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BART management, unions continue contract talks as new strike looms

Original post made on Jul 31, 2013

BART management met with union leaders again Tuesday to try to reach an agreement before the contract for the transit agency's employees expires Sunday night but a union official said the talks weren't productive.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 6:45 AM

Comments (23)

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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:27 am

So long as the BART management cannot hire and train scab workers, they have no leverage, so we know how this is going to play out.

I'd like to see a California politician draft a bill banning transit strikes - many other states have such laws in place. The good news is that maybe California voters will take their heads out of their behinds - and stop voting for Democrats who are deeply entrenched in unions and NSA-style surveillance.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

From the above article:

"Specifically, Trost said BART has doubled its salary proposal to 8 percent over four years, lowered its pension contribution to 5 percent over four years, which she said is lower than what other public employees pay, and lowered its medical premium contribution to less than what average public and private sector employees pay.

"In contrast, Trost said union leaders' are asking for a 21.5 percent pay increase over three years and want to continue paying just $92 a month for healthcare and only want to make a 3 percent pension contribution at the end of three years."


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Posted by D
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:57 am

$92per month for health insurance. poor babies. they should consider themselves lucky they are not put on a part time schedule with no medical benefits. we absolutely should have a law in place banning strikes by public transportation. these people don't complain when they get offered a job and the package that goes with it then try to hold the public at ransom when they get in. I believe BART should have extra personnel trained to bring in when these situations arise. This is a public system that should be operating no matter what


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Posted by Californian? hmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:20 am

The official idiots who ever signed that nobody else could fillin during strikes, should be run down and thrown out (oh you can be sure they are also WELL paid public employees of sorts also. NOBODY protects taxpayers! Our CA lousy legislators are OWNED by these unions. Californians are screwed. THIS is also why we have higest taxes and people, like rich Mickelson, and my startup grandson are moving OUT of CA. Suckers left behind will be paying more. THIS will be a Ca DRAIN. Everybody is on the inside...except the taxpayer.
ELECTED OFFICIALS, in this ONE party state, Supervisors, Assembly, and state Senate, city Mayors, transit officials are all cozy bedfellows, all screwing taxpayers. Taxpayers who sadly don't pay attention, don't fight back, and cast uneducated votes. SO, Uneducated union people, and all those they own, walk over us, rob us blind, and bleed us dry. A real TRAGEDY !
All the while, this once great state is going broke from these thugs and is crashing to the bottom in all catagories we once topped ! ! People with ETHICS and SPINES must stand up and end these insane contracts...and dump the people who agree to these contracts...like not allowing BART to run during strikes....IS THAT PERSON STILL 'NEGOTIATING' . . FOR US ? ? ? ?
Do we have to get down in the gutters with this scum to fight for ourselves to end this blackmail. GOVERNOR ? ? Have you no ethics or spine ? ? ? JERRY, YOU ARE BLOWING YOUR LEGACY BIGTIME !!! STOP SCREWING CALIFORNIANS !!!


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Posted by Californian? hmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:28 am

I haven't heard a word from Joan Buchanan. Oh that's right, she wouldn't even stand up for students against the UNION teacher abusing children. You know....ALWAYS PROTECT UNIONS FIRST, UNLESS there is ever extreme PRESSURE to give a tiny verbal to voters.
Somebody please send this thread to her. She and Jerry can then discuss if they want to save THEIR own images,,,,we know it wouldn't be about protecting Californians....only their own hides. It's time for them to step up and STOP ABUSING CALIFORNIANS !


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:25 am

Once this strike is settled, I would encourage the truly concerned to write to their respective elected officials to do what several other major cities have done and that is to make such strikes illegal. Many major cities already have in place laws that make strikes by transit workers illegal. New York has such a law in place. A strike is illegal under the provisions of an addition to New York State Civil Service Law called the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, more commonly called the Taylor Law. It prohibits municipal workers from striking and provides alternative means for dispute resolution. The law provides for criminal penalties including imprisonment of union officials, and fines against the union and individual striking workers. Such a law here would put an end to such unrealistic demands by a union out of control.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:54 am

Here is a link to Joan Buchanan's official site.

Web Link

I would encourage the truly concerned to write to her to do what several other major cities have done and that is to make such strikes illegal.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I strongly support a strike. The demands are entirely reasonable.

May cooler heads prevail!


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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm

So true, Cholo. Some of the posters here, and the other sites re. BART workers, seem zealously against the strikers. Irrationally so. Leaving one to think that they heard too many tall and acrimonious tales from Papa on how unions are really, really bad, because they have historically fought back when scabs tried to break through a picket line, or when Pinkerton thugs were brought in to intimidate the workers. They literally have put their bodies on the line, and continue to do so.

So many of us have much to be grateful for these brave men and women who braved much to organize and then promote the struggle for justice. But some of the posters here are so wound up in a mythos of union members pooping in Papa's pick-up truck, or so vengeful after scabbing and then being ousted once the union returned to their rightful place at work, that they can hardly contain themselves, which includes posting the same old hackneyed messages while using multiple monikers. Pathetic.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Matthew, You ruined a perfectly good argument trying to goad with the usual lie. The lie, like your union stories of organizing in the days of yore, are what is hackneyed. If you think someone is posting under more than one name, report it; it will get removed. Of course, that requires effort and the possibility you will be proven wrong.


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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Kathleen,
Never did learn the difference between an 'argument' and a lathered up hate fest, eh?

What 'argument' are you making reference to? Whether the union should be banished forever more, or burned at the stake, or simply demolished? I'm for banishing! I'm for burning! How pathetic.

By the way, it is very easy for people to switch their location # every time they post. A couple of you have known how to do this for quite some time now.

I'll leave all the complaining and attempts to censor to Staceleen and others.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Matthew, My position on BART is to support management's offer. I have no grievance with individuals who are forced to be members of a union in order to have employment. I do have plenty of problems with union leaders, at least those who use the bodies of their members as shields and much nastier tactics. Said it before: understand the budget, know the impact of the demands on that budget well into the future, know the impact of the demands on the customer base - in fact, try knowing the customer, learn and use interest based bargaining.

My in-home tech support has neither the time nor inclination to change a location number (from me, whatever that is) on my whim so I can post multiple times during any given day. And much as you might not like it, I am an honest person and would not consider doing posts under multiple names. I have no reason to use more than one name.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Kathleen,
Don't bother to respond to Matthew's idiotic postings. Apparently it is difficult for him to grasp that the general population is fed up with unreasonable demands by a union out of control. Regardless of the facts presented, he continues to spout comments that had validity many years ago, but somehow fails to grasp that this is the 21st century and this union is simply out of control.


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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:20 am

I apologize for intruding upon the argument between Kath Reug and Willy Tell which takes the form, very often, of "I don't like unions because <fill in the blank>." "Oh yeah? Well I don't like unions because <fill in the blank>." "Hah! I hate them more than you do!" "No way, I hate them way WAY more than you do!" "Hey, how dare someone try to interrupt our argument!" "Yeah, maybe someone with 'a different moniker' (wink-wink) will complain to editors!"

Psssst: Know how to tell a truly dishonest person? Count how many times they insist they are an honest person!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Good morning Matthew, there seems to be some confusion in how you are reading the thread. My original post was not in response to William. Later in the thread I responded to you noting your own argument (point?) was negated by referring to the "lie" . . . further flawed because my "papa" was a union man. But that's what happens when you lose track of the truth.

Here is what your post says without the unnecessary material.

"So true, Cholo. Some of the posters here, and the other sites re. BART workers, seem zealously against the strikers. Irrationally so. They literally have put their bodies on the line, and continue to do so. So many of us have much to be grateful for these brave men and women who braved much to organize and then promote the struggle for justice." See? No one was harmed in the editing of the comments.


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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:37 am

Oh boy, so now we're once again faced with Kath Reugsegger devoting her life to convincing everyone on this site that she is an honest person.

It doesn't really matter whether I have the specifics exactly right, as your story of union poopers and your lone walk from Chicago to here without using any public resources (e.g., Interstate) has changed with each telling. That's what happens when all the energy is directed not toward ideas but toward one's own ego find acceptance from a bunch of anonymous posters.

That's okay, I'll leave you and Willy Tell to work in tandem against those forces of evil -- BART workers asking for a wage that places them on a par with the average BART rider.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:16 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Oh boy, Matthew! I don't know the anonymous posters, including you. I don't think anyone has posted they believe I'm an honest person, just the occasional nod to provided links.

You may recall, specifics are very important to me. I guess that you don't see that every lie you tell undermines any point you attempt to make.

Average? The BART demographics I previously posted:
"According to the demographics study done by BART, 46% of riders have a lower income than the average BART union member (incomes of $74,000 or less). Page 12: Web Link "

The other 54% make $75,000 or more, but I'm pretty sure people earn a salary based on a wide range of factors that do not include the salaries of your customer base.


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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:27 am

So busy blustering about who you are, what your motives are, and how you're so attentive to facts that serve your own bias, you usually lose track rather rapidly of any argumentative thread.

Someone, not mentioning any names (to your chagrin, I'm sure), attempted to make a big deal about how BART workers' wages don't factor in free ridership. Wow. Now that's a contribution!

I attempt to cast some perspective on the strike: Approximately 1/2 of BART riders (54%) are said to earn a higher wage/salary than do BART workers. (I suspect it's much higher than 1/2, because the 74K figure being tossed about includes some salaried BART officials - thereby pushing the actual average wage downward, and ambiguously doesn't separate itself from overtime - which also would push the actual average wage downward.

Although this is only one comparison, among many, I think it does cast some rather telling light on all the anti-union folks' inflated hyperbole about how BART workers are soooooooo not coming to grips with reality. Reality is, as the stats give some support for, the workers' demands for a higher wage are quite reasonable.

Moreover - and I truly don't want to confuse you with an additional claim - the average wage/salary of the BART rider suggests that a small fare hike would prove less than onerous for passengers. Indeed, given the expense of system maintenance, and money saved on not driving/owning a car (70+% owning a car but choosing to save on gas, parking, and to reduce pollution), this all adds up to a very reasonable fare.


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Posted by Consider
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

Matthew,

You seem to think that your skills should be rewarded and are significant and you feel that you are not compensated accordingly. You ever consider going out on your own without a union and competing for compensation on your own? I am sure you should be able to double your salary. I suspect that deep down inside of yourself you have come to grips with your "true" situation and feel jealous of those who compete and win on their own.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

I have yet to see any links from Matthew that support any statements that he has voiced. However, Kathleen has consistently supported her statements with links that anybody could review if they were so inclined. I doubt that Matthew has taken that time, but rather is more comfortable just 'mouthing off". In regard to his statement saying "because the 74K figure being tossed about includes some salaried BART officials - thereby pushing the actual average wage downward" here is a link to a current story that would (again) show that he just doesn't bother with facts Web Link

Specifically it states "BART's 2,300 blue-collar workers make an average of $76,551 in gross pay, easily the highest among California transit agencies, and their benefits -- $92 a month toward health care and nothing toward pensions -- are also among the best between Bay Area government agencies".


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Reality is, as the stats give some support for, the workers' demands for a higher wage are quite reasonable." Your opinion. 20%, in my opinion, is not reasonable--especially considering free ridership for the entire family to 19(?), and for the employee and spouse forever, the shorter work week, and the figures on pension and health care Dave has just mentioned.

". . . the average wage/salary of the BART rider suggests that a small fare hike would prove less than onerous for passengers" The increase is predicted to be 18% if union demands are met. It would be an increase BART employees wouldn't face. And will you be means testing riders so those who can't afford the increase won't be subjected to the increase?


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Posted by Matthew
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:54 am

To be accurate, Kath, that's 20% over four years. And, my, you certainly are the embittered one, aren't you? Imagine those freeloader BART workers and their families riding BART free while you, the self-righteous entitled one, must fork over three or four bucks each time you ride.

Do you complain about all airline employees flying free of charge? Do you complain about military vets flying free of charge? Do you complain when gas hikes exceed 20% over a couple of months' time (not five years)? Nope, it's only organized labor's demands that have your panties all twisted up in a knot.

I'm truly sorry that your father had a difficult time of things back in Chicago. I wasn't there, so I can't comment on it. But your comments aren't helpful because you're so filled with vengeance toward anything associated with workers who organize themselves as a means of improving their lot in life. Why don't you ever complain about corporate colluders and price fixers? No, you're mired in some unhappy little girl experiences from which you've never quite recovered.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

As I said on the other thread, the free ride is a cost to others and should be acknowledged as such. I actually don't mind this perk, but very few people are paid for their commutes. I am provided a service; I expect to pay.

Gas--up like a rocket, down like a feather. Nothing to like there. And I do have concerns about corporate management.

Some of what I don't like about unions--leadership and their tactics; no opting out; rare compromises; a belief that preventing others from getting to work or crossing a picket line to work or crossing a picket line to shop is an acceptable way to behave . . . and even those issues vary from union to union. Even so, there are good union leaders and certainly many, many good people in the membership.

My father would say he was a strong union member despite a few disappointments. It was my experiences as an employed adult that changed how I feel. We've had many spirited, respectful debates.


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