The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

Nation & World

August 1, 2013

Bay Area transit shutdown looms amid labor dispute

(Continued)

The unions — which represent nearly 2,400 train operators, station agents, mechanics, maintenance workers and professional staff — agreed to call off the strike and extend their contracts until Aug. 4 while negotiations continued.

Key sticking points in the labor dispute include worker safety, pensions and health care costs, according to BART and union officials.

The transit agency has said union train operators and station agents average about $71,000 in base salary and $11,000 in overtime annually. The workers pay nothing toward their pensions.

BART says it needs to save money on benefits to help pay for system improvements.

Unions submitted their last financial proposal last month and were awaiting a counteroffer from BART, said Josie Mooney, chief negotiator for the local Service Employees International Union, the other union in talks with BART. Mooney said they offered to contribute to the pension, but she could not say how much because of a gag order issued by a mediator.

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