With $39 Million Separating the Two Sides, Analysis Shows BART Management Is Willing to Spend More Than Half of the Difference Between Proposal Costs on a Strike Contingency Plan
OAKLAND, Calif. — On Tuesday BART management and other transportation officials unveiled a $21 million contingency plan to run services and up to 200 free charter buses—at the cost of $300,000 a day—in the event of strike at the end of a state-mandated cooling-off period. The cooling off period expires October 10.
By contrast, BART’s financial analysts provided an estimated difference of $39 million between the transit agency’s current proposal and the most recent contract proposal from its largest unions, SEIU 1021 and ATU 1555. Based on estimates provided by BART management at the bargaining table, BART Management’s strike contingency plan would cost more than half the difference in cost between the unions’ and transit agency’s proposals over three years.
“We’ve waited for more than a week for a response from BART management’s negotiators on our latest proposal,” says John Arantes, President of SEIU1021’s BART chapter. “Instead of a response, we’re informed through news reports that they’re coming up with strike plans that cost more than half the difference in our proposals—it’s frustrating. This is yet another effort by BART Management to duck, dodge, bob and weave and do everything they can to avoid serious negotiations and to force a strike that will have serious consequences for the tens of thousands of people who rely on BART everyday.”