With neither BART nor its two biggest unions reporting significant progress in labor contract negotiations — and with BART warning riders of a double-digit fare increase if unions get their way — Bay Area commuters must prepare for the possibility of a second BART strike as early as Monday.
BART and its two biggest unions, Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, are meeting today at Caltrans headquarters in Oakland and will meet "all day ... every day" until an agreement is reached, according to BART spokesman Rick Rice.
BART workers went on strike July 1 but agreed to go back to work July 5 for 30 days while negotiations resumed. But if the two parties aren't close to a deal by Sunday night, the strike could resume Monday.
BART's unions are currently asking for 6.7 percent annual raises — 4.5 percent pay raises plus 2.2 percent cost-of-living bumps — over the next three years, according to BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost. That would cost $134 million and would require fare increases of 11 percent, 5.8 percent and 9.7 percent over the next three years respectively to cover that cost, BART said Monday.
Labor leaders disputed those numbers and said Tom Hock, BART's hired negotiator, has yet to respond to the unions' latest proposal made 13 days ago. BART has not changed its offer since July 2, according to Josie Mooney, Local 1021's lead negotiator. That offer included 2 percent pay raises annually for four years and increased contributions toward benefits.