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?