The problem has to do with what BART considers a mistake in a clause that grants too much paid family leave to union workers.
BART's two largest unions approved the contract last month after workers went out on strike twice in the past four months. Now, sources tell ABC7 News that a page in the agreement somehow made it into the final draft and was signed by all the negotiators. However, BART officials claim they had rejected the provision and the union had verbally agreed to take it out.
The issue is family medical leave. The new contract states that BART will give full pay for the first six weeks. The old language said employees need to use sick leave and vacation time first. Sources tell ABC7 News that when BART management discovered the mistake, the unions said the clause could not be withdrawn.
The BART board is expected to vote on the contract during a special meeting now scheduled for Friday. If the board turns down the contract, BART workers could go on strike again, possibly, over the holidays.
On Thursday evening, ATU 1555 President Antonette Bryant issued a statement on behalf of the union, "We negotiated in good faith for six months. BART management is now attempting to go back on agreements it made in July and August and that were part of the final deal. This is unconscionable. We expect the BART Board will now do its part and approve this contract. And we look forward to collaborating with the entire community to grow our regional economy in a way that supports families and our shared future."