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BART Officials Say Glitch Found In Contract, Approval May Be In Doubt

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A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train pulls into the Colma station. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train pulls into the Colma station. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) —  BART management has not recommended that BART directors vote against a tentative labor agreement despite BART officials saying that a provision management had not agreed to was mistakenly left in the contract, a BART director said.

“We have identified a glitch in the tentative agreement that was ratified by the unions,” BART District 7 Director Zakhary Mallett said Thursday night. “The cause of that being incorporated into the contract is under investigation.”

Two BART unions and management took months to negotiate the agreement—through the unions’ contract expiring in June, two strikes in July and October, a court-imposed cooling-off period, and the deaths of two track workers during October’s strike.

While Mallett said that management has not advised the directors to vote against the contract, BART officials said in a statement Thursday evening that the provision could affect the ratification vote scheduled for next week.

“There is a strong preference of moving on but we need to thoroughly understand what has taken place and what the impacts may or may not be,” Mallett said.

Antonette Bryant, president of the ATU Local 1555, told KCBS that prior to the unions’ vote over the contract; management had been given a complete copy to review and that the unions had the same copy to look over.

“I’m a little disappointed that they would represent that they’re looking at it again. Our members voted it and we’re expecting that the board would go ahead and do the right thing and vote it in as well,” she said.

BART management did not return KCBS’ call for comment.

KCBS, KPIX and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier said the dispute pertains to a family leave clause that would allow workers to receive full pay for up to six weeks of family health leave. Under the old contract, the language said that workers had to use vacation time and sick leave first.

The BART board of directors is scheduled to go over the details of the tentative agreement at a closed session meeting Friday and to vote on the contract on Nov. 21.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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