BART Contract Dispute May Not Be Over - NBC Bay Area

BART Contract Dispute May Not Be Over



    BART management says the final contract approved by the unions may have "inadvertently" included a provision BART negotiators did not agree to. Jean Elle reports. (Published Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013)

    After six months of agonizing negotiations and two strikes, the dispute between two unions and northern California's Bay Area Rapid Transit may not be over yet.
    Officials are planning a special meeting Friday to discuss the problem involving some language that apparently made it's was into the now-signed deal accidentally.
    Board Director James Fang says the sticking point is family medical leave. The new contract would give 3,200 BART workers six weeks of paid leave each year, while prior language required workers to use sick leave and vacation time first.

    PHOTOS: BART Unions Strike

    "The BART Board will have to factor this item into its ratification decision next week," BART said in a statement.

    That contract is scheduled to be voted on by the transit agency's Board of Directors on Nov. 21.
    The unions say they won't withdraw the provision since the contract has already been signed.
    Agency and union officials say that as a result, management is considering recommending that BART's Board of Directors reject the contract.
    ATU Local 1555 President Antonette Bryant told NBC Bay Area that BART management is recommending to the Board of Directors that they reject the current agreement.  

    If that happens, BART's two largest unions may consider going on strike for the third time in three months.

    "This is unconscionable," Bryant said in a statement. "We expect the BART Board will now do its part and approve this contract."

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