Labor Talks Underway Between BART, Two Largest Unions

OAKLAND (KCBS) – A new round of labor negotiations has begun between Bay Area Rapid Transit management and two of its largest unions.

The four-year contract with the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 expires June 30. Union leaders, representing mostly train operators and station agents, say their workers deserve pay raises.

The unions noted its members haven’t received a pay increase in four years, despite an improving economy.

In a published statement, BART General Manager Grace Crunican said “contract negotiations will focus on important adjustments to employee healthcare, pension plans and work rules that are necessary to create a modern and economically sustainable contract.”

Also Monday, BART officials announced that workers in a number of unions would be receiving a 1% increase, having met a series of economic conditions and calculations detailed in their 2009 labor contracts.

During contract talks in 2009,  both unions threatened to shut down the BART system with a strike before the sides agreed to a deal that saved the agency $100 million over four years.

SEIU 1021 said it would look to end what it called austerity measures imposed on its workers as part of the 2009 deal and push for increased employee safety measures.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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