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BART says 'last, best and final offer' $7 million higher than last offer

Officials said an offer presented to unions Sunday afternoon is $7 million higher than one made Friday, and that it represents the agency's

last, best and final offer.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican said the agency is offering employees a 3 percent raise for each year of the four-year contract, retroactive to July 5.

The contract also calls for employees to make a 4 percent pension contribution and 9.5 percent medical contribution.

The latest contract offer also comes with a deadline. BART has given the union two weeks from Sunday to accept, before the deal is taken off

the table, spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

Union leaders dismissed the offer as "regressive," saying it was lower than previous offers and left their members with left. They

extended their previous strike deadline by one day, to midnight Tuesday, but warned that members would strike if BART did not return to the table ready to negotiate.

"We regret that this action needs to be taken but we have done everything we can do to bargain fairly," said Antonette Bryant, president of

the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555. "Our members don't want to go on strike, but we are being backed into a corner."

Bryant blasted BART leadership for what she called "dishonesty" and an "obvious lack of respect for the members and for the riding public."

State elected officials including Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, and state Sen. Ellen Corbett,

D-San Leandro, also criticized BART leadership Sunday evening, but urged both sides to continue negotiating.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said that she was "disappointed" by BART's actions Sunday and wanted talks to continue.

"We want discussions to keep going, we want both sides to get to yes," Skinner said, speaking outside the building where labor talks are taking place.

"We are asking labor to take more time, and we want BART to withdraw that final offer so that the talks can keep going," Skinner said.

Sunday's angry language marks a shift from the more positive tone of Saturday's talks, which BART officials called "productive." Union and

elected officials including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom had expressed optimism earlier Sunday that a deal was possible.

BART management began negotiating on April 1 with the Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represent which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and ATU Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and clerical workers.

Workers went on strike for four and a half days at the beginning of July but returned to the bargaining table at the request of Gov. Jerry

Brown.

When a strike again seemed imminent, Brown sought a 60-day cooling-off period, which expired last week. The unions announced late Thursday night that they would postpone a potential strike, but issued a 72-hour strike notice.

Comments

Posted by Sara, a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

Not only do BART union members get 18 paid holidays a year, four weeks vacation, lifetime health benifits and contribute NOTHING towards their retirement, they also don't pay into SOcial Security. In addition to all these benifits, BARY employess receive an additional 7.5 as deferred compensation.


Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

Terminate all of them and start over. BART, you will have no shortage of job applications.

Just My Opinion, Julia Pardini from Alamo


Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Since the union leaders responded to the "last and final" offer from BART mgmt, with comments that it was worse than the prior offer, as well as dishonest, I think that mgmt. should withdraw the last and final offer, and go back to the prior one. Since that seems to be what the union wants....

This latest offer is already far too generous. If the unions go on strike, BART management needs to start hiring and training replacement workers immediately.

Even the CC Times has had enough, and are calling for BART mgmt. to stand firm. Enough is enough.


Posted by Jim Batiste, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Fire all the union (lazy) workers.


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