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BART Board Approves New Contract, Heads To Unions For Approval

OAKLAND (KCBS) -- The Bay Area Rapid Transit agency Board of Directors voted 8-1 on Thursday to approve the labor agreement it has reached with its two largest unions: Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees' International Union Local 1021.

The approval came at a special meeting of the BART Board on Thursday. Zakhary Mallett was the only board member who voted no on the new contract. He said BART gave up too many pension benefits to the unions.

BART Board Approves New Contract, Heads To Unions For Approval

"We rewarded bad behavior when out workforce went on strike," Mallett said. "When they went out on strike, we sweetened the deal."

The new contract includes revisions to resolve the disputed family leave provision.

In place of the family leave provision, which would have included up to six weeks of paid leave for union members, workers will get an extended bereavement leave and potential bonuses.

"We thank the union leaders for all their hard work to resolve the family leave dispute and to move this agreement forward," said BART President Joel Keller. "The Bay Area has been put through far too much and we owe it to our riders and the public to make the needed reforms to our contract negotiations process so mistakes are avoided in the future. I will appoint a new Board committee to investigate the policies and practices of labor negotiations and will make recommendations to the Board and the General Manager on how we can improve the process."

ATU Local 1555 and SEIU Local 1021 are expected to vote on the labor agreement, running from 2013-2017, in the coming week.

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