BART Workers Go On Strike

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And here you thought your commute to work could't get any worse
As expected, BART workers are walking off the job today, creating commute hell for the more than 400,000 passengers that rely on the transit system every day.

BART management and its unions held tense negotiations through the weekend, however, it was clear from the flurry of press releases sent out over the last 24 hours that the two sides could only agree to disagree.

The main sticking point: wages.

The unions have been trying to get a 4.5 percent annual wage increase over the next three years, claiming they had not gotten a raise for the previous four years.

Rick Rice, spokesman for BART, issued a statement Sunday, claiming that BART staff presented a new proposal over the weekend which doubled the salary offer from 4 percent to 8 percent over four years while reducing the amount of employee contributions for pension and medical benefits.

In addition, BART negotiators say they offered a 2 percent raise for one year, then a series of 1 percent raises for three more years. However, the union said the addition series of 1 percent raises relied on "contingencies so draconian that the so-called "raise" would actually result in a net loss for most frontline workers."

Those contingencies include ridership numbers and sales tax revenues, according to the union.

Then after 8 p.m. on Sunday, BART negotiators told the unions that they had "nothing to offer or propose that would be substantial," according to the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555.

"BART's Board of Directors has never been serious about negotiating this contract," said Antonette Bryant, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555.

Rice issued the following statement late Sunday night:

We have a long way to go but we can't get any closer if we aren't at the table. We reached tentative agreements on 11 items today and we should use that momentum to reach a deal. Walking away doesn't do any good.

The public doesn't deserve to be punished. We are sorry they have decided to strike despite the fact we are willing to negotiate. The District is prepared to return to talks and get this finished. We would have worked all night long.

BART has a fair and responsible offer on the table. The proposal provides an 8% wage increase over the 4 years and we lowered our pension and healthcare participation proposal.

We urge riders to go to BART.gov and 511.org to get the latest information on commute alternatives.

Check back for updates.




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9 comments
ddtease
ddtease

Why not make bart fully automated like they are in Japan. No train drivers/ station addendants equals no strike. Plus the trains would be on time!

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

Oh, the jealousy ITT!

Antoinette Young-Jonopulos
Antoinette Young-Jonopulos

Seriously. There are a number of people who would be ecstatic to be making as much as the Bart workers ALREADY make. I read someone's post earlier, "fire them all, so those of us without jobs can take their place." I have to say, I completely agree.

Steven Python
Steven Python

Does anyone doubt that thousands of unemployed San Franciscans would be happy to take their places?

Steven Python
Steven Python

No excuse for Gubbamint employees to go on strike when they have the best such jobs in the country. They want a 15% increase over 3 years? Fire them all. Order them back to work in 24 hours and fire all those who don't show up.

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

Fire all the scumbags. Replace them. The Air Traffc Controlers went on strike, Ronnie fired them all and no planes crashed.

塞繆塞繆
塞繆塞繆

Who fuckin care! It Oakland problem! Not SF

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