BART Negotiators Reach Contract Agreement
Unionized workers for Bay Area Rapid Transit early Wednesday reached a labor agreement, possibly including increased union contributions to health care premiums, less than two hours before a scheduled strike, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Union negotiators rejected BART management's initial offer to increase by 13% workers' contribution to benefit costs. BART later proposed increasing lifetime family insurance payments from $25 monthly to $150 monthly. The last known counterproposal from union leaders would increase insurance payments to $75 monthly.
Roxanne Sanchez, the BART chapter president of the Service Employees International Union, Local 790, said the agreement would advance health care standards for workers.
BART spokesperson Linton Johnson said, "We had to deal with some very difficult and complex issues," adding, "This contract is fair to our employees and protects the interests of our riders" (Hoge et al., San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6).
Details of the agreement are not expected to be released until BART's 2,300 unionized workers vote to ratify the proposal, which is expected sometime over the next 10 days (Norton, AP/Sacramento Bee, 7/6).