BART Strike Delayed; Court Grants Gov. Brown’s Request for 60-Day Cooling Off
Updated: 11:45 a.m.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow issued the official court order for the 60-day cooling off period around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
BART Director for District 7 Zakhary Mallett, speaking as an independent board director after the BART hearing, said that the 60-day cooling gives both sides the time to continue to work on a contract agreement. But, he acknowledged, “We’re several tens of millions of dollars apart still.”
BART management had initially asked Gov. Jerry Brown to request a 60-day cooling off period from the courts. A three-person board of inquiry appointed by the Governor found that a strike would cause significant harm to the public health of the Bay Area.
“This hearing simply confirms that all parties agree that without the 60-day cooling off there was the potential of grave impact upon the riders and the public,” said Mallett.
Read the court order:
Original story: 9:50 a.m.
The strike that wasn’t has been put off again. According to the San Francisco Chronicle and KGO-TV, Sunday morning, a judge granted Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for a 60-day cooling off period, postponing a possible BART strike. The formal order will be issued later today. KGO reports:
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow is expected to issue a formal order granting the injunction later Sunday. BART trains would run for at least the next 60 days while the two sides are expected to negotiate further.
After Brown announced his intention Friday to seek the court order for the cooling off period, the unions involved in negotiations did not deliver the 48-hour notice necessary for a strike if the order hadn’t been granted. Negotiations will continue this afternoon.
BART management and the unions remain far apart in negotiations over salary and health care contributions, however. The Amalgated Transit Union’s Leo Ruiz told KQED’s Bryan Goebel on Friday that he’s frustrated that BART rejected some of the union’s proposals and that he doubted there would be an agreement by Sunday night.
“There were four proposals on the table,” Ruiz said. “All four were rejected. I don’t have hope. I did four days ago. Not after yesterday.”
Last Sunday, Brown appointed a three-member board of inquiry to examine the unresolved issues in the labor dispute, delaying the possible strike until this weekend. In a statement, at that time, BART said that BART board President Tom Radulovich had written Brown to request a 60-day cooling off period.
A cooling-off period would “allow us to continue negotiating while assuring the public that it will have transit service tomorrow and for another 60 days as we continue to bargain,” Radulovich wrote.
During an all-day meeting on Wednesday, both sides made their cases to the three-member board of inquiry that had been appointed by the Governor. The panel found that a strike would cause significant harm to public safety and welfare.