BART union leader confident members will approve new contract

Train operators will vote on latest agreement next week

The head of BART's second-largest union said yesterday he believes that union members will approve the tentative contract agreement reached with BART management on Sunday night that headed off a potentially devastating strike.

Jesse Hunt, the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, said his union will vote next Monday or Tuesday, with the date to be set later today.

Members of ATU Local 1555 voted by a two-to-one margin last Monday to reject a previous tentative agreement that had been reached on July 31.

The members of two other unions, including BART's largest union, Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents about 1,500 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees, voted to approve the tentative agreement.

On Thursday afternoon, Hunt announced that his union would strike after BART service ended Sunday night. His announcement came several hours after BART board members voted 9-0 to impose pay and work rules on the union.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson alleged on Friday that ATU Local 1555 leaders had represented the first tentative agreement negatively to union members.

Johnson gave reporters a copy of a letter that Hunt sent to his members on July 31 saying that management's offer was "ugly" and its "downsides are obvious."

Asked today by reporters what he will tell his members about the new tentative agreement, Hunt said, "The contract will speak for itself; it's fair and equitable and we support it."

Hunt said the agreement is for four years -- even though he had been seeking a two-year contract -- and doesn't call for any layoffs, although jobs will be lost over time due to "natural attrition."

He declined to provide additional details about the new agreement, saying he still needs to brief union members.

Members of SEIU Local 1021 and American Federation of Local, State and Municipal Employees Union Local 3993, which represents about 200 middle managers, voted last week to approve the initial tentative agreement but their leaders said they would have respected picket lines if ATU Local 1555 had gone on strike.

BART general manager Dorothy Dugger said Sunday night that the new tentative agreement helps achieve management's goal of saving $100 million in labor costs over the next four years to help deal with its projected $310 million budget shortfall in that time span.

Hunt said today that the new, tougher pay and work rules that BART had imposed on union members Thursday were suspended when the tentative agreement was reached Sunday night.

JeffShuttleworth, Bay City News

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2 people like this
Posted by rosemarie
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 17, 2009 at 9:16 am


Like this comment
Posted by What?
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 17, 2009 at 9:53 am


YOU really have some ROSE colored Glasses!

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:37 am

I predict that BART employees will continue to take the HIGH ROAD!

My kind of workers...VIVA UNIONS! VIVA!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Gage
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Aug 17, 2009 at 11:01 pm

The fact that they can save $ 100 million dollar is a good idea. We need to implement cutback in order to maximize the income.During the Michael Vick 60 Minutes interview, he is contrite, honest, and seems genuinely remorseful. He isn't salaried yet –NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to reinstate him to full status, which he isn’t eligible until the 6th week of the regular season, so he may need payday loans in the mean time. If Goodell believes the humility of the Michael Vick 60 Minutes interview, Vick might not need short term loans due to a contract worth up to $8 million.

For more info visit: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Aug 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm

While I'm not sure how this got onto M Vick, I can say that Mr. Vick did his time and now should be allowed to get on with his life. I don't care if he is remorseful or not (although I really hope he would be) he has served his sentence and should be able to move on. Now whether that is with the NFL is up if Goodell. Personally, I think he should be reinstated, but Goodell needs to determine what's best for the NFL - that's his job.

I really hope Micheal Vick has learned something and can help others. But if not, he has still done the time. Let's move on.

2 people like this
Posted by JC
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 18, 2009 at 8:35 am

These BART employees are greedy. Industry wide, a lot of employees are getting a pay cut, but they are not complaining. On top of that, they are forced to take time off or company shutdown as well. The BART employees needs to be more mature and be willing to adjust to current financial situation like everyone else! Grow up BART employees!

2 people like this
Posted by Fire Them
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2009 at 10:18 am

I saw in the paper this morning that BART station employees - the ones that sit in those little enclosed booths and are supposed to provide assistance to BART riders and answer question (and most often are rude and unhelpful) make an average fo $116,000 per year. That is a job that requires less skills than a hamburger flipper in a fast food joint. I say fire them all and hire replacemets at $10/hr. You would get plenty of takers and it would save BART millions.

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