A tentative agreement between management and the two unions representing some 2,500 workers at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) was announced Saturday.
In October, the two sides reached an agreement that members of Amalgamated Transit Union ( ATU ) Local 1555 and SEIU Local 1021 voted to accept. But after the vote, BART officials claimed a provision concerning family and medical leave was mistakenly left in the agreement they had signed off on. BART’s board of directors than approved an agreement without the provisions. That led to another round of negotiations.
In a recent statement, Local 1555 President Antonette Bryant said:
We negotiated in good faith for seven months. We have been outraged that BART management would hold the Bay Area riders hostage like this. We expect the BART Board will now do its part and do what they should have done all along...approve this contract. Once they do, we will ask our members to ratify it as well.
After BART’s board of directors ratifies the contract, the workers will vote on ratification. ATU represents train operators and station agents; and BART mechanics, maintenance workers and staff are SEIU members.
After their contract expired in July, the workers were on strike for four-and-a-half days and then resumed talks. In August, California Gov. Jerry Brown imposed a 60-day “cooling off” period that expired in October and BART management’s last-minute contract demands at the time forced the workers off the job again for four days.