SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A coalition of 13 of Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District workers’ unions has unanimously voted to authorize a strike, though no date has been announced as both sides continue talks.
Talks continued Monday and are set to start up again next week despite that the last contract expired July 1. The Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition which represents iron workers, ferry boat captains, deck hands and bus maintenance workers says the district wants them to pay more for health care but isn’t giving them enough of a raise to cover it.
Denis Mulligan, of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, told KCBS they are offering a 9 percent raise over three years.
“Even with that, it would be a net increase of our employees’ take-home pay,” he said. “Additionally we’re proposing some new lower cost health plans that would be an option for existing employees and those health plan costs premium sharing contributions would be actually be less than some of the employees are currently paying,” he said.
But coalition co-chair Alex Tonisson said one new health plan option offers lower premiums.
“With a plan like this, it’s much more attractive for the younger, more-healthy workers to go to it and therefore there is migration out of the current healthcare plans, which means that in three years, it’s very possible that the current health care plans are then going to be even less affordable and the district is going to try to get rid of those,” he said.
The coalition does not include bus drivers but they have promised to honor any picket line.