$1,000 Bonuses Given to BART Workers Despite Claim of Poverty

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Walnut Creek, CA – BART is in a financial crisis with capital needs estimated at $9.6 billion, yet it gave out $1,000 bonuses to the transit system’s 3,357 employees as reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle’s “Matier and Ross” column (click here).

The 2013 employee contract tied the bonuses to ridership numbers. It is likely that additional $1,000 bonuses will be given again on July 1, 2016. For KRON4-TV's story, click here. For KTVU2's story, click here.

“This is an outrageous giveaway of taxpayer money by a transit system that is billions of dollars in capital debt,” said Senator Steve Glazer (D – Orinda).

“This secret bonus is on top of the 15.4% raises that BART gave to all workers and managers in its last contract.

‘Moreover, these bonuses aren't tied to any performance metrics – which is probably obvious to all riders, given the packed and dirty trains, maintenance breakdowns and constant delays.

“And, they came from an agency that claims it has no money for new trains, track upgrades and technology improvements.

“BART continues to pay out millions of dollars in pay and benefits from one pocket, while claiming that it has no money for system improvements in the other pocket.”

Sen. Glazer, Assm. Catharine Baker, and 38 local Supervisors, Mayors, and Councilmembers recently wrote a letter to the BART Board of Directors and employee unions raising strong concerns about a potential multi-billion dollar bond that the Board is considering for the November 2016 ballot. The letter noted that convincing two-thirds of Bay Area voters is already an uphill fight, but the 2013 strike by BART unions, drawn-out contract negotiations, and wage concessions for workers and management also seriously damaged voters’ trust in BART.

To regain that trust and the voters’ support of new taxes, Sen. Glazer and the other signers implored the BART Board and employee unions to negotiate – before the 2016 elections – a new contract that will take into account the dire fiscal needs of the system and ensure that trains keep running on schedule.  The new contract would come into effect after the existing contract sunsets in 2017.