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I'm starting to get the impression that BART's workers are out of touch with the common person in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to BARTLabor.com the average union worker makes about $115,000 a year. By contrast, BART riders have an average income of just over $55,000. That means the striking union workers are doing well, and the average BART rider's just getting by in the expensive Bay Area. But with that, BART union workers want a 3 percent raise?
So let's say they strike after July 9th. That means the person who needs to use BART to get to that job interview in Concord from Oakland can't make the interview without paying money they can't afford for a cab to a place of employment that may not hire them. That's terrible.
Why in Heaven's name would BART's workers who want to walk out if they don't get what they want even try to convince BART riders to side with their cause. Hey folks, we're in a really long recession and California's broke. BART workers should try to keep their jobs, and forget getting raises.
BART management's new proposal
On the note of maintaining jobs, BART has a new proposal for the unions. Here it is:
• Choosing the Kaiser full family health insurance plan for $85/mo or pay the difference for more expensive health insurance plans
• Contributing toward their pension (currently employees pay $0 toward their pension)
• Eliminating wasteful work rules
• Reducing or eliminating BART’s payments into their secondary retirement accounts
BART claims this will cut the $250 million, four-year budget deficit while maintaining workers salaries at current levels - no reductions. That's a great start to a resolution of this mess; I hope the workers take it and think about how blessed they are to be employed at a six-figure level.