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Golden Gate Transit Strike Averted; Tentative Agreement Reached

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/BCN) - A tentative agreement between the Golden Gate Bridge District and a coalition of labor unions has averted a bus strike that had been planned for Friday, bridge district officials said.

The tentative agreement was reached with assistance from officials with Governor Jerry Brown's office, according to a statement released Thursday by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

The terms of the tentative agreement have not been made public because both the bridge district and union members most vote on whether to ratify it.

Each of the 13 unions in the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition will vote on the tentative pact over the next few weeks, coalition co-chair Alex Tonisson said late Thursday afternoon.

"It's possible the agreement could be rejected, negotiations would continue and there could be a strike. Each union negotiates side table issues and individual unions could strike, but that's unlikely," Tonisson said.

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District spokeswoman Priya David Clemens confirmed a tentative agreement was reached but did not disclose any details.

"The agreement will be presented to the district's board for approval on Friday, Oct. 24. At that point, the details of the agreement will be made available to interested parties," Clemens said.

Clemens said the district reached out to Gov. Jerry Brown last week for help when negotiations seemed stalled and that district officials are thankful for his help.

The issues that stood in the way of a contract agreement varied from union to union but involved wages, compensation for training and a proposed high-deductible health care insurance plan, among others.

Tonisson claimed the district has projected a surplus of roughly $138 million over the next five years.

Clemens said the district actually has a $33 million deficit.

The strike that was scheduled by mechanics, service workers and dispatchers Friday would have been the third one-day strike involving members of the labor coalition.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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