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Governor's fact-finding panel finds BART management, unions 'far apart' on bargaining

Original post made on Aug 8, 2013

A three-person fact-finding panel appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown heard firsthand Wednesday how far apart BART and its labor unions remain even though they've been bargaining since April 1.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 8, 2013, 7:58 AM

Comments (79)

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Put enough money out there and we can do it." This from the middle management union's George Popyack who isn't even part of these negotiations, but that group went on strike with the other two unions.

"but Kate Hallward, an attorney for ATU, said her understanding is that they're only $56 million apart." ONLY?

It's other people's money, George and Kate. There is no money tree in the forest or deep pockets to dig into . . . BART is a public agency.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I'm confident that the Union will do the right thing! Best of luck!

Be honest, be fair, work it out!!!


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Posted by SKJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm

cholo, yes, the union must "be honest be fair, work it out" for it to work. But, we all know their greed has consumed their brains. That union has lied so much they have lost all credibility. I don't see a fix. It's up to Jerry to solve his unsustainable creation.


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Posted by SKJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Chronicle website currently shows todays poll re BART:

YES..Use time to ban strikes & require Binding arbitration.55.0%
YES..Cooler heads can negotiate. . . . . . . . . . . . 14.7%
NO .. Management should settle now . . . . . . . . . . . 19.0%

NO .. Just delays inevitable strike . . . . . . . . . . 11.3%


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Posted by SKJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm

and the question IS ?
Should the Governor cll a 60-day cooling off period !


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Posted by mm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I really do not see what a cooling period will do. The union is not going to back-off from their demands; which are excessive. We will have a strike; just don't know when. Time to change the laws so transit agencies, which are vital to the area, cannot strike. I expect this to be a long string...


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Posted by SKJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I'm with you, mm. Get on with it. Playing around with posturing is stalling the inevitable. IF then 60-day cooling started, then we're facing the big Thanksgiving holiday. So these delays work against BART management/us. Just putting ourselves in a position to be further blackmailed. Get on with it.


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Posted by Jimmy Hoffa
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:05 am

The management sees unbalanced public opinion and so deliberately tries to sabotage the talks by not negotiating in good faith.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

We have comments like those noted above from union reps. We have the comment from SEIU's leader that if demands aren't met there will be a bloodbath. And we have the fact finding report from the Governor's committee. What you have, Jimmy, is an well-informed public that is supporting management and unions who have publicly proven they are the ones not bargaining in good faith.


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Posted by djr
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

I agree with Kathleen, SKJ and mm.
Cholo--go away. And Jimmy Hoffa--disappear again


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:02 am

One has to agree with Cholo on one thing. She said "Be honest, be fair". What a novel approach that would be for the unions!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 11:47 am

One side is and has been on the side of minimum wage, 40 hour work week, paid maternity leave, arbitrated grievances, enforced nondiscriminatory workplace practices, workplace health and safety, paid vacation leave, pensions, health benefits, a fair day's wage for a fair day's work. All these we wouldn't have without union's yeoman work through America's recent history.

The other side is and has been against these progressive features of America society. It is amusing that the curmudgeons on this site, clearly dissatisfied with their own lives, are so strongly opposed to BART workers earning a wage that puts them and their families above the Bay Area poverty line. "Outrageous!, that a BART worker who earns average of $66,000 annually would have the gall to demand a wage that brings him or her up to the $74,000 subsistence level." My! Yes! "Outrageous!"

What fuels these curmudgeons, what renders them the corporate suck-ups and scabs that they appear to be? Envy. Envy that workers have the courage to stand in solidary opposition to the injustices that the curmudgeons have cowardly swallowed all of their lives. Poor sad sacks. Never learned how to get along in this world without sucking up to those whose greed stands opposed to American labor's progressive principles.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

You have to cling consistently to history because otherwise you have to look at reality. These are not high skilled jobs; there is an upper limit to what you earn in return for the services you provide; you've hit it. And you've actually gone past a reasonable wage and benefits. You do not have the support of those you provide the services to nor the rest of the constituency picking up the tab.

Teamwork is something you should be using on the job, not on the picket line. There is no envy for what you believe you have. Try the corporate world; you might learn something.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

What worries me about some people like "Kathleen Ruegsegger" is that they appear to blame unions or public employees for the economic mess we've all lived through for the last five or so years, rather than blaming "corporations" like AIG whose recklessness got us into this mess in the first place.

I'm inclined to agree that BART unions have pushed too far on this one, but I think I'm seeing a rather narrow-minded, blame unions and government workers for everything campaign by "Kathleen Ruegsegger" on this web site.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Fortunately, bloggers will NOT decide who earns what.

Employees and BART management are making tough decisions. I remain hopeful that they will cut a deal soon!

VIVA WORKERS! VIVA!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Workers only need to support their union reps and to DEMAND that they cut the best possible deal for their employees!

VIVA WORKERS! VIVA!

VIVA AMERICA! VIVA!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

When BART riders eventually realize the hard work involved in keeping BART safe and running, they will apologize and shake hands!

There's no need to trash ole Cholo mio, Cholo knows what's going on and says go workers go! NO MERCY!

Don't solve the problems until a week before December 2013.

I SAY STRIKE STRIKE STRIKE...how come so many others can't see the light...at the end of the tunnel...NO PUN INTENDED!

TEE HEE HEE...


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Queen Kathy Rugsugger pontificates: "You have to cling consistently to history because otherwise you have to look at reality.... Try the corporate world; you might learn something."


I've got news for Queeny: without remembrance of history, we are all lost, duped by corporate media who assume we're as ignorant as Queen Kath and her teabag allies.

Queeny tells us all to emulate the corporate world, which in fact has resisted all the progressive legislation that I've mentioned above, and that Queeny urges us to dismiss as historical unreality. You know, unimportant when compared to corporate profit. Yeah, hold up greedy corporations as a model, Queeny. That'll convince everyone.

Alice was right about the Queen....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I just read that those folks that are so unhappy with the strike were ALL BORN IN KENYA!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm

There is no corporate crime in america: Web Link


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

John, Perhaps you aren't aware I was a public employee. I don't excuse AIG. That doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to what is happening around the country to cities and counties because of public union demands.

I didn't say forget history; I said you cling to it rather than look at reality. And you continue t ignore that you have hit the ceiling on reasonable wages, particularly in the case of BART.

The assumptions here are if we are against union tactics and unrealistic demands that we must be pro-corporate hijinks. There's a lot of space in between those two. Also a lot of space between me and the tea party.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

More backtracking after pontificating with one cliché after another. "Oh, I said it, but I didn't mean it." When a small mind simply snipes, without grounding one's ideas in history or broader political economic context, the result is corporate parroting of trivial clichés such as "public workers are ruining us;" "let's look to corporations instead;" "workers shouldn't earn more for their labor because I say so."

Last time I looked, history is our reality. Queeny's distinction between reality and history, no matter how you cut it, is not grounded in rationality. Hate, envy, stubborn clinging to private "facts," -- none of which having a rational basis.

Yes, we are all aware of public employees who retire early and then haunt various news sites ballyhooing how everybody else shouldn't get the same pension, or how others who know better how to organize themselves get better pensions. Boo Hoo.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Mike has gone out of his way to say the unions have no power. From today's SF Chronicle: Web Link

Another Chronicle article by John Wildermuth states: "Union leaders have urged Brown not to impose the cooling-off period, arguing that more time for negotiations won't make a difference if the transit system's leaders don't seriously address worker's concerns." There is another quote calling for BART management needing a change of heart. No comments indicating the union will have a change of heart or change how they are bargaining.

Again, study the budget; understand the impact of demands well into the future; understand your ridership, many of whom cannot afford the predicted increases in fares; and learn and use interest based bargaining.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Show me where I said whatever you like to claim I said, exactly. Then what you are calling private "facts."

I don't think it will matter, but I'll change my point to clarify it for you: "clinging to history rather than the realities of here and now."

No boo hoos here. It wasn't my pension that allowed me to retire, but we've been down that piece of road already. You can have your pension, even a better pension if you like. You just have to pay for it.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Sorry, won't ride yet another Reugsenugger this-is-what-I-meant train. Her cliche'd ideas aren't worth the bother.

She should try for a change putting her ideas into coherent thought schemes. "You just have to pay for it." Oh, really? Do I have to pay for my medical benefits too? Do have to pay for my wage or salary too? Of course, such would be a corporation's dream: have their employees pay for their own pensions; pay for their own benefits; pay for their own wages/salaries. Huh! Sounds like Walmart!

Receiving a pension, Kath, is a hard fought for benefit that you can thank unions for. This nonsense you spout about paying for it oneself is nonsense, nothing more. And this from someone who almost assuredly did not pay for all of her own pension. Go crawl back under the corporate boot you've been licking.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

From Chronicle, August 8: "But the two sides couldn't even agree on how much they disagree. The unions, basing their numbers on their preferred three-year contract rather than the four years proposed by BART, said the difference is only about $10 million." This is why you need to look at the impact of demands well into the future. Otherwise you get silly numbers.

From Bay Area News Group, August 8: "According to BART, the rail line's two largest unions countered with a three-year deal totaling 21.5 percent in pay bumps, including an 11.5 percent increase in the first year. The unions, however, insist that the raise is actually only 15 percent over three years because 6.5 percent of their total pay raise would be offset by larger pension contributions." This is the similar to saying, "you pay me $100 and I'll give you $6.50 to put in my bank account." You lose nothing. Part of compensation deferral.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Queen Kath, struggling with corporate media scraps of info: "Let them pay for their own pensions! Let them pay for their own medical benefits! Let them pay for their own wage/salary! Let them eat cake! Off with their heads! Because I say so! And I can mean whatever I want to mean!" What a giggle!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

When I worked in the corporate world, I paid into a 401k. I contributed to my pension and paid into a 403b in the public sector. I also was able to opt out of health benefits, saving my employer a lot of money over eight years. A practice they later embraced and offered to all employees. You're barking up the wrong tree, Mikey.

"Oh, really? Do I have to pay for my medical benefits too?" Yes.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

That's the liberal media, Mike. It's only corporate media when they report information that makes you look bad.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Queen Kath: "I proved myself to be the corporate suck-up I am, and so I insist everyone else do so to!" Back to the red queen offering up her own distorted reality. Please, Kath, don't stop. Did you give back your salary too? Anything to help the company profit, right? Just what cartoon have you stepped out of? Oh, Alice ... of course.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Sorry, Kath. I've never accepted the idea of the so-called liberal media. Nor do I believe in Santa Claus. In short, you are a terribly confused poster who can't keep things straight.

The corporate media is not liberal. Never has been. Quick, turn to the labor section in your daily rag newspaper that follows the business section. Oh, can't find it? Corporations have invested a great deal into getting the gullible, historically ungrounded like yourself to buy into the idea that the corporate media, despite being corporately owned and controlled, is somehow liberal. One would have to be as dumb as you are to believe such.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Labor section," that only gets published, in this state anyway, when candidates get endorsed.

Respond to the numbers, Mike. What is the impact of demands well into the future?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

All you have to do is use the data to support SEIU's position. What is the total cost of SEIU's demands in year one, year two, and each year for the next ten? What is the annual cost of health benefits for each employee? What is the annual cost of the pension contributions? What will fare increases look like for each of the next ten years? Speak to the annual job increases built into the contract. Tell us about the COLAs. How much are union dues? How much are members paid to be on strike? How much of each members dues are spent on campaigning? Explain why union dues must be collected by BART and not paid by members directly to the union. That would be a good start toward supporting your position with information rather than diversions about me. Tell everyone why the information I've presented is wrong with compelling data of your own.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sorry, Speak to the annual wage increases built into the contract.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

You don't know what you're talking about. I've seen figures that show the two sides $100 million apart, $60 mill, $30 mill, and $10 mill.

Fact is, irrespective of the "numbers", you want workers to pay their own pensions and health benefits. (I'm sure you'll now deny it, after you see how foolish it looks in print.) This leaves one with WalMart workers who must not only pay their own pensions and health benefits, but have the taxpayer supplementing Walmart workers' inhumane wages with food stamps. That's the model you urge us to "learn from." But it's a model for nothing beyond corporate greed (private) or administrative power (public).

Oh, yeah, and forget about everything labor has achieved -- paid marital leave, antidiscrimination, minimum wage, keeping kids out of the workplace, the list is quite long -- because we need to deal with Kath's private meaning system, not historical reality.


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Posted by mm
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

At least Mike is honest and feels that the public employee union members are entitled to the taxpayer money and they should get free pensions and fee health insurance. Next thing he will say is they are entitled to work only 35 hours a week while the rest of the public works at least 40 hours a week. Oops, forgot, BART employees already get that.

It is obvious from the postings that Mike is the foolish one here. He is essential acting like a child by plugging his ears and saying "nay nay nay"


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Employees should pay toward their own pensions; employees should pay more for their health benefits. I would go so far to say there should be a structure for single, married, children. No denial. Absolutely should be done.

The questions are "reasonable" and should be easy enough to answer. Additional questions: How much does BART lose in income each day of a strike? How much is lost in employee wages? How long does it take an employee to make up that income at the new wage? What is the potential loss of wages for your ridership? How will they make up those losses?

I'm not forgetting what labor has achieved or history. However, you cannot stand on the shoulders of those who truly fought for those changes and say you deserve more money for the services you provide. It is not a career where you can hope to make $100,000 or more and pensions and health care and shorter work weeks and regular overtime and free ridership and annual raises on the job and COLAs. The market is telling you it will not carry that cost.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The numbers vary for the reasons I quoted above. The costs extend beyond the life of the contract. So, we can be on the same page if you tell us the cost of the demands (broken down for salary, pension, health care) in year one. Then two, and so on.

The committee indicated the unions want 21%, with 11.5% the first year. What isn't clear is whether the goal is to have a wage increased by 21% ($10/hour x 1.21 = $12.10/hour) at the end of three years, or is it 11.5%, compounded by an additional increase of, say, 5% the second year, compounded by the remaining increase of 4.5% the third year? Because the latter case nets more than 21%. ($10/hour x 1.115 x 1.05 x 1.045 = $12.23 or a 22.3% gain) So numbers matter, and how they are used matter just as much.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Trying to carry on a civil discourse with the union buffoons is like trying to hold back time. Neither is possible.
On one hand Mike Cherry says "The BART workers' demands are reasonable". Then when presented with the facts and is questioned if those are reasonable can only say," Without a full-fledged articulation of the kind of society one wants to live in, statements about the reasonableness or unreasonableness of strikes are meaningless". One can only marvel at the double talk that Mike indulges in. As has been pointed out numerous times by many other postings, reasonable is not a word that one would associate with the BART unions.
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. 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. 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.
Although Mike does not want to discuss what is reasonable now, many others have voiced their opinion that the demands by the union certainly fit the definition of unreasonable. (Definition - 1. Not guided by or based on good sense. 2. beyond the limits of acceptability or fairness)
Perhaps sometime Mike will actually speak with facts, rather than his typical bombastic postings


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

Let's see: BART workers earn on average $66,000 annually -- $8,000 less than needed for a family of four to survive in Bay Area. This annual average wage has been stagnant over the past five years (no raises, which unions had consented to while BART was running in the red -- pretty reasonable, I'd say).

The 9% wage increase offered by BART management over 4 years would lift average annual wages to approx. $71,000 annually. Oh, but let's not forget a raise in workers' pension contributions to the tune of approx. 3.5% per year.

So, in 2017, workers would be earning an average annual wage of $63,000 annually. In effect, BART management is proposing a 5% pay reduction for BART workers from 2008-2017.

$74,000 is needed to live reasonably in Bay Area. With inflation running at approx. 2% clip, this will rise to $78-79,000 by 2017. BART workers, now 8,000 below that line will, in 2017, be approx. 15,000 below that line. Nice! Now, what reasonable fascist wouldn't agree with that?

I'm sure this sounds reasonable to all the fascist contributors on this post. Indeed, as Queen Kath states: Anything more than this would be "outrageous!" Oh, and she wants BART workers to pay the entirety of their pensions, and their medical/health benefits. Kind of like the WalMart model, it seems to me. I'm sure she loves the idea of tax payers purchasing food stamps not only for Walmart workers but for BART workers as well. Oh, that's right, she's against food stamps -- because the kids of adult workers haven't done any work to warrant getting govt'l assistance. Upshot: Let them eat cake!

Fascism. Kath. Dave. What's not to love?


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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 8:38 am

Mike Cherry - Since you seem knowledgable about BART worker compensation, can you share with us the salary ranges for some of the positions, entry level salary, steps, years to hit maximum salary, any certifications or training required to reach additional compensation levels, etc? If the average is, as you say $66K, are you saying half of the workers are below that figure? And half are above? Is it possible that high school graduates coming in entry level have a nice salary, and as they grow their experience and skills, and get married and have kids, that they then grow into the upper half of the salary grid? Do you also have a report that shows the distribution of workers on the salary scales?


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 8:51 am

Why do you ask? Please see 5th grade California textbook: Average; mean; median; mode.


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Posted by SKJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 9:06 am

Did I miss something? WHAT corporation is involved in this taxpayer, rider, negotiating rep, union worker discussion ????
What's this AIG thing? I don't know those people, are they in this discussion TOO ? ? ? AND
what is this pension thing? All have is savings to live on, and am getting zero % interest...not exactly like I had planned. But that and $1,030. SocSec is all I have to live on as a senior, now over 65 ! Medical? As a senior, I'm on Medicare so pay $200. Being an individual, (no company/union) so I pay $35. for each doctor I say hello to in the referral process. $150 - 200, for ultra-sounds,etc.
I understand there's this medi-cal, for people who didn't bother with working, actually don't have to pay anything...I should have opted for that program.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 10, 2013 at 9:07 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Plenty of other questions have been asked that you haven't answered, although I do appreciate the figures you gave us. Another poster pointed out that many families in the Bay Area, and around the country really, are not single income households. You are quoting what an average BART employee makes and using it to justify raises for a single-income family of four.

When you pay for anyone's time or services, do you expect to pay for the level of that person's skill, talent, and education? More for a lawyer, less for lawn mowing? There has to be a correlation between services provided and the maximum income attainable.


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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

Mike Cherry - See my last question about the distribution of workers on the salary scale. Or are you 'cherry' picking? Can you share that data? Or any of the other data? If you truly want us to be concerned about whether BART workers are living in poverty, then more insight into the workers' specific situations is needed in relation to the BART worker role/pay structure.
Or are you now out of your element and going to divert my sincere questions by calling me a fascist?


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

I've shared the data I did without eliciting any substantive comments from anyone. Just little snipes from little minds. And you want me to distribute yet more pearls before swine?

(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)
I think yard workers should earn far more relative to attorneys than they currently do. Skill; level of health diminishment; danger level, among other factors should be figured into the equation. Yes, America's working classes should earn far more relative to lawyers than they currently do. But here's the rub: Without unions, America's workers would be making far less than they currently do (see China); with the busting up of unions, workers' wages would be even less relative to lawyers than they currently earn.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Am I correct when I state that the folks who will make the final decision(s) between employees and mgt. are the workers and mgt?

May I politely recommend that the whiners enjoy The Onion and leave the matter of labor negotiations to the workers and management.

i rest my case...ta-ta


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

National Labor Relations Board: Web Link

The above link may be helpful to workers.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Essentially, then there is no level of responsibility for one's life choices (and those circumstances which can be overcome). But this isn't Gattaca.

There are programs and tax breaks to help those in single parent households, the disabled, and the unemployed. Some are overdone; others are not enough. But the America where a person putting in 80 hours a week in a high powered stressful law office is going to earn the same income as a janitor working 37.5 hours a week isn't going to happen. It shouldn't in my opinion.

I think a teacher already posted that she made less than a BART janitor. The value of what one contributes are out of whack.

Cholo, The workers and management both need to respond to the riders and taxpayers who provide them the cash they are fighting over.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm

BART employees picketing...HOORAY!

The way I understand it is that the final decision(s) about what happens re: a settlement is between the striking workers/Union and BART management.

I am not aware that the public (riders & taxpayers) have a vote in the actual settlement. Please explain how that happens if they do. Who can vote? I ride BART about once a month, I would mind voting. Also, can illegals who ride BART vote? Please explain.


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Posted by chk
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Cholo, are you asking if illegals like you can vote on this? The answer is no. The taxpayers, legal or illegal, have no vote in this. Ultimately the BART board will have to vote on this and we elect the BART board. The BAR board gives direction to management on the parameters they can work with in the negotiation.

So if you want to vote on things like this, you need to be legal and win an election of the BART board.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 7:20 am

Queen Kath offers up some garbled testimony to personal responsibility for one's life choices. Notice how she hitches it to MONEY. Cardboard cut-out that she is, she's unable to imagine people committing themselves to work because their work improves the world (oops, most lawyers excluded!) or because they get intrinsic satisfaction in doing the work they do.

Oh Queen Kath's view, yard workers who inhale pesticides all day long couldn't possibly be credited for working 80-hour work weeks. Only lawyers do that. Only lawyers are attempting to improve themselves -- which she again ties to MONEY. When we live in a society where lawyers charge $600 an hour and yard workers earn $15 per hour, and we have closeted fascists arguing that this disparity in earnings is just, while tying it to 'personal responsibility' no less, then it's pretty clear our society is full of some pretty screwed up people.

And when others challenge the existing arrangement of things, the screwed up ones can only call it Gattaca. This is where one's lack of education reveals itself; where an ability to critically reflect upon current injustices is stultified by one's money-grubbing mentality.

Kath, meet Dave/nomad/mm. Have a good time with one another.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

" Perhaps you aren't aware I was a public employee. "

I don't see how that's relevant.

I also don't have a problem with high pay for government workers. I just don't like the way the unions are going about things. I don't think shutting down vital transportation for the area is a productive negotiating tactic.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

John, When BART management and corporate media play the public like a fiddle, it isn't surprising some of the public like yourself lines up against the unions. Does it matter to you that BART management's offer amounts to a pay cut for workers from 2008-2017 -- that is, workers are expected to make less in 2017 than in 2008. You expect unions to forego what little power they might have to offset the powers possessed by management? Make no doubt about it, without the 'threat' of a strike, Bart workers would be making far, far less than what it takes for a family to survive in the expensive Bay Area.

BTW, a strike is ordinarily an outcome of chronic injustice. It involves management/owners as well as workers. Most BART workers have no great desire to strike, as that will mean lost wages for themselves as well as an inconvenienced public. If BART management acted in a reasonable and just manner, there'd be no call for a strike. Let's see BART management negotiate in a reasonable way instead of placing such an outrageously laughable proposal on the table.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt (just like on TV) that BART voters are all "legal US citizens"?

i rest my case...

Cholo says NO MERCY! STRIKE! duh...


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

Interesting facts that Mike has quoted; straight off the SEIU Local 1021 website. Let see, Mike believes every word from that web site, however not one word published in the local papers is true.
Still spouts the propaganda about amount of monies needed to support a family of four in the Bay Area, when in fact statics show the majority of households are supported by two wage earners already. "In 1940, according to the Employment Policy Foundation's Center for Work and Family Balance, 66 percent of working households consisted of single-earner married couples. By 2000, that percentage had dropped to less than 25 percent. By 2030, the center estimates, a mere 17 percent of households will conform to the traditional "Ozzie and Harriet" model". It is a high cost area to live in; the reason two people in a family generally work. However that is a life balance choice each of us faces. Nobody is forced to live in the Bay area, much as Mike may think so. This country has been a mobile society for many years, with people moving to other areas for a variety of reasons. The U.S. population is characterized by high mobility. Each year many Americans leave their place of birth to reside in a different part of the country. (This from the US census)
Then Mike talks about "Oh, but let's not forget a raise in workers' pension contributions to the tune of approx. 3.5% per year". Wait, what are they currently paying?! That's right, NOTHING!
I don't think anybody is advocating that union members pay the entirety of their pensions, and their medical/health benefits, but rather some percentage of each that is reasonable. Where does Mike come up with his comments regarding somebody saying BART members should pay all?
Since these are public employees paid by public dollars, any attempted comparison to private business has no validity. As has been pointed out ad nauseam for Mike, nobody is advocating the elimination of this union, however certain safe guards need to be in place to assure the public is not held hostage to the unreasonable ((Definition - 1. Not guided by or based on good sense. 2. beyond the limits of acceptability or fairness) demands of an out of control union. It's worth looking at what Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Walnut Creek), whose state Senate District 7 includes Pleasanton, chairman of the Transportation and Housing Committee is suggesting i.e. legislation that would keep the transit workers from ever striking again.
Common sense – what's not to love!


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Poor Dave seems unable to follow an argument. His stats re trends in parents' involvement in the work world fails to take into consideration the ever-increasing trend toward single-parent households. With respect to the figures he does offer us, he fails to acknowledge how the necessity of two household heads needing to work to keep the family above minimal poverty lines parallels the decline of unions in America. As unions have gone, so have the real buying power of workers' wages. He seems to think this is a good thing. Which means he's either incredibly rich or he's incredibly stupid.

My figures come from common sense applications based upon competing numbers at play. It is worth noting that the corporate media have almost without exception accepted management's figures, without mentioning the unions.

No one wants the workers to pay the entirety of their pensions? See comments by Queen Kath, who also wants workers to pay the entirety of their medical plan -- sort of like workers at Walmart, a model Kath accepts without modification.

Dave, once again, is compelled to marshal forth a dictionary def. of reasonable. Tell ya what, Dave. Management offering workers a pay package that leaves them making less in 2017 than they made in 2008 is nothing resembling any dictionary def. of reasonable I'm familiar with.

(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Ah, if only your figures did come from common sense! But then drivel from Mike continues. Come on, be honest..............where did you get your information from, the union propaganda "fact" sheets handed out by the union to union members. Comments that have no bearing on, well actually, on anything seem to be the norm for Mike


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Posted by mm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.)


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

It's my experience that when workers earn a living and are able to support their families, America better understands the needs of all of it's working citizens.

Most if not all of the posters believe that they are the best judges of what Americans should earn to be good American citizens. NOT!

Fortunately, America has UNIONS to help protect it's workers. Otherwise, a Hitler mentality would rule. That ain't gonna happen mes petites! (Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Mike Cherry - Since you are not willing to post the BART worker pay scales, let me ask you this. If a worker joins BART today, and performs to expectations, and moves up the salary grid, what % increase can that worker expect annually? Feel free to share as many roles as you would like.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Noman: I would like to politely suggest that you do research and share your information with others. Otherwise, nobody will take you seriously.

Incidentally, that information is already posted online.

cluck, cluck!


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Let's drop down to Mike's level as far as character assessments. As he has continued to label any post that disagrees with him as fascism or Queen this or that, let's take a look at his profile.
My guess, he is an only child in which his Mother always praised him regardless of the facts, such as finishing last in tiddlywinks, "But Mikey, you really were the best, regardless of what those others said". Mom probably got him a trophy for last place effort. Mikey fits the description described by many as follows. Only Child Syndrome - A terrible disease that typically affects an only child. Symptoms include: playing mind games with members of the opposite sex, a crippling desire for instant gratification, the inability to compromise or share, and a total disregard for anyone's thoughts or feelings but their own.
Does this sound like Mikey?
Now Mikey, time to deal with reality. Let's deal with the BART strike and skip the unnecessary comments.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Who cares about your brand of psychological violence?

BUSTED!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm

davida meets the criteria for an Axis II Dx.


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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Cholo - It is Mike Cherry who claims BART workers are living in poverty and will be worse off in 2017, but does not provide any data. Why? Because it would show that a worker will climb the salary grid and be making a great income at the time when they might be supporting a family. It is Mike Cherry who should be worried about being taken seriously.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2013 at 7:10 am

The numbers are out there, nomad. Why should we believe Bart management's numbers v. the unions? I'm as willing to buy the unions' numbers as the closeted fascists have uncritically bought into management's. In fact, given that the corporations, pols, corporate media, and management have all aligned themselves against workers' potential power to strike, I'd say the unions are likely being very careful about the facts they've been presenting.

Nomad's repeated use of 'salary' to describe Bart workers' wages gives a pretty good indication that he/she/nowoman knows nothing about the world of labor, politics, and economy. The hateful ignoramus cannot help but reveal who he is, no matter what the site.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

BTW -- for all of you who believe the world is reducible to Leave It To Beaver.

Fully one-third of American households are now single-parent households; over 40% of America's kids today are being born to a single parent.

We know that a Bart worker's average $66,000 per year is $8,000 below the $74k it takes to comfortably raise a family of four in Bay Area; and we know that management's insistence on a pay cut will leave workers $15,000 below that by 2017. Some of the posters here support this. When they call it reasonable, we can only laugh at the ignorance that informs such a statement.

It's truly amusing how these anti-state zealots, who cry and whine about the state being too big, too strong, are now crying and whining in unison about the state needing to step in and break up unions and their right to strike. It seems, that is, once again, that the fascist core of the rightwingers -- Kath, Dave, nomad, mm -- becomes more fully revealed. They want less state power only where it concerns corporations' ability to run untethered in their efforts to gobble up the world. But when it comes to American workers, suddenly the state is expected to flex its muscle. This isn't the hypocrisy it seems. It is a consistent fascist view that should be called for what it is.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 12, 2013 at 8:36 am

Mikey's most recent posting continues to support the "only child Syndrome - A terrible disease that typically affects an only child. Symptoms include: playing mind games with members of the opposite sex, a crippling desire for instant gratification, the inability to compromise or share, and a total disregard for anyone's thoughts or feelings but their own" This sounds like the union approach also,"desire for instant gratification, the inability to compromise or share, and a total disregard for anyone's thoughts or feelings but their own" Oh wait, he is the spokesperson for the union!


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

Dave, Your inability to raise the level of discourse is indeed a laughable matter. It must be difficult for you, always being laughed at. Maybe you can change your name as you did on another thread and criticize me for using polysyllabic words? (There: I've just given you reason to once again go to a dictionary.)

I see Queen Rugsinegger has succumbed to my superior arguments. But you seem to not know when you are bested. Then again, there's quite a bit you don't know.

BTW, you still haven't told us how my claim that you are a closeted fascist is invalid.

VIVA BART workers! VIVA all American workers!


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 12, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hey Mikey, taste of your own blather not sit well with you?


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Posted by SKJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2013 at 10:21 am

THIS particular moment in history is the WRONG time for unions to throw their greedy temper tantrums ! They are protected with their cushy, big-time packages already, and not being part of the informed & educated, they obviously are not aware there is a severe, extended, non-recovery going on around them. First, there is no financial justification, their calendar is irrelevant. It has been years for many of us, and no sign it's going to change soon. The state of our economy rules! SO, dummies, there is zero sympathy at this time. Wake up and shut up! Timing is everything in life. Now is the wrong time for your greed to raise it's ugly head.


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Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2013 at 10:50 am

Timing is everything, and I'm so glad BART workers have said 'Time to stop this!' Since the Republican-created recession, the wealthy have cleaned up at the expense of American workers, whose wages have stagnated at best, disappeared at worst. The wealthy will only continue to cry poor-mouth while they rake in ungodly profits and escape paying their fair share in taxes. Today, union intervention is needed more than ever.

Time for unions to strike now!!! VIVA BART WORKERS!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Succumb to your arguments? Hahahaha!!! I'm busy, but I'll get to your logic later.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm

can we all get along...maybe I can come up with an ole timey hummy tune to cheer everybody up!!!

gimme that ole time religion...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

It's predictive that some BART supporters will try to create splits between Union supporters...tee hee...BUSTED!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"BTW, you still haven't told us how my claim that you are a closeted fascist is invalid." It's a sticks and stones thing. It is an invalid claim you are making. It is a diversion you create to not answer questions, a whole series of which are on this thread and raised by others on other threads.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Cherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2013 at 6:55 am

So much for Queen Kath getting back to us on her fascist beliefs.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 13, 2013 at 7:47 am

Mikey,
Suggestion: read Tim Hunt's most recent posting. Just another person that spells out the lunacy of the union demands. Guess each and every person that disagrees with you is a fascist, huh. Your rants against those that present rational explanations and facts to support them continue to demonstrate your Only Child Syndrome.


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