BART Contract Negotiations Won’t Resume Until Friday

Representatives of BART and its two biggest labor unions are meeting separately with state mediators today but won’t resume formal negotiations until Friday, BART spokesman Rick Rice said.

Today’s talks are the first since late Thursday night, when management and the unions agreed to extend the union’s existing contract for 30 days so they can continue trying to find common ground on a new contract.

The agreement at least temporarily ended a strike by members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and clerical workers, and Service International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics and clerical workers.

BART service resumed at 3 p.m. on Friday, ending the four-and-a-half day strike, which began July 1.

Rice said it will be up to state mediators to determine the format for the formal negotiations on Friday.

He said the talks could be face-to-face, or the mediators could decide to shuttle back and forth between the two sides to trade proposals.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Rice said.

Among the key issues in the contract talks, which began on April 1, are wages, employee contributions for health care and retirement costs, and safety.

Union leaders weren’t immediately available for comment today.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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