BART's largest union accepts contract offer, another rejects it

Management awaits another decision as 3rd union votes today

BART's second-largest union announced last night that its members have voted against a proposed contract agreement reached by the transit agency and three unions at the end of July.

The announcement came shortly after members of BART's largest union voted in favor of the contract by a 3-1 margin.

About 75 percent of the 1,500-member BART chapter of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors, clerical employees and track workers, voted to accept the new four-year contract. The vote was 731 in favor and 253 against.

However, members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, finished voting Monday night and rejected the contract with 406 "no'' votes and 224 "yes'' votes, according to the union.

ATU President Jesse Hunt said union members thought it was unreasonable to lock themselves into a four-year contract that included wage freezes. He also said there was inequity in the concessions being asked of the ATU. Hunt said he hopes the union can resume bargaining with BART management.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said BART management will schedule a special meeting and will consider whether to impose terms and conditions on union workers.

SEIU Local 1021 President Lisa Isler said, "We are pleased with the vote. We're just happy not to have this hanging over our heads any longer."

Union spokesman Carlos Rivera said the contract provides for no layoffs or furloughs, no wage cuts and no raises for the next four years.

BART officials have said the contract is needed to help the agency cope with a projected $310 million deficit in the next four years by reducing labor costs by $100 million.

The previous contract expired July 9 and employees have been working without a contract since then. Members of the three unions voted in June to authorize a strike, but never set a strike date.

The SEIU voting began Thursday and was extended until Monday afternoon.

Members of the American Federation of Local, State and Municipal Employees Union Local 3993, which represents about 200 middle managers, are due to vote today.

The tentative agreement was reached on July 31 in a marathon 27-hour session that culminated a lengthy bargaining process that began on

April 1.

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Like this comment
Posted by enough is enough
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:09 am

Fine, lock them out. I can sit on my butt and "drive" a train and I will do it for half of what they have demanded. My wages have been cut, my spouse was layed off from his job, these greedy bastards are just too much.

Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:15 am

Talk about killing the golden goose that laid the golden egg! Hope BART does impose the contract on them. It's still the best benefits and wages in the rail industry in America

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:33 am

Don't budge, stick to your demands...VIVA UNIONS! American business is all about compromise, GO FOR IT UNIONS!

Like this comment
Posted by Troll
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

ICU Troll

Like this comment
Posted by The Last Pleasanton Moderate?
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 12, 2009 at 8:49 am

When did Pleasanton become an anti-union town. Between the Measure G comments about teachers and BART workers I wonder what happened to our moderate behavior. The problem we have is the ever expanding wage gap between the middle class the wealthy. If ever there was a time for advocacy for better wages it is now. It is only the public sector that had stood up. Does it seam reasonalble that the senior management of a company make 100-1000 times (not percent) more than the average worker? My CEO, who is moderatly paided, makes 120x (12000%)what I make as a middle manager. The local school superintendent makes 3x the average teacher.

Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

It always amazes me when people cry about how much "less" they earn than somebody else. What's to stop one from getting the education to earn the same amount of money? Don't come crying when your not willing to put the effort forward. And don't try to say "I didn't have the same opportunity". That's just a cop out!
I'm not anti union, just anti greedy! When BART employees already have one of the best wage and benefit packages in the rail industry, it is greedy to try to scam the public for more.

Like this comment
Posted by unknown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 12, 2009 at 9:04 am

Typical government sloppy waste look around it has been going on for years an still going on wake up an smell the coffee!!!
other insight also Arnold talks abought green owns i dont know how manny hummers green they must be painted green.
Obama talks abought health reform but asked would he be a member no
want the best for my family huh, second he goes back to africa to find his roots . Where are those green jobs obama an other jobs that he was going to create he said on the campaign trail also he said he was going to get war budget under control its bigger now.

Like this comment
Posted by Mrs. G. P. Keller
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

NO union job is safe anymore. How absolutely, shamelessly greedy of the 406 people of this one insignificant union to vote down the offer! There are over 275,000 people that have lost their jobs in the Bay Area over the past year & a half & for this minority of workers to have the GAUL to even consider negotiating a wage increase in their contract mystifies me to no end.

You can & hopefully will be replaced!

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