NO BART STRIKE TODAY, THOUGH UNIONS THREATEN ONE IS IMMINENT

NO BART STRIKE TODAY, THOUGH UNIONS THREATEN ONE IS IMMINENT

Michele Ellson

BART's unions say they're holding off from striking for one more day in a last-ditch attempt to negotiate contracts with management. But they say a strike will come Tuesday if deals aren't reached by midnight.

"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," Service Employees International Union Local 1021's executive director, Pete Castelli, was quoted as saying in a press release posted Sunday on the union's website.

BART management said in a release that BART General Manager Grace Crunican submitted the rail line's last, best and final offer - its final contract offer - which contains 12 percent in raises over four years and increases to pension and medical payments. In her statement, she said the package contained $7 million more than the rail line's prior offer to workers.

"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," Crunican was quoted as saying in the statement, also issued Sunday night.

In his statement, Castelli - who said the unions opted not to strike at the behest of Bay Area leaders - said that the union has made "real progress" on pay, pensions and health care but that it is still "at odds" with management on work rules. The release didn't offer specifics, citing a gag order offered by the federal mediator working to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

We'll bring you more as this story unfolds.