First BART Union Votes on Contract Offer

One union prez: Transit managers "Up the creek without a paddle"

BART's two biggest labor unions will vote this week on management's contract offer but the third is refusing.

Union members will work without a contract until they vote on the proposed new contract no matter the voting timeline.

The president of the third-largest union says she still doesn't have enough information to have her members vote on it.

 Management is proposing a four-year contract, which calls for wage freezes for three years and a 0.75 percent increase in the fourth year.

Jean Hamilton, the president of Local 3993 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said no further meetings have been scheduled and said management will be "up a creek without a paddle" if her union doesn't vote on the contract.

Members of BART's second-largest labor union are voting today on the proposed contract.
Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents  about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, are voting at a union hall at 8460 Enterprise Way in Oakland in four different sessions.  Voting ends at 10 p.m. with results expected at 10:20 p.m.

Members of the transit agency's largest union, the BART chapter of  Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents  about 1,400 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees,  will vote on Thursday.  Every member we spoke to said they voted "no."

Leaders of the two unions said last week that they don't think  management's proposed contract is very good but they want to give their  members a chance to vote on it.

Jean Hamilton, the president of BART's third-largest union, Local  3993 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  which represents about 200 middle managers, hasn't yet scheduled a vote for  her members because she said she needs to get more information from  management.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said the proposed contract achieves  management's goals of saving $100 million in labor costs and eliminating  wasteful and unproductive work rules.

Members of ATU Local 1555, SEIU Local 1021 and AFSCME Local 3993  all voted overwhelmingly last month to approve a strike if a settlement isn't  reached on a new contract.

There also are two small unions that represent BART police  officers and managers.

However, members of the police unions are barred from going on  strike.

It's unclear what would happen if union members were to vote  against the proposed contract. Johnson has said management hopes that the  unions would return to the bargaining table.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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