The union's original demand was a 20.1% raise over three years. The end result was 15.4% over four years. Another way to look at this was a 6.7% per year demand and a result of 3.8% per year for the first three years, with an extra half-percent in year four. Roughly speaking, the union got 57% of their original demand.
Fees for health care went up, from the current $92 per month to $141 per month in year four.
Pension contribution went from zero, previously, to 4% of compensation in year 4. For a worker making $75,000 a year, the worker's contribution will be $3,000.
There were also significant work rule changes. The rules traditionally demanded by the union are specifically designed to maximize the inefficiency in the system, by maximizing the number of hours worked by union employees. I'm amazed at the abuse of fare and tax dollars caused by these so-called "work rules" that BART management allowed to continue for so long until now.
(1) BART may now schedule 4 x 10 hour work weeks. This by itself will significantly decrease the practice of paying workers for a full day (8 hours) when they work as little as 4.5 hours, if that's what it takes to complete two round trips.
(2) BART workers can no longer take an unpaid day in the middle of a work week, then take an extra work day that same week, and get paid overtime for that extra day.
(3) BART is now able to use technology like electronic messaging and handhelds in order to improve operational efficiency. Previously, the union contract demanded that work orders be transmitted via written orders or by fax.
(4) BART "extra" train operators (operators used to fill in for missing operators that are sick or in training) now travel to the system endpoint where roundtrips begin. Previously, they reported to one of the BART maintenance yards, and were then paid to travel to the endpoint. The new rules send operators directly to the point at which they will begin work, saving time and money.
The employee pension contribution and medical plan costs are now closer to reality than they were previously; however they are still low compared to workers in the private sector.
This story contains 371 words.
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