Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, November 22, 2013

BART Boasts of $128 Million in Savings on Same Day it Spurns Workers' Family Leave

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge Momma told me there'd be days like this...
  • Momma told me there'd be days like this...

BART's Board of Directors yesterday sent the transit agency's already Wagnerian labor imbroglio skittering off the tracks and into a dark and unforeseen place.

In spurning a contract provision providing workers with up to six weeks of paid medical leave -- which management claims was, somehow, erroneously ratified earlier -- BART's directors have set the stage for what could be the third strike of 2013 and resultant transit Armageddon.

At this point, BART management could do just about anything and it wouldn't raise eyebrows. By the time its $399,000 hired gun Tom Hock missed a bargaining session to go to Disneyland -- taking a break from artless, deal-free negotiations to deliver a lecture titled "The Art of Negotiating the Deal" -- any and all Rubicons had been crossed.

So, it might come as little surprise that, on the very day BART's board declared a family leave provision pegged at between $1.4 million and $10.5 million a year too costly, it gratuitously boasted of $128 million in savings via an accelerated train car procurement deal.

Depending on one's mindset regarding the strike -- which has, sadly, resulted in a great deal of Manichean coverage -- this turn of events could be spun any which way.

But them's the facts: BART simultaneously trumpeted massive cost savings while crying poo regarding far, far lower labor costs. You can argue about the rightness of codifying a supposed "error" or note that the savings are also tied to fast-tracking a spectacularly expensive train car procurement. But, once again, BART management managed to stick its foot in its mouth -- which is even more inadvisable after treading through a BART train.

If nothing else, BART management can pride itself on a rarified achievement yesterday. It is now, officially, more agonizing to watch than the answering machine message scene in Swingers.

You take the victories as they come.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"