But someone had to leave a huge sour note in our mouths today, and that's the BART employee unions.
As a result of the authorization to strike votes, over 98% of employees have given their authorization to leadership to call a strike, which may happen as early as Monday, July 1st when their contracts expire at 12:01AM on Monday.
If a strike happens, this transit agency who carries more than 400,000 people a day will make the entire Bay Area transportation system of roads, highways, and other transit agencies go into submission. The MTC has worked out a war plan for such a worst case scenario, but with a possible AC Transit strike also looming, it could also turn into the perfect storm.
Governor Brown has the ability to call a 60 day cooling off period, and other resources such as mediators are at the disposal of BART management and the unions if something doesn't work out.
Every four years, there's always a threat of a strike from the BART unions. Those employees know, with a strike, they can cripple the entire Bay Area, and they will always win what they want, every single time.
On this round, they want a 23.2% raise over three years, and that's because they have the leverage to screw the public. I'm a public employee making much less than the average BART worker and I haven't received a raise in five and a half years. If I had a shot at a raise by reclassification of my job, I'd likely get a five percent bump. If we were to strike, we wouldn't cripple the entire Bay Area, we'd just make a handful of people upset and frustrated.
It's time for us, the people of the Bay Area to finally stand-up to BART's strike threats with threats of our own:
- Stop using us as bargaining chips.
- Stop making threats of a strike every four years.
- We will perservere if you strike.
- You will never be forgiven if you strike.
- Jerry Brown, you have the power to order that 60 day cooling-off period, DO IT.