BART directors veto union contract they already agreed to

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Spacers's picture
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BART directors veto union contract they already agreed to

BART rejects contract provision on family leave - SFGate

The article is really long & it's also a PITA to copy from SFGate but feel free to click & read. Here's the summary:

Bay Area Regional Transit (BART) and their unions recently agreed to a new contract. This was after months of long, heated negotiations that went nowhere, a four-day strike, a two-month cool-down period ordered by the governor, and another short strike. The agreed-upon contract was signed by a team representing the board, and it was ratified by the unions. A few days later, the board of directors discovered that one of the provisions in the new contract is six weeks of paid family medical leave. The district currently offers, in accordance with state law, 12 weeks of family medical leave -- but it is unpaid. The board of directors called the provision for the paid leave "a mistake" and says that it was "approved by accident." However, the section authorizing the paid leave (Section 4.8 in case anyone's interested) but approved by both sides back in early July. (There were a lot of other things in dispute since then.) BART's board of directors voted yesterday to only sign the contract if the "offending" section was eliminated.

Your thoughts? Should the board of directors get to change their minds on a deal that they had months & months to review, that their own team signed off on, and that the unions have ratified as a whole? The unions say that they approved the contract as a whole and the board shouldn't be allowed to cherry-pick which sections they now disagree with.

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If they are able to prove that the paid leave would be to much of a financial burden then the director has to veto it. His job is to make the BART financially solvent, the union is asking for A LOT in this contract.

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His job is also to honor the contracts that his team negotiates with the unions. The unions agreed to the complete contract in good faith that the board of directors was going to honor what was agreed to. To now try to eliminate one provision is beyond bad faith. Our entire country is based on the concept that a signed contract cannot be unilaterally changed; it requires agreement by both sides to amend. Imagine the precedent this would be setting: your insurer could just up & decide to not cover one of your kids; your mortgage lender could just change the interest rate you thought you had locked in.

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I think they can ask for it to be reviewed by the Union but they have no right to now say...hey sorry we really didn't read what we okayed.