Update 12:38 p.m.: The BART Board did approve the labor contract this afternoon -- sort of. The board voted 8-1 to sign off on the deal without the controversial paid family leave provision in there. Uh oh. That means the deal now has to go back to the unions to agree to without that paid family medical leave clause, which BART management claims it overlooked when agreeing to the tentative deal. Pete Castelli, Executive Director of SEIU 1021, issued the following statement following the BART Board's vote:
We're disappointed that the BART Board of Directors had decided not to fulfill their commitment to the workers and the riders by approving contracts without the provision on family medical leave. The unions have voted on and ratified these contracts in their entirety.
The Board's vote does not lead to reaching an expeditious resolution but to further confusion. We've been willing to discuss the implementation of the disputed provision, but BART Management and the Board of Directors have chosen to prolong the process and hold the fate of the riders, the workers, and the Bay Area in the balance. They've cited over-inflated costs of family medical leave that would allow workers to care for gravely ill family members or bond with newborn or newly-adopted children.
Right now we are considering all options, meeting with workers who have ratified this contract, and working to find a way to reach a resolution to BART management's alleged mistake in the agreement it made with its workers.
BART Board President Tom Radulovich issued his own statement, explaining the Board's decision:
Today the BART Board of Directors voted 8 to 1 to accept the $67 million offer that was agreed to at the bargaining table with our unions. We hope the unions will take the agreement minus the six weeks of additional paid leave that was mistakenly included in the final document, back to their members.
Simply put, the District cannot afford to give its employees another six weeks of paid leave, on top of the generous leave already allowed in the BART employee benefit package.
If the union members ratify the contract minus the mistaken proposal, the Board also gives the General Manager authority to sign the contract without another Board vote.
Sigh. We'll keep you posted on what all this really means for commuters (that'd be you).
Original Story 8:08 a.m: Later today, the BART Board of Directors either will sign off on the labor contract that's kept the trains running -- or they won't.
And if they don't, well, get your cars tuned up -- just in case.
At issue is the family leave provision, which BART management says was slipped into the contract -- or at least they never saw it. The provision would allow BART employees six weeks of paid annual leave to care for sick family members. That sounds nice for BART's families, but not so great for BART's budget. According to management that could cost $44 million over the next four years. Of course, the union's math comes up with a different -- much lower -- figure. More »