After more than five months of contentious negotiations, BART’s largest unions, SEIU 1021 and ATU 1555, announced last night that they’ve reached a tentative agreement with the transit agency and the four-day BART strike is officially over. Trains began running again this morning, and service is supposed to be fully operational by this afternoon.
The agreement is centered around a fair compromise on pension and healthcare costs. It also provides for reasonable wage increases, in addition to some work rule changes that allow for innovation and input from workers.
John Arantes, BART Chapter President of SEIU 1021:
We understand that the strike has been an incredible inconvenience to Bay Area commuters. BART workers were raising issues at the table that are important to all workers, and we thank the thousands of Bay Area men and women who supported our fight for a contract that puts the safety of riders and workers first.
ATU local 1555 President Antonette Bryant:
We did not want to strike and are glad we have a tentative agreement that works for all parties. We thank the riders and the entire public for their support and patience. We thank the elected leaders from across the federal, region and state that stood by us and called for a fair solution. We also thank our Brothers and Sisters in SEIU Local 1021, AFSCME 3993, and across the entire labor movement who stood with us. We look forward to collaborating with the entire community to grow our regional economy in a way that supports families and our shared future.
Des Patten, President of SEIU 1021’s BART Professional Chapter:
Let us be clear that our commitment to improving the safety at BART doesn’t end with these negotiations. With this agreement, we expect that General Manager Grace Crunican will continue the dialogue with its unions on working conditions and health and safety at BART. We are proud to bring a tentative agreement that prioritizes rider and worker safety to our members for a vote, which preserves important workplace protections that enable workers to continue working with management to improve a rapidly-growing system.
The tentative agreement still must be ratified by the members of the unions and the BART Board of Directors before it takes effect.