Tentative Contract Agreement Means BART Strike Is Over

BART’s largest unions have announced a tentative contract agreement, and trains could be running as soon as 4 AM Tuesday morning.

Contract negotiations resumed this afternoon after service was suspended when workers walked off the job Friday. The walkout was the second this year, after contentious negotiations resulted in a four-day strike in July.

The unions submitted a new contract offer Sunday night that included concessions related to work rules governing the use of technology but in the proposal union members “insisted on retaining work rules” that protect safety.

Flanked by politicians in Oakland tonight, union leaders and BART management announced the end of the strike that snarled Bay Area traffic and flooded alternative public transportation.

“Tonight the hard working men and women who keep the Bay Area moving, can go back to work making BART the most efficient and successful system in the country,” said John Arantes, BART Chapter President of SEIU 1021 in a statement.

According to SEIU 1021 and ATU 1555, the tentative agreement must be voted on and ratified by members of the union, along with the BART Board of Directors before it takes effect.

“This has got to be the last time this happens. I think everyone’s fed up, no one wants to see this happen ever again,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said, adding that the new contract “sets a course to deal with grievances so they don’t fester and create the kind of distrust” that led to the protracted negotiations over the last few months.

Newsom said that the details of that would be revealed over the coming days and weeks, but few other details of the agreement were revealed.

“This offer is more than we wanted to pay, but it is also a new path for our partnership with our workers,” BART’s general manager Grace Crunican said. “We compromised to get to this place as did our union members.

“We are all pleased that trains will be running tomorrow, hopefully for the afternoon commute” said Crunican at a press conference this evening.

Shortly thereafter, however, BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said that trains will be running by 4 AM Tuesday.

“It may be at less capacity as we usually have, but we are confident that at 4 Am we will have trains running on al the lines” Trost said.

“So, come to BART like you normally would.”

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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