San Francisco transit, union leaders reach deal
SAN FRANCISCO ó San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit officials and labor union leaders announced a new deal early Saturday, saying the final unresolved issue in their ongoing dispute has been resolved.
The transit system and its two largest unions have been involved in months-long negotiations that stalled recently over paid medical leave time for employees.
BART officials and labor leaders had approved a deal in October after six months of negotiations and two strikes that caused problems for hundreds of thousands of people who ride the nation's fifth-largest commuter rail system.
That deal fell apart last month when BART officials said the provision giving workers six weeks of paid annual leave to care for sick family members had been mistakenly included in the contract.
BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement early Saturday that she will recommend the company's board of directors approve the new agreement as soon as possible.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 President Antonette Bryant said early Saturday that a deal had been reached, but she would not elaborate on the details until union members have had a chance to see the agreement. She said the deal had been reached after overnight negotiations.
Service Employees International Union Local 1021 BART chapter President John Arantes said in a statement on his union's website that it was a "fair resolution that would close months of drawn out contract talks." He did not elaborate. The union office was closed early Saturday, and The Associated Press could not immediately reach an official for comment.
Both unions are expected to bring the matter to their members for a vote.
The BART statement says the contract dispute was resolved with solutions that either are administrative or can be covered within the transit system's existing budget.
According to the transit system statement the new agreement expands the bereavement leave policy and "allows qualifying employees more flexibility in how they pay for the costs of their family medical leave."
It also mentions there will be "additional administrative changes to the contract" and upgrades to employee break rooms at three BART stations.
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