With three days remaining before a 60-day cooling off period expires, negotiators for BART management and its labor unions reported Monday that they are making progress on some issues but much work remains to be done on other issues.
Roddrick Lee, BART's director of government and community relations, agreed. In an email to city leaders along BART's transit line, he said that "a new economic proposal from the unions appears to represent some progress, which we appreciate."
"We will be evaluating the overall costs of this and return to discussions with the unions," he added.
Cecille Isidro, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, said the two sides have agreed on a formula in which employees will be compensated for the increased contributions they will have to make for their pensions.
Isidro said SEIU Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and clerical workers, have presented several counterproposals to BART this week.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said it's "good news" that the unions have offered ounterproposals because "it shows there's been movement
and good progress" in the talks.
But Trost said many details remain to be worked out.
For example, Trost said BART wants the compensation for increased pension costs to be part of employees' pay increase for the length of the new contract but the unions want it to be in addition to employees' pay hike.
Isidro said the unions' latest proposal asks for employees to get an 11.5 percent increase over three years: 3.75 percent for each of the first
two years and 4 percent in the third year.
Trost said BART currently is offering a 10 percent increase over four years.
Trost said BART management is studying the unions' latest proposal and will offer a counterproposal.
The 60-day cooling-off period ordered by a judge on Aug. 11 at the request of BART management and Gov. Jerry Brown will expire Thursday night and if there's no agreement by then, BART employees could go on strike after midnight Friday.