Federal mediator sitting down with BART, unions

A federal mediator is once again sitting down with BART and its two largest unions; ; this time, over a disputed clause.
December 12, 2013 10:03:34 PM PST
BART and its unions began meeting Thursday to resolve a disputed portion of the contract the two sides agreed to in October -- six weeks of paid leave that BART says was included by mistake. Both sides seem determined to resolve this, but neither has indicated any willingness to move off their rather dug-in positions.

BART's major unions maintain they've got a done deal with the district, but agreed to at least discuss a disputed provision regarding paid family leave.

"At this point this is a conversation; we're trying to resolve the situation," ATU 1555 President Antonette Bryant said. "The union's position is very clear, it's been very clear."

Last month, union leaders produced this document to show the district signed off on a proposal to provide employees, if needed, six weeks of paid family leave.

Thursday, BART released another piece of paper that predates that signature page with a yellow line through the union's paid leave proposal, as in rejected.

"BART cannot afford six weeks of family leave, it's just too costly," BART spokesperson Luna Salaver said.

BART officials claim they just want to find a compromise and to put this year of labor strife behind them.

Many BART riders would like that.

"I think they need to work this out," rider Brian Johnson said. "I think if it was in the contract it should stay in the contract."

"I'm hoping it gets resolved; I guess I'm praying that it gets resolved," rider Sophie Mal said.

BART and its unions will meet a second day to try and resolve the paid leave dispute.


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