East Bay State Legislators Issue Statement on Hearing of BART Labor Negotiations

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

OAKLAND, CA. – Following a hearing held today by the inquiry board appointed by Gov. Brown to review the labor dispute between BART and its labor unions, Assemblymembers Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) released the following statement:

“We’re pleased today’s meeting redirected focus on the ultimate goal of finalizing a fair contract that continues to ensure a safe, dependable public transit system. The panel asked important questions, obtaining documents and testimony that revealed the true financial picture of BART, the actual wages workers earn, and the significant safety issues confronted by employees every day.

Testimony revealed inconsistencies in information BART management made public. For example, the figure given for average BART worker pay has been $79,500. But that figure includes management pay. BART’s own documents given to the panel show train operators earn less than $63,000 and station agents earn $64,000 on average. In addition, we learned that workers have offered to significantly increase contributions to pensions and employee medical.

These are the type of facts that need to be the focus at the bargaining table. We believe that BART riders deserve good faith negotiations to resume so that rail service can continue uninterrupted.”

Elected in 2012, Bill Quirk brings his PhD in astrophysics and career as an educator and scientist to the State Assembly.  He is a member of the powerful Assembly Rules Committee and has been appointed to the Committees on Agriculture, Appropriations, Public Safety, and Utilities & Commerce.