SEIU 1021 Members Vote 88% to Approve Contract
This evening SEIU 1021 announced that union members overwhelmingly approved a four-year contract with BART that covers more than 1,400 workers responsible for the repair, maintenance and cleaning of the BART system.
BART workers united in SEIU 1021 voted decisively – 88% – in favor of a contract that provides for reasonable wage increases and a compromise on pension and healthcare costs. The agreement also calls for significant safety improvements at the transit agency.
“The thousands of riders who depend on BART and the men and women who keep it running deserve a safe and dependable system,” said John Arantes, SEIU 1021 BART Chapter President. “BART workers — just like other workers — want to be safe when they go to work. Today our members resoundingly approved an agreement that would increase awareness of the dangerous working conditions facing many workers and a way to immediately address those concerns.”
“Starting with this contract, BART will have a procedure in place to track safety notices district-wide,” said Saul Almanza, SEIU 1021 BART Professional Chapter Vice President. “For the first time we’ll have an electronic tracking system of notices filed by workers to flag unresolved safety hazards—a system that could potentially save lives.”
The member-ratified contract also establishes Worker/Management Safety and Health sub-committees to begin addressing the poor lighting in the tunnels and the overgrown brush on the tracks that contributed to worker fatalities in 2001 and 2008. The committees will also review timing of reopening underground restrooms to improve station cleanliness.
“We trust that the Board will agree with the workers, approve this contract, and join us in meeting our shared responsibility to the people who work at BART, to have a safe environment for them and for the thousands of riders they serve each day,” said Des Patten SEIU 1021 BART Professional Chapter President. “This contract is a victory for the workers and a step toward improving safety for the riders. I’m extremely proud of our membership for ratifying this contract.”
SEIU 1021 reached a tentative agreement with BART on October 21st, after more than five months of negotiations and two unfair labor practice strikes.