POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (Bay Area): Bay Area Rapid Transit District, new round of BART negotiations, commentary (Matier & Ross), clear that the "unions are winning"....
* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross) - From the Chronicle:
BART ride: One look at what is on the table in the new round of BART negotiations that continue this week shows pretty clearly that the unions are winning. Just look at the numbers.
When negotiations began on April 1, BART management's position was a) no raises; b) workers begin paying more into their pensions; and c) most importantly, that workers move from paying a flat $92-a-month for health care to paying 20 percent of their medical premiums. The package would have saved the transit system about $140 million over 4 years.
In a last-minute attempt to avert the July 1 strike, BART sweetened the offer with an 8 percent raise over 4 years, and dropped the medical kick in to 16 percent, down from 20. As the deadline approached for a second possible strike in August, BART upped its offer again. This time the package included a 10 percent pay hike over 4 years, only a 4 percent retirement kick-in, and a continuation of the flat rate for health care - except for those on the high-end plans.
In short, BART went from a deal to save the system $120 million to a deal that will cost about $33.8 million over the next four years. "We've been the one's making the moves throughout," said BART director Zackary Mallett. BART Board President Tom Radulavich said, "If we go beyond this, it will mean more cuts and dirtier stations."
The problem for BART is that their "final-final" offer made before the imposed cool down, is now the opening offer in the new negotiations.....................