OAKLAND -- The Bay Area Rapid Transit agency is hiring a consultant to investigate its recent round of contentious labor negotiations, which led to two strikes and a contract dispute.

The commuter rail line's board of directors voted 5-4 for the consultant on Thursday. The goal is to determine what went wrong with the talks.

BART unions went on strike over the summer and then again in October. The two sides reached a tentative agreement before BART objected to a provision about family leave. Negotiations resumed and a final deal was reached in December.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1kHzjfn) that all the board members favored the consultant, but some thought the committee should first establish exactly what they wanted the person to look into.

The consultant will be paid a maximum of $225,000.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com