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BART negotiations stalled by union

Original post made by Right on Aug 19, 2013

KTVU news reported this morning that contract negotiations have not resumed because the union is waiting for e negotiator/arbitrator to schedule time to resume talks. BART management wanted to come back to the table right away, so as to not lose what little momentum they had going for them.
Interesting that all the previous BART contract topics are now absent from the PW. Hopefully, this means that mikie cherry has been remanded into custody for vagrancy...or maybe he's the BART arbiter.
In other news, AC Transit may be going on strike, after voting down their lucrative contract proposal. What is going on with union controlled public transit and their sense of entitlement?

Comments (14)

Posted by Watcher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:54 am

I just noticed this Aug 17 posting. Hmmm, how did I miss it?
PW Editor's Aug 19 post on Unemployment rates rise again in Bay Area, reporting Alameda County July increase to 7.8%, and Contra Costa up 7.7%.
Aug 17 Contra Costa Times reported Bay Area net loss of 2,300. jobs.
This morning C-Span reported the 'US census Bureau and Dept of Labor Statistics' report AFTER adjusted for inflation 'Median Income' SINCE
JUNE 2009, down 4.4%.
Recap: Unemployment up 7.8%, 2,300 net job loss, Median incomes down 4.4%, hmmm help me understand, Alameda Co BART employees think they deserve their obscene demands!!!!REALLY??? We pay for our retirement savings plus theirs 'cuz they think they are owed that free, non-contributory retirement. $92.month medical contribution???? Call-in abuse of 'sick' days, then work overtime later in week and get over-time???
They whine they haven't had raises lately, for those who can read, check-out median income is DOWN, job losses UP, and BART dares to 'demand' more. If they were brighter, they would recognize they are LUCKY to have the HIGH paying jobs they currently hold. Shame on their greed!...and shame on CA 'leaders' for allowing this assult on the public.

Posted by Watcher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Is the Governor of all the people going to help BART unions understand their demands are out of step with reality. Governor, make them justify how/why they think they are 'entitled' to a world of their own creation. The rest of us live in a world of July Unemployment up 7.8%, 2,300 net Bay Area job loss, and national median income down 4.4% since 2009....the SAME time frame BART is whining they haven't had raises. Why would they expect US to provide a different world for them?? Governor??? Do your job!!! YOU can be replaced TOO !!! (remember the kid under your first administration, later got recalled)...Do your job!!!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This is just thinking out loud, but I wonder if the AC Transit unions think the BART unions might get more so they will hold out for the same. Another reason for BART unions to delay would be to coordinate their demands with AC Transit unions. It's been done before with other union groups.

Today's paper reported on a poll for a BART bond or sales tax increase to fund system improvements and the connection to the union negotiations. I certainly hope management and the unions realize they cannot negotiate with money they don't have or on speculation they will be able to pass one of the plans as a certainty.

Posted by Watcher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Kathleen is right, NO settlement could be made on the arrogant assumption any bond or tax might pass. My vote would be NO regardless of any deals. Shut BART down, terminate the thieves, do those major long-term repairs that are desperately needed under the bay. Lives will suffer, but that repair shut down is going to be necessary soon
anyway. Perfect chance, go ahead and shut down for structural repairs.
Bring in the ferries.
As soon as AC happened, I knew they would end up playing off each other for the benefit of both. We are hostage victims. This is WHY the Governor much 'step up' or be recalled. He may be owned by the union, but he took an oath to protect and defend the people of California. That's the problem, once you take those bribes.

Posted by Watcher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

...aka contributions.

Posted by Mike Cherry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

There's this wacko assumption out there that pols are under no circumstances supposed to raise taxes. (This probably comes from watching too much Fox News.)

Another wacko assumption is that BART workers are delaying a negotiated settlement. (It is BART management that decided to go on vacation the last time around.)

Another wacko assumption is that BART workers desire a strike. (File this under failure to grasp reality)

Another wacko assumption is that BART workers, and unions in general, shouldn't attempt to maximize their interests. (This is like the cat telling the mouse that it should only run on three legs in order to make the cat and mouse game fairer.)

And yet another wacko assumption out there is that BART workers should limit their demands based upon what BART management tells them is available. (File this under gullibility.)

I guess all this adds up to a lot of wacko assumptions, all epitomized by the wackos Kathlene Ruegnicker and her cerebral sidekick, Watcher.

From my view, I hope BART workers get most of what they are demanding. This will help all California workers negotiate for higher wages and safer conditions of work for workers and consumers. More money in workers' pockets, more money to spend, more revenue.

We know when you put money in workers' hands, they spend it on consumer goods and services, such that for every dollar put in a worker's pocket, it generates $1.71 as production and sales are generated to meet the demand. When that same dollar is withheld and kept in the hands of the wealthy, it often has negative value - approximately $.91. For example, the wealthy out there that have cleaned up in the stock market are now scarfing up houses and renting them out. Benefit to the economy? Zilch. (See David Ricardo on the parasitical nature of the renting class.)

But there are wackos out there with issues -- bad experiences as a child, bad experiences in the workplace (dysfunction) -- such that all they can do is contrive ways to criticize organized workers. Fortunately, most Americans know that workers' interests are more in line with the general citizenry's than are capital's interests (and those that serve capital's interests). No doubt this is why the feeble push to outlaw BART union strikes has fallen on deaf ears. The people and their representatives know better. It's only a few dysfunctional types -- Ruggsenugger and Watcher -- who are too wrapped up in their own issues to form a rational point of view.

Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Daveg is a registered user.

Ah, Mikie is back! Pushing his "whoa is my poor union" trash talk and putting out unsubstantiated comments. At least he has modified his position to the point that he says "I hope BART workers get most of what they are demanding" rather than his past comments saying they should get all of their unrealistic demands.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

First, "This will help all California workers negotiate for higher wages and safer conditions of work for workers and consumers." We've already proven this is not true with actual data. Unions do not raise all boats.

The polls indicated there is support for a tax or bond. What I said is negotiations should not include bargaining for what is not n place nor is it a certainty.

It's a guess, but I imagine the delay this time is because the "brotherhood" of unions thinks they can squeeze the public with a united front or what you called "maximiz(ing) their interests" (with or without a strike). My other guess is this will not sit well with riders or the general public.

I've asked quite a few questions about union demands and how they fit into budgets up to ten years out, because whatever is granted now will multiply over the life of this and future contract negotiations. No response. After all, it's other people's money. Never mind that putting money in the hands of BART workers will be a direct extraction from riders, most of whom will not be able to spend anything on "consumer goods and services" because they will be spending it on increased fares for BART tickets. It might just be transferring the ability to spend from one person's pocket to another. They are just other workers; probably not even unions workers.

" . . . most Americans" -- how do you draw that conclusion with only 11ish% of employees belonging to unions?

Posted by Mike Cherry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2013 at 12:25 am

Another history lesson for the psychologically dysfunctional ones....

American people support unions, and do so for many varied reasons. Why have unions declined? Rugnisegger would have us believe unions just decided one day to not do unions any more. The ignorance is astounding. Unions have been busted up, by hook, by crook, and all too often by force.

Most Americans support unions. Unions are stanchions of our pluralist democracy, such as it is; and historically they have provided leadership for virtually anything and all that has constituted progress in America.
[Removed because it was directed at another commenter, was disrespectful and did not further the conversation.]

Where unions have been busted, wages across the board, in all sectors, have gone down. This has been proven. We see the trend since the 1970s. Unions still possess the power to wage effective negotiations and voice effective grievances in the face of corporate and state power. Individuals do not. Individuals are easily gotten rid of by their corporate masters; unions not so much, and that is why corporate America spends hundreds of millions fighting union efforts to have a safe working environment, a fair wage, an elimination of discrimination in hiring and floor practices, and the list goes on.

[Removed because it was directed at another commenter, was disrespectful and did not further the conversation.] No mention of anything negative about BART management which is offering BART workers a wage decrease from 2008-2017. Nor has she recognized that the union is demanding a safer environment for riders and workers both.
[Removed because it was directed at another commenter, was disrespectful and did not further the conversation.]

And Watcher, first claiming his name is Right, now posing as Dave? I'll let his caustic drool do the talking for him. Is it any wonder why someone like him cannot find employment? So, here we are again: Mike Cherry against the two dysfunctionals. Any wonder why someone like one of them cannot find employment? Any wonder how bootlickers work(ed) their way up any hierarchy as a state worker?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 23, 2013 at 7:32 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Support has stagnated: Web Link It will be interesting to see this year's survey results with so many cities, counties, and other organizations filing for bankruptcy. Those crushing debts are reason enough for the lower support as taxpayers see who will be picking up the tab. But I'm not advocating for union demise. In the case of BART, the demands overreach.

(1) Typical blather; (2) "redistribution" means something in the budget suffers and you cannot negotiate with nonexistent "tax hike" dollars; and (3) previous data provided is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From the above Gallup link: "The decline in union approval in recent years has been accompanied by an increase in the percentage of Americans who prefer that unions have less influence in the future. At least 40% have held this view since 2009, including 41% this year. Prior to 2009, only as many as 32% wanted to see unions be less influential."

You call it a wage decrease, but it is the beginning of contributing to the cost of benefits, health and pension. Saying, "Give me $100, and I'll give you $10 to put in my pension fund," still costs the system $100. Management is clearly looking for ways to upgrade a well-used system, hence the survey about bonds or sales tax increases. Absolutely agree "the cause is just" in regard to maintenance. Any increases to wages, however, must have a correlation to services provided and skills required. President Obama spoke to that reality yesterday saying, roughly, that not having a college education is a price you pay for a lifetime.

Increases to costs require a revenue source, and in the case of wage increases, a permanent and upward spiral of revenue (BART provides step increases). Of course fares will increase.

Posted by Mike Cherry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:33 am


U.S. Bureau of Labor stats show nothing other than that corporate power + state power have chipped away at unions. Those stats say nothing about the inherent need of unions for American workers to protect themselves from the logic of capital which, unimpeded, aims to make all of America like China.

A whopping 40% according to Gallup don't support unions. Thanks for that. Of course we know approx. those 40% are idiots who voted for Romney, and McCain/Palin before that. 1/3 of pop believes Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya who failed us during Katrina.

What's most noteworthy is the support for unions that continues, despite their demise at the hands of corporate/state power, despite the overwhelming negative light cast upon them by the corporate media. The majority of Americans continue to support unions and union causes because they know union interests are in the interests of all workers.

Name a single progressive piece of legislation passed by opponents of unions. In fact, these are rancid reactionaries who cannot bear the idea of their tax dollars going to causes one or two steps removed from their own belly buttons. They tend to have been against Civil Rights, against women's empowerment in workplaces, minimum wage, teachers' unions, parcel taxes for educational advancement, though most are too dishonest to own up to these. All you'll get is dishonest blather.

Take any sane American worker. Tell him/her that the $100 you're paying them is going to be $90 because $10 previously paid into his/her pension/benefits by employer must now be picked up by worker. Ask that worker if that constitutes a pay raise; ask that worker if that constitutes a pay decrease.

[Removed because it was directed at another commenter, was disrespectful and did not further the conversation.]

Viva American Workers! Viva Bart Workers!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

There is little to take seriously because of the petulance. In "school" it would be no better than being the class bully.

The Bureau also notes that unions do not raise all boats. The notion that unions are trying to help all workers is insincere. And that's not a problem, it's human nature to look at "their own belly buttons."

Your declarations don't describe me--support(ed) Civil Rights, civil discussions, and minimum wage; am grateful for the empowerment; believe teachers deserve better (with or without union representation; their choice); and support a parcel tax with targeted spending/goals.

Ask a worker if $90 today and $10 in retirement is a raise; I'll bet on yes. After all, as you indicated, it's just a deferment of wages that will put bread on the table now; bread on the table in retirement. Again, there is a correlation between possible wages (a price you pay for a lifetime) and your level of responsibility and skill. Earn a promotion, go to school right away, go to school nights and weekends, do more than show up and demand more for the same effort.

Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

Daveg is a registered user.

I think Kathleen's analogy to the school bully is right on. The only difference is that Mikie has learned that he can't bully others with his baloney statements especially when faced with facts. Regardless of his whining, the facts speak loud and clear..............this union is out of touch with mainstream America

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

From mikie: " I'll let his caustic drool do the talking for him..."
My guess is, with all the removed sections of his previous posts, he's well acquainted with being caustic. So it goes, when the union shill is faced with his own (and his 'brother's) irrelevance.

And stop claiming that BART employees are negotiating safety improvements---you diminish all of your arguments by continually dredging up that false premise. That may work on your low information buddies carrying their picket signs, but the educated public is not buying that tactic.

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