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Thursday, August 8, 2013

BART Says Negotiations Still Differ by $100 Million

Posted By on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

click to enlarge Ride it while you can.
  • Ride it while you can.

It's going to take a transit miracle to bridge the $100 million dollar gap between BART's management team and employees' union representatives before Monday.

The startling figure came out during testimony yesterday by BART union reps and officials in front of a state panel commissioned by Governor Jerry Brown and is BART's estimate of cost difference over a four year contract. Union reps say it's more like $56 million over three years.

Apparently even agreeing on how much they disagree isn't possible.

The Investigative Panel, called into action last Sunday after BART management appealed to Brown for intervention, has until this Sunday to report back to Brown on the pros and cons of instating a mandatory 60 day "cooling off" period.

According to testimony by BART officials, yesterday's negotiations have stalled over pay increases and pension contributions. They say BART has offered a 9 percent pay increase over four years -- an increase of one percent from last weekend -- and is asking employees to contribute five percent towards their pensions over the next four years.

The union representatives have taken issue with this offer, saying that a good bit of their pay increase will have to go towards their pensions -- something they currently do not contribute to -- and that BART is misrepresenting their workers' earnings and contributions to their healthcare plans.

Presentations by both sides to the panel continue today, and a report is expected from them tomorrow. If Brown decides not to instate the 60-day cooling off period be prepared for a strike on Monday, and one nasty commute.

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Jennifer Baires


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