Thursday, September 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

BART workers back on strike

By
From page A2 | October 18, 2013 |

OAKLAND (AP) — Commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area got up before dawn on Friday and endured heavy traffic on roadways, as workers for the region’s largest transit system walked off the job for the second time in four months.

People were lined up well before 5 a.m. Friday at a Bay Area Rapid Transit train station in Walnut Creek for one of the charter buses BART was running into San Francisco. Traffic at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza into San Francisco and the roads leading to it also appeared heavier than normal for the early morning.

Other alternatives to BART include ferries and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District buses.

The walkout began at midnight Thursday, the culmination of six months of on-again, off-again talks that fell apart. BART and the unions came “extremely close” to agreement on economic, health care and pension issues, but the parties were far apart on work rule issues, said Roxanne Sanchez, president of Service Employees International Union Local 1021.

The impasse came after a marathon negotiating session with the participation of federal mediators.

About 400,000 riders take BART every weekday on the nation’s fifth-largest commuter rail system. The system carries passengers from the farthest reaches of the densely populated eastern suburbs to San Francisco International Airport across the bay.

Antoinette Bryant of Amalgamated Transit Union told The Associated Press early Friday that her workers were on strike as of midnight, while Cecille Isidro of the SEIU confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle that the unions were striking.

Agency spokesman Rick Rice also confirmed the strike by the unions in an email early Friday, but he said that the trains would finish their runs early Friday so riders wouldn’t be stranded.

“They don’t need to strike,” he said. “They could instead take BART’s offer to a vote of their members or continue to discuss options that could lead to a resolution.”

The unions said one of the work rules that BART wanted to change was employees’ fixed work schedules. Some employees work four-day, 10-hour shifts while others work five-day, eight-hour shifts. Union officials said BART wanted to schedule people as they saw fit.

BART officials say work rules refer to past practices that require approval from unions and management to change. The rules make it difficult to implement technological changes or add extra service on holidays because of a special event, the agency says.

Sanchez said the unions suggested taking the remaining issues to arbitration but management refused.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican countered that the agency needed to alter some of those rules to run the system efficiently. She said BART also needed to control costs to help pay for new rail cars and other improvements.

“We are not going to agree to something we can’t afford. We have to protect the aging system for our workers and the public,” Crunican said.

She urged the union leaders to let their members vote on management’s offer by Oct. 27.

A four-day strike in July saw commuters lining up early in the morning for BART’s charter buses and ferries across the bay, and enduring heavy rush-hour traffic.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said it has developed plans to help people to get around, including providing two expanded carpool locations.

The key issues during most of the talks had been salaries and worker contributions to their health and pension plans.

Talks began in April, three months before the June 30 contract expirations. The unions initially asked for 23.2 percent in raises over three years. BART countered with a four-year contract with 1 percent raises contingent on the agency meeting economic goals.

The unions contended that members made $100 million in concessions when they agreed to a deal in 2009 as BART faced a $310 million deficit. And they said they wanted their members to get their share of a $125 million operating surplus produced through increased ridership.

On Sunday, BART negotiators presented a final offer that includes an annual 3 percent raise over four years and requires workers to contribute 4 percent toward their pension and 9.5 percent toward medical benefits.

The value of BART’s proposal is $57 million, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

Workers represented by the two unions, including more than 2,300 mechanics, custodians, station agents, train operators and clerical staff, now average about $71,000 in base salary and $11,000 in overtime annually, the transit agency said. BART workers currently pay $92 a month for health care and contribute nothing toward their pensions.

————

By Terry Collins

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
Jurors see Marsh questioned by police

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Bike sale on Friday will benefit King High

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

 
Wildfire shows explosive growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Per Capita Davis: What to think

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

International Festival moves to park for fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Essay contest underway

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

Forum will answer questions about new license law

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

$12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7

 
.

Forum

She’s had it with his neglect

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Off-leash dogs are a danger

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Davis makes the NY Times

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Affordable housing affects health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Choose to wipe out hunger

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Duffy comes up big for Giants in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Young Devil harriers carry the day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

 
DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

What’s happening, Sept. 18

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Students get into the act with Shakespeare

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Street-smart tips for safe cycling

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Arts

 
Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Jean Botelli

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6