Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BART workers ratify new contract

Written by 

Officials of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 said Tuesday the union had overwhelmingly approved a new contract with Bay Area Rapid Transit, just a little more than a week after a strike deadline August 17threatened to shut the system.

More than 80% of union members voting on the contract with BART approved the deal.

bart_logo.jpg

Union president Jesse Hunt said the agreement calls for a four-year contract. Terms include reducing overtime, charging employees more for premium health benefits and eliminating jobs through attrition instead of layoffs. The contract is similiar to one accepted by two other BART unions. Train operators and station agents had previously rejected a four-year contract, and their union was seeking a shorter contract.

"We've accepted the cuts and sacrifices asked of us for the next four years, which are greater than those asked of any other employees, union or nonunion," Hunt said. "Today, a majority of our members have voted to ratify this contract. We will sign this contract."