OAKLAND (KCBS) – Contract negotiations between BART and one of its biggest labor unions were set to begin Monday.

Union leaders for the mechanics, station agents and train operators who make up the local Amalgamated Transit Union, are going into the talks seemingly frustrated with the transit agency.

“We did not get a raise in 2009 so for the last four years we have not a pay increase,” said Antonette Bryant, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555. “As you know prices in the Bay Area have gone up exponentially.”

“We want something that is fair and equitable, that will allow us to live here like everyone else does.”

BART maintains it’s facing a looming deficit and needs to carefully watch every dollar.

“This labor negotiation is going to be focusing on finding a balance between investing in those hard-working employees and the long-term sustainability of the system,” explained BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost. “We have a tremendous, unfunded capitol need. We’re trying to buy new trains, a new train control system.”

The union’s contract is set to expire June 30.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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