at a cost of $400,
    000

    and not one says a word. The Board of Directors try to fire
    Dugger illegally and have to pay her $300,000 in extra compensation, and
    no one says a word. But employees try to get a fair contract, with
    raises, and the public is outraged. All I can say is that the powers
    that be have sure done a good job of setting working people against each
    other.