This morning, BART unions are hoping to please everyone, especially BART management with their latest proposal that would give them a lot less money than they'd been asking for.
The new proposal essentially asks BART for an 11.5 percent increase over three years which is nicer than the 21 percent increase they had been adamant about during labor talks. The new plan calls for a 3.75 percent wage increase for the first two years of the contract and a 4 percent increase the third year.
They calculated these new numbers based on this logic: For each .10 percent increase in ridership over budget projections, the unions want .10 percent increases in wages.
But wait, there's more ...
They're also calling for increased healthcare contributions of more than 15 percent across the board for all BART workers and that BART reimburse employees 72 cents for every $1 they contribute to their pensions.
"In an effort to kick-start negotiations and move closer to an agreement before next Thursday's cooling-off period expiration date, the unions presented a significant cost-saving counter-proposal last night, in addition to reaching an understanding on the pension swap with BART Management's negotiators," the unions said in a statement released this morning.
Last night, Rick Rice, spokesman for BART, issued the following tepid statement in response to the latest proposal:
"We have received a new economic proposal from the unions this evening that appears to represent some progress, which we appreciate. We will be evaluating the overall costs of this and return to discussions with the unions tomorrow."
Let's just hope this latest move keeps the trains running next week when the 60-day cooling-off period ends. Stay tuned.