BART Labor Talks Aren't Going Well At All (Update)
Update 1:17 p.m.: BART says union's proposal would mean a double-digit fare increase. Read full update at the bottom.
Flickr/Moosicorn BART and its unions at the bargaining table
If you're currently frustrated by the 10-15-minute delays on BART this morning, then you'll be even more annoyed by this distressing news: BART and its unions aren't getting any closer to dodging another strike.
With a week left to come up with a contract, both sides are reporting that labor talks are not going so well.
And the sticking points seem to be the same.
BART Director Zachary Mallet was unyielding when talking to CBS News, saying employees need to kick in a little more cash. "They pay nothing into their pension and medical, it's just $92 a month," he said.
Union reps didn't have much to say to that, pointing out that a lot of these issues could maybe be resolved if BART's lead negotiator, Tom Hock, would ever come back from vacation. As SF Weekly reported earlier, negotiations paused when Hock, who is getting paid $399,000, took some much-needed time off.
Meanwhile, BART and its unions only have until Aug. 4 to come up with some sort of compromise or else the Bay Area might be crippled by another much longer and more painful transit strike.
"If BART can get their act together and actually bargain with us meaningfully, we can still get an agreement and that's the goal, but we're not ruling out any option. I'll just put it that way," Service Employees International Union Local 1021 President Pete Castelli said.
The only thing both sides can agree on is that they're willing to extend the deadline past Aug. 4 if and only if they're making progress.
Update: BART fired off a press release this afternoon, claiming that while there has been some small areas of agreement, there's still very large disagreements, namely with salaries, pensions, and medical contributions. According to BART, the union's latest demands for a 20 percent pay increase over three years would equate to a 18 percent fare increase over that same time period.
Would you be willing to pay for that to avoid another strike?