Town Square

BART unions, management feuding with 2 weeks to go before strike could resume

Original post made on Jul 23, 2013

Less than two weeks before BART workers could resume their strike, union leaders said Monday that management's chief negotiator has a long history of engaging in hardball tactics and accused him of engaging in unfair bargaining.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 7:42 AM


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Here is a genuine long term solution:

Change the contract for City and County Police and Fire so that instead of retiring at 50 or 55 they would work until 60 as train operators and/or station agents. This would allow them to ease into retirement and the citizens would get pre-trained law enforcement and emergency protocol personnel.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jul 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I recommend that Police and Firefighters retire at the age of 50 and enjoy their lives as much as possible.

As for emergency personnel, apply for jobs and work only for an excellent salary.

Demand and strike for as many benefits as possible. GOOD LUCK!


Posted by Or...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Fire them all and find and train replacement workers. It should take a week or two, tops

Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Unfortunately the union has made it impossible to train replacements. They have managed to include in their contract that the only time somebody can train that is not a union member is when a union member is not on the job, however the caveat is that they must have 16 weeks of training. So, in effect the union has made it impossible to get anybody trained in a short period of time. Just another example of a union out of control.

Posted by BART Slugs, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:38 am

Return to the days when it was illegal for public workers to strike. It they don't like it, they can go get a job in the private sector. It's simply outrageous for these dolts to be able to hold the public and the area economy hostage. Also, the retirement age should be raised to 66 years old, same as for Social Security. Also, take away their defined-benefit pensions and put them on 401k's. Why is it think the public sector deserves hog-at-the-slop-trough benefits when those paying for those benefits are struggling?

Posted by Vic, a resident of Avignon
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

Cholo, you are part of the problem.

Posted by chuck, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:45 am

Truth is, both sides are out of line, one wants way too much and the other is offering way too little

Posted by JT, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

We cannot offer what we don't have. The employees have been on the gravy train for a long time now and it is unsustainable. The pension and health care issues should be have been fixed a long time ago with the employees paying the correct amount but that can was pushed down the road. Free pensions, at taxpayer expense, are a gift of public funds and should be illegal.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

Once this union stupidity 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.

Posted by Terry, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

At this point, I think that we should shut Bart down and then our State leaders would have to do something. They can place new guidelines to operate Bart with common sense...

Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

SEUI ! SEIU ! Way to go Bros!! Just like the dinosaurs!!

Posted by ayeaye, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jul 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

Another choice for replacement drivers, would be the veterans, returning from the middle east, who already know how to drive armour BART trains would be a piece of cake for them.
Strike down that clause about 16 weeks
Strike down the public sector unions' right to strike.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Think it's time to rein in a union that is out of control?

This is from the Contra Costa Times editorial: BART strike has long way to go before it's over
Contra Costa Times editorial 2013 Bay Area News Group
Posted: 07/05/2013 12:29:34 PM PDT
Updated: 07/05/2013 06:19:25 PM PDT

"For starters, BART has only 10 qualified operators who are not in the Amalgamated Transit Union.

If management wanted to add more, it would have to put them through special training mandated under the union contract signed after the 1979 labor dispute.

It's not that becoming a BART driver requires a lot of experience. The trains are automated, so operators drive them only during emergencies, and then only to speeds up to 25 mph.

To qualify for training, a candidate needs a high school diploma or GED, a valid California driver's license and three years of experience "interacting with the general public in a variety of ways," according to the posted job description.

Operators also must pass a 15-week training course in safety practices. Under the agency's contract, however, anyone is barred from even taking the course as long as union BART operators are on the job.

In other words, the only time BART can begin training replacement operators is when drivers go out on strike.

So if there is a strike, it will take months to get replacement operators in the trains —unless BART files paperwork with the California Public Utilities Commission to change the training requirements. And who knows how long that would take?"

Posted by how hard?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Training for train operators:
Day 1: When the train comes to a stop hold your finger on the door open button until the doors are clear. Repeat this lesson 20 times.
Day 2: When you are approaching a station, mumble something into the PA system. Does not matter what you say. Practice this 20 times.
Day 3: When you are at the end of the line, open your door, lock it, walk to other end of train, unlock door, go inside. Press button saying you are ready.
Day 4: Emergency training. If there is an emergency, your supervisor will tell you what to do. The computer will do everything. If you are approaching a train and getting close and the train is still going, press the stop button.
Day 5: Get your diploma and go to work.

Training for Station Agent:
Day 1: If you see suspicious activity, call BART police.
Day 2: Assist customer get through gates. Take their ticket and put it into the slot. See gate open. Try this 20 times.
Day 3: Assist customer who does not know how much it costs to get to SF. Tell them to look at the fare sheet on the ticket machine.
Day 4: Get your diploma and go to work.

Posted by ayeaye, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jul 25, 2013 at 8:26 am

Love those descriptions, how hard, especially number two under training for train out of ten operators speaks so you can understand them. Good analysis....and for this skill set we are paying over $80,000 a year????

Posted by Klisvak, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Jul 25, 2013 at 8:45 am

Cholo, you forgot your medication again.

Posted by Jay, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jul 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

The unions once had a place in this country. Currently unions are holding the public HOSTAGE. We do not negotiate with terrorists!
SEIU is a power hungry, out of control group of individuals. 72 per cent of Americans struggle to make it. Week to week. BART employees are in the other28per cent.

COME ON! BE REASONABLE (if you can.....)

Posted by Bartender, a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

We need to knock all public workers down to minimum wage or lower. Heck, that's what I make. That would allow the rich people to have more money. Face it, they deserve it, and maybe I'll get more tips.

Posted by Anti-Union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Bartender PHONY, get back on your picket line. Aren't you needed in Detroit.

Posted by how hard?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Bartender, you just don't get it. Nobody is saying pay them the minimum wage. What we are saying this they should be paid a salary and benefits that is comparable for somebody of their training/education as the private sector.

Remember, if those employees get more money, it will cost more to ride BART which means all those in the private sector who rely on BART are essentially given a pay cut (if you follow the analogy of rising healthcare costs to BART workers means they are getting a pay cut). The union members think nothing about doing that to the riders.

Posted by Bartender, a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Did corporations decide to flee Bay Area like they have in Detroit?

We need to break up unions so that anyone who works, as opposed to inheriting or accumulating money through investments, gets less than what it takes to support a family of four.

I personally don't have to worry about these matters because my wife supports me and I bartend (mixing chemicals -- some call me 'chemist') part-time. The rest of the time I complain about unions. How DARE they make more money for themselves than I do? Just call me "Misery loves company!"

Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm

For Bartender/Chemist,
I'm pretty sure you and others can put money into "investments" thereby accumulating money also, even if your a card carrying union member.

Posted by Bartender, a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Yes, we can spell and use grammar correctly as well.

You guys (plural? what a laugh!) misunderstand my point. We need to continue to crush workers in the private sphere as we have done, you know, with union busting, going overseas, seeking work-for-peanuts arrangements in the Southern states. We keep this up and private sector workers will make a lot less than they currently are.

Then we can continue to compare public workers to the increasingly devalued private workers, as is being done here. Sooner or later, our economy will consist only of the super-duper wealthy and the hoi polloi making roughly minimum wage or less. This is desirable because that's what I make, except for the tips my socially superior 'betters' give me for knowing how to mix a cocktail.

Posted by Jenny Jenny, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm

C'mon, if weren't for Cholo, Stacey, that Another Teacher...thing & Mooseturd (love that name btw) there just wouldn't be an adequate level of Trolls to rile up the masses.

Keep it up you snarky webby-bloggy rabble rousers!

Now don't forget to take your meds.

Posted by Eric, a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Bart can find the money that the unions want simply by cutting the Bart board salaries by 20% and cutting all car allowances. The Bart board will never take a pay cut like all the unions did a few years back but now it's the board's turn to suffer for a change. Don't let the Bart Board fool you they make salaries that some CEO's get.

Posted by erdic, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Eric/bartender troll, the BART workers make more money that many, many private industry workers. So, what was your point again about comparing the BARt board to 'some CEO's? Which CEO's did you have in mind and what was their level of extertise/eduction?
Then, compare BART train monkeys that make as much as some teachers and firemen. Do your math (if you can) before you make yourself look like an even bigger union fool.

Posted by Anti-Union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hey Bartender, it was greedy unions who drove companies out of the country TO cheaper labor....and Out of Detroit!

Posted by Bartender, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Anti-Union, now there's an original moniker.

And how did the 'driving out' occur? Whips? Cannons? No! Most by threats of pooping in owners' pick-up trucks, that's how!!!

Liberal loons (actually communists) will claim that nobody chased anyone anywhere; that companies have fled overseas because they can find labor forces there that are willing to work for slave's wages.

But you and me, Anti-Union, we're both willing to work for slave's wages, aren't we? Because we're both toady bootlickers, that's why!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Bartender, Amusing that you think that repeating your lie will ever make it true.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

Once more, further proof of a union totally out of control. BART workers easily earned the most money on average last year among the 25 largest government agencies in the Bay Area, also BART employees also topped the list of the highest paid transit operators in California.
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