Governor rejects "cooling off" period
BART Board of Directors President Thomas M. Blalock is applauding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s statement today regarding BART’s contract negotiations.
The Governor issued the following statement: "If requested, the Governor will not entertain a 60-day cooling off period at this time in the BART negotiations. He urges the parties to continue bargaining and to successfully reach an agreement without any strikes, lock-outs or other job actions. The public expects that the parties will remain at the bargaining table until an agreement is reached."
President Blalock responded with this statement: “We appreciate the Governor’s decision, which follows a request from BART’s Board of Directors to avoid a cooling off period. The cooling off period would delay reaching a conclusion to the contract talks and would increase the size of our deficit.
BART must eliminate a deficit now estimated at $310 million--and we need union leaders to recognize the financial constraints that BART and its riders face during this severe economic downturn. Contract talks have been ongoing since April 1.
We hope union leadership will now re-join us at the table to reach a contract settlement as soon as possible for our riders and for the future of our transit district.”