News

No BART strike Tuesday as talks continue

Negotiations resume at 1 p.m.

There will not be a BART strike today as negotiators remained engaged in talks well past the midnight deadline, according to a federal mediator.

SEIU Local 1021 spokeswoman Cecille Isidro said negotiations continued until 5:30 a.m. today and will resume at 1 p.m.

Isidro said she can't discuss the details of the negotiations because Cohen has asked both sides not to talk about them to the media.

Shortly after 1 a.m. federal mediator George Cohen announced that Bart and union representatives will continue contract negotiation talks through the morning and that BART train service will not be interrupted.

Union officials made a counteroffer to BART Monday evening and talks continued past the midnight deadline for a contract deal.

Pete Castelli, the executive director of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said he could not share details of the counteroffer but "We did make movement."

Speaking to reporters outside the Caltrans building in Oakland, where BART management is meeting with union negotiators, Castelli repeated an earlier warning that commuters should make alternative transportation plans for Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, BART board president Tom Radulovich urged leaders of the SEIU Local 1021 and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 to allow their members to vote on an offer made by BART Sunday evening.

The offer, which BART has described as its last, best and final offer, includes a 3 percent raise for each of the contract's four years, retroactive to July 5, but also requires employees to make a 4 percent pension contribution and a 9.5 percent contribution to their health benefits, according to BART officials.

BART has said the retroactivity clause will be taken off the table two weeks from Sunday if the union has not accepted the offer.

Radulovich said the offer represents the "outer limit" of what the transit agency can afford to offer its workers.

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