OAKLAND (KRON) — BART trains will be running as scheduled for at least the next seven days.
Governor Jerry Brown is ordering a seven-day board of inquiry to take a closer look at the negotiations between BART and it’s two largest unions.
“At the request of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, I am appointing a board to investigate the threatened strike that would disrupt public transportation services in the Bay Area,” the Governor said in a written statement. This board is appointed under the authority of Government Code, § 3612, subdivision (a), because the strike will significantly disrupt public transportation services and will endanger the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
Officials with both the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Service Employees International Union say the move means a strike, scheduled to begin in hours, will not take place.
“Earlier today, it became apparent that we had three options,” BART Board President Tom Radulovich said Sunday night. “One option was to settle the contract this weekend. That was our first option, our preferred option. The other option we had was to reach out to the unions and say alright we’re close, we’re making progress this weekend, let’s extend. Our unions did not accept that. Our third option, and our only option at this point to keep the trains rolling, was to ask the Governor for a cooling off period.”
“What they do is look at this and determine if there should be a longer cooling off period and whether or not the parties have the ability to reach an agreement,” George Popyack, the Chief Negotiator with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers (AFSCME) says. “The evidence, as we’ve experienced it today, is that it’s a waste of time.”
“I applaud Governor Brown for his decisive action so that the people of the Bay Area will not endure a debilitating BART strike on Monday,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a written statement. “I support the Governor’s appointment of a Board of Investigation, staffed with proven professionals who can help move this dispute toward resolution. I continue to urge both BART union and management leaders to reach an agreement that honors the work of BART workers and sets BART on a path of fiscal responsibility and sustainability, as quickly as possible.
Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for the latest on this developing story.
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