BART Reps Back at Negotiating Table

BART officials and union representatives have returned to contract negotiations today to try to avoid a regional strike that could paralyze Bay Area commutes on Monday.

With less than 12 hours before current contracts expire at midnight, all parties were back at Caltrans headquarters in Oakland this afternoon in a last-ditch effort to reach a deal, BART spokesman Rick Rice said.

Neither side had reported any progress as of 12:30 p.m.

Leaders of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and clerical workers, notified BART on Thursday night that their members will go on strike Monday if a deal isn't reached by midnight tonight.

If BART workers strike, the work stoppage would go into effect with BART's first scheduled trains at around 4:30 a.m. on Monday.

Negotiators were trying to strike a deal between BART and its two biggest unions on wages, pension and health care contributions.

MORE: BART strike resources

UPDATE: About a dozen BART workers came to the building where negotiations are going on, saying they wanted to let union negotiators know how much they appreciate the long hours they are putting in.

Robert Frasier, a BART train operator for 18 years, said he is scheduled to work early Monday morning and is waiting to find out what is going to happen, but he said he knows it is likely he will not know by the time he has to go to bed.

"Probably go to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 and get up at 5 o'clock, 4 o'clock, get ready for work, find out if I'm actually going or gonna go strike," Frasier said.

Salary, pension, and healthcare are the major sticking points, and NBC Bay Area learned at least these issues are being discussed and proposals are being put forth from both sides.

Both sides have said they do not want this to end in a strike and will work down to the wire trying to strike a deal.

MORE: BART strike countdown clock set for midnight

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