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BART, unions take a breather after governor prevents strike

Original post made on Aug 6, 2013

Negotiators for BART and unions representing about 2,400 employees took a breather yesterday after Gov. Jerry Brown intervened to at least temporarily avert a strike.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 5, 2013, 9:16 PM

Comments (25)

Posted by Really ?????, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

Prevent?????, I think not. Brown's 'campaign' must have sent out the mis-statement, This is merely a delay of a few days!! Prevent is an untruth until, and IF ever, a strike is actually prevented !
All of these tiny band-aids are not solving the problem of union greed. Not one of the catagories in the union demands should be met...none. The last contract was excessive and unrealistic, and it still is unrealistic today. It is sufficient and far exceeds OUR real world.
The final big battle of this war has yet to be fought. This greed and strikes cannot be allowed ever again. Boston, and Chicago, home of the 30's'mob' and birth of unions, has binding arbitration. Public strikes are illegal in Oregon and NewYork. The entire Bay Area should not be victim to these thugs. Join New York...put 'the people' in charge of our lives.


Posted by mm, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

The only good thing Brown can do now is to have an emergency session to have a new law that prevents transit unions from going on strike. Short of that, the strike will still occur.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

I don't find the union demands unrealistic. The cost of living continues to rise and families need money to remain intact.

weeeeeely????? needs to get a grip, grow up, consider a less hysterical approach, and hopefully, find whatever support "it" can. If you don't wanna ride BART or AC Transit, walk...duh

I don't appreciate all the show offs mouthing off!!!

and, i mean it!!!




Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Cost of living increases are included in the contract already.


Posted by Really ?????, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

The fundamental problem is that there is at present no alternative to using the specific unions to operate the trains and infrastructure. The unions' contracts prohibit any other group of workers from competing for those jobs, unionized or not. Furthermore, since CA is not a right-to-work state, any worker must join the union to work at BART. It's a closed loop, all sewn up nice and tight.

As users of public transit, we don't have a choice of competing rail systems to get us to work. This is the point of the legislation under discussion that would prohibit strikes by public transit unions. The unions do very much have us over the proverbial barrel.

Normally we have plenty of choices - choice of supermarket, choice of tablet computer, choice of automobile, even the choice of taxi companies to drop us off at the BART station. We don't have that same choice with BART. The unions have gone to great lengths to make it so, and as such, we need legislation to prevent the very thing that keeps them in the monopoly.


Posted by sounds right, but..., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 12:22 am

Joe, unfortunately the people needed to develop and approve the legislation are beholden to the unions. I heard that Gavin Newsom was sent to help solve the problem. If that's the case we're in worse shape than I thought because Newsom is the biggest union sttoge/suck-up there is.


Posted by Shoogy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 5:58 am

If people don't want to take BART there are alternatives. Drive your car. Carpool with others. Take a taxi. Ride a bike. Hitchhike.

Newsom? It's all part of modern American politics. You vote for either a union suck-up or a corporate stooge. I prefer a union suck-up because unions strive to maximize the interests of working people everywhere. Without unions, we're China.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:25 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Shoogy, There is still a cost to taxpayers whether they use the system or not. Unions no longer strive to maximize interests of working people; I've already posted links showing the income of non-union workers is lower and unions have better benefits. Additionally, union membership has dropped under 12%, so their fight is to remain viable at all.


Posted by Shoogy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:45 am

Kath's confusion is a thing to behold. Union workers do better than nonunion workers -- Wait! Let's repeat that. Union workers have better wages and conditions of work than do their nonunionized counterparts. Well, that's reason enough why corporate and state administrative power are hell-bent on further reducing unionized work force!

Historically we know, as unionized workers' struggles for economic justice have gotten them 40-hour work weeks, paid vacations, maternity leave, workplace safety, the right to work in a nondiscriminatory workplace, so these hard-earned accomplishments have redounded to all workers. As unions go, so does the rest of America's workers.

BART workers' strike is a temporary hit on their daily wages; it may inconvenience and entail a temporary hit on nonBART workers. Unfortunately, this is how the world works. Struggle is rarely waged without consternation. Without the right to strike, BART workers wages and conditions of work will become increasingly and systematically depressed, as will the wages and conditions of work for all workers.

Workers sometimes must strike. Other workers realize this. Some don't, as is true for Kath and Dave and other (unwitting?) exponents of fascism.


Posted by right, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

Brown's chosen (as a good union minion) to fall on the sword and be the bad guy. He will extend this empasse for another 60 days, during which an 'impartial' assessment will be conducted that examines the finances of BART and comes back with a binding decision. That decision will be communicated through brown's office and he will 'regretably' inform the union parasites that they must settle for BART mgmts best offer (which even that is not feasible without major fare hikes and deferred maintenance). The unions save face because it looks like they tried to bargain in good faith and were betrayed by the Gov. Everyone 'wins'! Aren't unions are great asset to our community?


Posted by Shoogy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Shoogy, unions don't raise all boats; they aren't even trying.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

Welcome to the discussion "Shoogy".
The points that you are missing (deliberately?)in this discussion are whether or not the demands of this transit union are reasonable or not. When one talks about reasonableness, one should relate it to the rest of the surrounding society. Based upon the job qualifications for a BART transit operator, i.e. a candidate needs a high school diploma or GED, a valid California driver's license and three years of experience "interacting with the general public in a variety of ways," according to the posted job description, then what would be a reasonable benefit package? Current union workers make about $76,500 in gross pay on average, contribute nothing toward their pensions and $92 a month for health benefits. BART officials said they have now offered 8 percent over four years regardless of economic conditions. In exchange, they want employees to pay 5 percent of their pension costs (currently they pay nothing) and gradually move from paying a flat $92 for health care to 10 percent of the actual costs. The flat rate amounts to about 5 percent that would about double over four years to $184 or more, given the rate of increase in health care costs. However somehow this is not adequate according to the union propaganda. Keep in mind that the BART transit workers are already the highest paid in California.
Additionally, the BART union makes it impossible to train new transit operators by not allowing any training if a union worker is working. If management wanted to add more, it would have to put them through special training mandated under the union contract signed after the 1979 labor dispute. It's not that becoming a BART driver requires a lot of experience. The trains are automated, so operators drive them only during emergencies, and then only to speeds up to 25 mph. Operators also must pass a 15-week training course in safety practices. Under the agency's contract, however, anyone is barred from even taking the course as long as union BART operators are on the job. In other words, the only time BART can begin training replacement operators is when drivers go out on strike. In addition, BART needs to replace most of its rolling stock and has precious little money. In contrast to private enterprise that would save money for capital improvements, BART needs to do all it can to pay cash out of pocket because there's no routine reserve for capital equipment replacement reserve partially as a result of the current union contract.
Now let's talk about whether or not this union is out of control!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Web Link

"BART's total four-year proposal would cost the agency another $18.5 million. It includes 9 percent wage hikes and a 5 percent increase in employee pension contributions for current workers, while new employees would pay a slightly higher share.

"The rail line's two largest unions countered with a three-year deal totaling 21 percent pay bumps, including an 11.5 percent hike in the first year. Under the union's offer, any new pension contributions would be balanced out by corresponding wage increases, which would give employees a higher total pension once they retire. Their total contract, if extrapolated over four years for comparison purposes to BART's offer, would cost the rail line $117.8 million."

Reasonable?


Posted by Shoogy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:46 am

What's reasonable? Depends on what kind of society one desires to be a part of. If, as Kath desires, we should live in a fascist society, the BART management proposal sounds pretty good.

A 9% management proposed raise over four years while workers must pay additional 5% toward pensions amounts to no raise at all. It effectively means that workers, after having gone the past 5 years without a raise, will be expected to go another 4-5 years without seeing another. BART management's offer is a joke.

As to how much this will cost BART, I wonder who's doing THAT calculation and how BART management's salaries figure into it?

Dave, like I said when you posted the identical post on another site, you need to read a book.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Union members get raises every year for the first five years of employment, and a COLA. Did I read they are vested in the free rides after five years as well?

There is the union's generous offer to add $4.60/month to the already outrageous $92 for health benefits.


Posted by Shoogy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

"Outrageous" -- according to the closet fascist who calls herself a libertarian. Grounded in any coherent argument? Nope. Let's have another snippet or link!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"outrageous" was opinion; "generous" was facetious; and your posts are diversions from the facts.


Posted by Shoogy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Yes, anything meant to place facts into proper historical context, with an eye to their meaning within the larger political economy, are called 'diversions from facts'. Small-minded ones, after all, insist on facts that are presented outside of historical, political economic context -- you know, just like advertising-laden corporate media offers us day in and day out. Why be educated when one can read and link to corporate-owned newspapers?

Incidently, the $100 million alleged to be separating union from management, uncritically cited by Kath and used as 'factual basis' for her calling the union's demands 'outrageous' is a figure presented by an accounting firm hired by management. The union's own numbers show a $30 million difference.

But's let's understand Kath's honest remark: She feels union members who resist working for 8-9 years with no wage increase are 'outrageous'. Why of course! Should we have expected any other comment?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Shoogy, you and your alter egos on the other two BART topics need to agree to just be one person again. But in case you can't agree, I'll make this easy for you: The figures that mattered to me were BART's 9% over four years and the union's 11.5% the first year with an additional 9.5% for the next three years. Stark and unrealistic difference. Oh, that and "which would give employees a higher total pension once they retire."

$30 million is only chump change when you aren't paying the bills.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I'm wondering why Mike Cherry found it necessary to come up with a new alias, i.e. Shoogy on this posting and Claude-Bob on another posting. Do you think multiple names somehow strengthen your comments that have yet (on any post) been unable to support the current demands by the BART union?
Mike/Shoogy/Claude-Bob Still avoiding the issue of today!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

In my personal opinion, Dave has a crush on Mike Cherry! I stay on my phone to listen up to what Missy Dave has got goin' on!

tweet tweet...

signed,

Julia from Puglia


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm

dave...you have flagged many of my posts.

The public is safer when drivers do not drink and drive.

I would like to know if there's a policy in place so that if drivers drink in excess, that the bar will pay for a taxi so that the individual(s) can be driven home safely and nobody is injured.

Too many innocent people have lost their lives and loved ones because drunk drivers have injured and even killed innocent others in a collision.

I am more concerned about innocent people than taking away the rights of drivers who are over any legal limits.




Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Cholo, you have been flagged several times, deservedly so, as a result of your unnecessary language. The Pleasanton Weekly has agreed and removed those postings. Clean up the language and you will not get flagged. Use insulting, demeaning, and racist language, and expect to continue to get flagged.


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