Bay Area Traffic

BART board, unions to meet Monday over error in labor contract

Sunday, November 17, 2013
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A dispute over BART's tentative union contract is heating up this weekend in a new development. Both sides have agreed to meet on Monday.

BART's Board of Directors says a mistake gives union members more paid family leave than was negotiated.

Under the contract agreed to by labor and management last month, BART employees get six weeks of paid family leave each year. That's nearly twice as generous as the standard state family leave program benefit. This is the section that sidelined the BART union contract.

After crunching the numbers, BART unions responded to Friday night's BART board meeting.

"We are absolutely horrified with the district, after everything that went on, a contentious bargaining situation, two strikes, and two people killed, that they would take this action," ATU1555 President Antonette Bryant said.

"If we approve a bad deal that's potentially harmful for the long term fiscal responsibility of the district, that's not a good option," BART Board of Directors Vice President Joel Keller said.

The board says it will cost $44.2 million over the next four years, a figure the unions dispute.

"We are doing our own costing that says it's about one point two each year for the four years," Bryant said.

Still, the board says section 4.8 was not supposed to be part of the agreement and was only included because of a clerical error.

But yet, there is the signature of former Chief Negotiator Thomas Hock and current Assistant BART General Manager Paul Oversier.

The board now want's General Manager Grace Crunican go back to the unions to fix this mistake.

But, the unions say this deal is done.

"We signed an agreement. We have an agreement. And that's what we expect to be honored," Bryant said.

This weekend, both sides have said the chance of a strike is pretty slim.

The plan for now is for members of the unions to meet with BART management on Monday.

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BART strike, BART, unions, strike, traffic, transportation, SEIU, ATU, bay area traffic
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