East Bay News

Another mistake found in BART union contract

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The haggling over a disputed clause in the new BART contract drags on and now we're hearing that there is another problem in another contract with the unions.

As of 6 p.m. talks were still going on at the BART headquarters to find a compromise on a disputed paid family leave provision in BART's contract with its two biggest unions.

Now, we're finding out there's a problem in a contract with a third union and it is a contract the BART board is supposed to vote on Thursday morning.

BART's Board of Directors is getting increasingly frustrated with the way management and paid negotiators botched this year's marathon labor negotiations. One director, Joel Keller, is calling for a committee to look into the issue.

Another board member, Zakhary Mallett, told ABC7 News he wants a full investigation of the matter. He said in a statement, "I'm not satisfied with the end result of negotiations nor with the processes that governed them this year. I feel there needs to be something more immediate than a committee next year."

With negotiators from BART and its two biggest unions back at the table, trying to solve one contract mistake, now there's another in the agreement between the transit district and a third smaller union.

BART confirms it comes in the form of a typo, a mistaken date when a new policy on vesting for retiree health insurance becomes effective. The problem involves AFSCME, the union that represents 220 mid-level managers.

On Wednesday, AFSCME president Patricia Schuchardt told ABC7 News: "Our board came back and said we're not interested in changing it because we're not interested in re-ratifying the contract."

"It was surprising to us that we have that issue or AFSCME has that issue. It caught us by surprise. Hopefully we can get that resolved, AFSCME can get that resolved," said Des Patten, from SEIU Local 1021.

BART'S Board of Directors is supposed to approve the agreement with AFSCME at its regular meeting Thursday morning.

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Tags:
BART, unions, east bay news, laura anthony
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