Union leaders report no progress in BART negotiations

Union leaders report no progress in BART negotiations
Posted: 12:32 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013

OAKLAND: No progress made in BART negotiations during cooling off period

ALAMEDA, Calif. — There were no labor discussions between BART union workers and management on this Labor Day.
Only one of the three bargaining units has met with BART since a court ordered 60-day cooling off period went into effect more than three weeks ago.
The trains were running Monday, but the clock was also ticking as by then, BART and its unions had used up 22 days of its 60-day cooling off period, and union negotiators say nothing has been accomplished so far.
“The unions have made themselves available every single day,” said Josie Mooney, negotiator for BART unionized employees.
Union leaders spoke at Monday's Labor Day picnic in Alameda, saying only one of the three bargaining units has met with BART since Governor Jerry Brown authorized a 60-day cooling off period that began Aug. 11, and they added that the one meeting was brief and unproductive.
On Monday, union leaders appealed to the governor to push the other side back to the table.
“If you are going to issue an injunction to cause a 60 cooling off… put a lot more impetus into this to move BART to bargain,” said Pete Castelli of SEIU 1021.
BART said in a statement that mediators had set next Monday to resume negotiations.
“We are eager to hear from the unions about our last offer which has to date gone unanswered,” said the statement.
But they may not hear much agreement about that offer, which included a ten percent raise over four years. The unions said that with increased health and retirement costs, it wasn’t a fair deal.
Bryant--atu 1555
“There are members who will be in a deficit if this contract they claim is a raise goes forward,” said Antoinette Bryant of ATU Local 1555.
As for BART’s riders, some said Monday that they just want it all settled somehow.
“The unions and district need to have a compromise. What I see is both sides digging in their heals,” said Linda Harrison, a BART rider from San Francisco.
The cooling off period ends in 38 days from Monday, at midnight on Oct. 10.