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Why are BART's unions different than others?

Original post made by Joe on Aug 31, 2013

The SEIU, the largest union in Santa Clara County, approved a new contract giving workers a 5% raise over two years. The SEIU includes public service employees including 911 dispatchers and health care workers. The contract also requires employees to pay an increased share of their health care premiums, more for their pension benefits, and $260 a year for retiree health care benefits.

Both the county and union agreed that agreement was reached because "both parties ultimately believed in one fundamental principle: Quality public services must come first."

In contrast, BART unions are asking for double the raise, 20%, over three years. That's 6.6% a year vs. the 2.5% the SEIU agreed to. Also, the BART unions are demanding no increase for their cost of any benefits.

Why are the BART unions different? Or, more precisely, why do the BART unions think they're different?

Comments (9)

Posted by JTR, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 31, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Because the BART union's fundamental principle: Excessive pay and benefits must come first.


Posted by Mike Cherry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Well, Joe, I guess a stupid question begets a stupid reply. There you have it.


Posted by Joey, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm

It is about entitlement. They believe they should be paid based on the value of their product, rather than the contribution of the individual worker. You increase the exclusiveness of the worker by disallowing replacement workers per their contract.

Ultimately Bart is a needed service, but there are many competent persons that would do that job for half the pay. Our task is to ensure cost are contained


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Joey, you bring up an excellent point. I agree, workers should be compensated based on the value of their product. Value is generally determined according to the principle of supply and demand. Case in point, it takes a lot of education to become an MD, more than most people are willing to consider. Therefore, MD's are in short supply and are paid accordingly.

There is a shortage of BART workers, so according to that same principle, their wages should be high. However, the shortage is 100% artificial. Because of the BART union contracts, BART management can't hire workers that aren't in the union, and you or I can't work for BART unless we're in the union. One way out of the current mess would be for BART management to have an alternate workforce, ready to go. However, the Unions have prevented that from ever happening.


Posted by Mike Cherry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 8:54 am

Hey, I've got an idea! Let's petition to have PW editors keep this topic going; for the discussion is so scintillating. As for other discussions, let's shut them down. You know, disappear contributors' words without rationale. We'll file under: Corporate media doing what it does best. Because we live in a free marketplace of ideas.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Contributors'" is in the eye of the beholder. "free marketplace of ideas" does not extend to allowing a newspaper or its forums being hijacked by someone who cannot even pick one anonymous name and stick by it. Register, and you can go back and comment as Oliver or whatever other self-proclaimed "clever" name you choose.


Posted by Mike Cherry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

So says Queen Kath, who issues her royal proclamations despite the facts -- in this case the rules of the game, which require no one to use the same name from one topic to the next. But of course Kath is only making an issue of this to save face in response to the constant drubbings she routinely submits to on other topic boards. As if being bested by Mike Cherry or Oliver Towne makes one whit of difference. Kath, we know you're a true believer who lives to proselytize. But you're not going to be able to wage a successful campaign to win the minds and souls of your loyal readers with these kinds of lame deflections.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If you stand behind what you say on multiple topic boards then use one anonymous name. What purpose is there in your name changes?

Please define true believer and how I fit your definition.

I merely express my opinion. Unlike you, I'm not trying to win anything.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yes, you choose not to and have that right. It says a lot about you all the same.

I don't fit anyones description of a true believer.

Page after demented page of writing and still nothing you post is funny, Oliver Twisted.


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