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.