On Monday, members of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's (BART) largest union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, voted to approve a tentative contract agreement, while BART's second largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555, rejected it.
"This new contract now approved by 75 percent of SEIU's membership, acknowledges the economic realities facing BART, said Thomas Blalock BART's board president. "It preserves employee base salaries while still achieving SEIU's share of the $100 million in labor cost savings over the next four years, which is what BART needs now to help both balance its budget and to maintain a solid financial footing for the years ahead. We again thank our employees who voted for this new labor agreement."
The new contract, which will save BART an estimated $65 million in labor costs over the next four years, avoids layoffs and furloughs; foregoes raises over the next three years in favor of one-time bonuses; reduces benefits; and changes work rules to give management more say over how employees can be deployed.