15 State Legislators Criticize BART’s Tactics
Dear Ms. Dugger:
We write to you as members of the Bay Area delegation to the State Assembly and Senate to voice concern about the direction of labor negotiations with your employee unions. Thank you for your letter dated June 16 that outlined the fiscal situation that the District Is faced with and the update on the ongoing labor negotiations at the District. While we appreciate the information that you provided, we are concerned by reports on the District’s bargaining position, which we believe has the potential to spark a labor dispute with the unions representing workers at the District.
The BART unions — Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 1555, Service Employees international Union (SEIU), Local 1021, and the Amerloan Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 3993 — assure us that they understand the economic challenges facing the District today, and indeed, it is these workers who arguably have the highest stake In the District’s fiscal stability.
Your workers have shown in previous negotiation cycles that they understand that it is their loss if the District cannot maintain its viability. Thus, we understand that in the last negotiation cycle four years ago, your employees gave up raises to ensure the continuing viability of the District’s retiree health plan and to address the Districts concern regarding Its unfunded liability with regard to retiree health. Your employees
recognize that the public’s interests and the District’s interests are necessarily intertwined.
We do not presume, to tell the District— or the Unions —the terms of any bargaining agreement, Rather, our purpose here is to express our concern of the impact an ongoing labor dispute will have on the public transportation and on the workers employed by the District. We also want to ensure that the negotiations involve the give-and-take, which characterizes good faith bargaining and do not reflect a race to
the ‘finish line,. We are concerned over allegations that the District opened negotiations with threats to unilaterally implement ita proposals and to dishonor long-standing provisions of the labor agreements on June Q. We were also concerned to learn that the board has requested that the Governor not order a “cooling off period,’ if requested, based expressly on the cost of continuing negotiations, and seemingly without regard to the circumstances or the effect on the public.
In closing, we ask that you bargain in good faith In the negotiations so the District can ensure that the public will continue to be served by BART’s services and that your workers do not face any undue economic hardship.
Thank you for your leadership and for the public service that you provide to the residents of the Bay Area,
We look forward t he timely and just resolution to these negotiations.
Leland Yee, 8th Senate District
Fiona Ma 12th Assembly District
Tom Ammiano 13th Assembly District
Mark Leno 3rd Senate District
Nancy Skinner, 14th Assembly District
Loni Hancock, 9th Senate District
Sandre Swanson, 18th Assembly District
Mark DeSauinier, 7th Senate District
Alberto Torrico, 20th Assembly District
Elaine Alquist, 13th Senate District
Mary Hayashi, 18th Assembly District
Ellen Corbett, 10th Senate District
Joan Buchanan, 15th Assembly District
Tom Torlakson, 11th Assembly District
Jerry Hill, 16th Assembly District