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BART strike delayed, management gives "final offer"

Isabel Angell
The El Cerrito Del Norte BART Station, closed during the first BART strike in July

BART’s biggest unions called off a strike late Sunday night, but stressed they are ready to strike on Tuesday if no deal is reached. BART management gave what it called its “last and best” offer on Sunday afternoon. 

BART’s unions had previously stepped down from a strike that would have started Friday. But this time, BART said they were done negotiating.

Breaking the media gag order, BART’s General Manager Grace Crunican said the final offer gives the unions a 12 percent raise.

“We’ve given them two weeks to consider the offer and take it to a vote of the members. I really hope that they are going to take it seriously and look at it,” she said. “We are open to any ideas over those two weeks that they may have, we will try and keep that conversation open. It is time to bring this to a close.”

Elected leaders from Bay Area who came to the negotiations criticized management for effectively ending negotiations with that final offer.

“It’s our understanding that (the BART unions) are willing to take more time and that’s what we are encouraging,” State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner told reporters. “We also want itself to be similarly responsive. And we want BART to withdraw that final offer so talks can still keep going.”

Pete Castelli, the executive director of BART’s biggest union, SEIU 1021, released a statement saying the unions wanted to honor elected officials’ calls to continue negotiations.

“In order to avoid a strike, we agree to continue bargaining for one more day in order for the riders, our workers, and the Bay Area get the resolution to these drawn-out negotiations they deserve,” Castelli said. “However, we want to be clear that if we do not have a resolution by midnight tomorrow, we will be forced out on strike.”

An SEIU spokesperson said they would be back at the table with management today, but it’s unclear whether BART will continue negotiating.