BART and union officials said this evening that Governor Jerry Brown has called for a seven day board of inquiry reviewing BART contract negotiations.
The announcement means that a threatened strike, set to begin at midnight if no contract agreement was reached, will not take place, according to both BART and union officials.
According to a statement from BART, today Board President Tom Radulovich sent a letter to Brown saying that the cooling off period that would accompany the review would “allow us to continue negotiating while assuring the public that it will have transit service tomorrow and for another 60 days as we continue to bargain.”
According to a statement from SEIU 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez, “Our hope is that the Governor’s Board of Investigation will reveal how little time BART management has spent at the bargaining table in the past 30 days, compared with how much time they’ve spent posturing to the media.”
Our hope is that the Governor’s Board can show the public how BART has manipulated the process and continued to bargain in bad faith,” Sanchez said.
According to Brown, the review board “is directed to provide me with a written report within the next seven days.”
“For the sake of the people of the Bay Area, I urge – in the strongest terms possible – the parties to meet quickly and as long as necessary to get this dispute resolved, Brown said.
In a statement, Mayor Ed Lee said “I applaud Governor Brown for his decisive action so that the people of the Bay Area will not endure a debilitating BART strike on Monday. I support the Governor’s appointment of a Board of Investigation, staffed with proven professionals who can help move this dispute toward resolution.”
“A strike would not only have a negative impact on our entire regional economy, but it would undoubtedly hurt working families. These are people who did not have a voice over the last several months during non-conclusive negotiations and they certainly did not have a voice during the last four and a half day strike that caused, not just inconvenience, but a significant hardship for many,” Lee said.