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BART, Unions Seek Progress In Return To Negotiations Next Week

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A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train pulls away from the Rockridge station in Oakland.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (KCBS)—While next week marks the midway point in the BART dispute’s 60-day cooling-off period and the first time for negotiations since it began, neither side expects any serious movement until the following week when talks will center on the dispute’s major economic issues.

BART employees have been offered a ten percent wage increase over four years, while unions have been demanding 21.5 percent over three years.

Next Monday, Tuesday and Thursday talks are scheduled to center on supplemental issues and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez said she expects they’re ready to make some movement the following week.

“We’re hoping that starting Sept. 17, when we get back the table with the economics, that there will be a game changer in that,” she said.

“We expect some dialog and conversation. You cannot just come to the table, put a proposal on the table and not have a conversation and walk away.”

Meanwhile, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the next two weeks of negotiations will be critical and the management also wants a more back-and-forth movement as well.

“What were hoping is that we’re going to turn that corner, they’re going to give us a very good counter so we can finally get that back and forth that everyone is expecting to take place,” she said.

“What we’ve seen up to this point is just BART moving; we’ve consistently made offers while the unions have been stuck at the 20-plus percent raise proposal.”

The cooling-off period ends on Oct. 10.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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