OAKLAND -- BART's board of directors will hold a special meeting Jan. 2 to consider approval of contracts with its two largest employee unions.

The open session meeting will be held 9 a.m. at the transit district's board room, 300 Lakeside Drive, newly elected board president Joel Keller said Monday; the vote had originally been planned for Thursday.

Early Saturday morning, BART and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 announced a tentative agreement had been reached that could end the eight-month labor stalemate.

Despite insisting a family medical leave provision that could have cost the district tens of millions of dollars over the life of the contract was mistakenly signed off in November, BART returned to the negotiating table and over the past month reached a series of concessions with its unions that the board president said were basically cost neutral. In exchange, Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 agreed to remove the controversial Section 4.8 from the contract.

"I think we're moving toward finalizing (the contracts)," Keller said.

He noted that the union presidents have indicated they would encourage their members to vote for ratification after the BART board approves the contract.


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BART General Manager Grace Crunican is also recommending the board approve the contract.

Having BART approve a contract before it goes before the unions is a "departure" from the norm but seemed "appropriate give the circumstances of these contracts," Keller said over the weekend.

A public notice on the meeting is expected to go out no later than Tuesday afternoon, district officials said Monday.

Keller said Saturday the new deal remains under the same "financial envelope" that the board had greenlighted for negotiations months ago.

The new agreements touched on a variety of concessions:

Expansion of paid time off for bereavement leave to include deaths of grandchildren or stepparents of a spouse or domestic partner.

  • Construction of break rooms in the Daly City, Millbrae and West Oakland stations, which will be paid through an already funded station modernization program.

  • Additional flexibility on how employees pay for costs of family medical leave.

  • Splitting bonuses of up to $1,000 into six-month periods for each employee if BART exceeds ridership projections this fiscal year by 1 percent.

  • Changes to retirement service credit and long-term care insurance options.

  • Overtime adjustments involving training schedules,

  • A tax benefit.

    Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.