On Monday, August 10, members of BART's largest union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, voted to approve a tentative contract agreement. However, BART's second largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555, rejected it.
Statement on SEIU approval of new contract
"We thank the BART employees represented by SEIU Local 1021 – the largest segment of our work force – for voting to approve this new four-year contract. And we thank union leaders for working with us to reach a compromise for the benefit of our riders, our employees and the District," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "This new contract now approved by 75% of SEIU’s membership, acknowledges the economic realities facing BART. It preserves employee base salaries while still achieving SEIU's share of the $100 million in labor cost savings over the next four years, which is what BART needs now to help both balance its budget and to maintain a solid financial footing for the years ahead. We again thank our employees who voted for this new labor agreement."
Statement regarding ATU rejection of new contract
"We regret that BART employees represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union have voted to reject a labor agreement, which was approved by 75% of BART’s largest union, SEIU," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "Throughout four months of negotiations, BART offered a menu of choices that far exceeded the $100 million, 4-year labor cost savings target the BART Board set in hopes of reaching an agreement that was acceptable to union members while achieving the Board’s goal amid one of the worst economic recessions on record. Our contract offer is fair and preserves base salaries for BART employees and reflect a tentative agreement with ATU leadership on July 31. The BART Board of Directors will now schedule a special meeting to consider its options including implementing terms and conditions of employment until a new labor agreement can be reached."