BART becoming a useless dinosaur

The BART board did the right thing in not approving a flawed contract. However, they did the wrong thing on the items they did approve.

BART is no longer what the people expected when we voted for the taxes that support the system. It has become costly to ride and is deteriorating because taxes and fare revenue is being sucked out by everyone in the system -- from the board members to the new hires.

Every time the fares go up, we have to decide what to give up to continue to work. We are not struggling to survive on $85,000, like the average BART employee.

We sit on stained seats or stand in the aisles. We go to the station to find out a software bug is going to cost us a day's pay. We see a negotiator, who apparently cannot read, receive more than $300,000 for his flawed services. The list goes on.

The BART board, the unions and the BART employees need to go back to the table and get real or BART will become a useless, unreliable dinosaur. Or better yet, be taken over by a private, profit-motivated corporation.

Roy Larkin

Concord

Incompetence, yes, but sign and move on

No, BART did not do the right thing on the proposed union contract.

There are two sides here: BART employees who want to get more money and less work from each succeeding contract and BART management who want to be re-elected and not have to do anything for it.

Well, the employees are doing a pretty good job. So good, in fact, that in the private sector they might be called thieves.

However, the management seems to be dismally incompetent. They freely admit they didn't read they final version of the contract and they are trying to convince us that it wasn't their fault. Well then, whose fault was it?

As much as I hate to say this, I have to tell those incompetent toads, "You screwed this up! Suck it up and sign the contract and we'll all move on."

Of course, maybe more than a few of us will remember this fiasco at the next BART management election.

Tom Mason

Lafayette

A remake of the Three Stooges?

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the BART management, board, unions and workers are Larry, Curly, Moe and, sometimes, Shemp, and the riders and taxpayers are getting dope-slapped?

Carol Heath

Pleasant Hill

Reject contract, then clean house

I am sick and tired of reading BART stories. I hope the BART directors never ratify the contract!

To me, the current BART management and that high-priced BART negotiator should all be removed.

I feel all the BART riders have no voice. BART is not a revenue generator, it collects fares and tax dollars from us. Any deal the BART board hands to the unions will be paid by the public.

I just could not believe that family-leave clause in the contract. It is time to reject the contract and clean the house!

Walter Liang

Walnut Creek

Did someone try to sneak in family leave?

BART did right to correct the mistake, but it should have been caught much earlier. Whoever first caught and reported it deserves a huge bonus!

Who to fault? Was it just a mistake, or was there an intent to sneak in paid family leave undetected? I hope someone finds out and reports.

I sincerely hope it was an innocent mistake, and I'm grateful it was caught in time.

Decades ago, as a novice BART director, I blew the whistle on gross fraud by several BART board members. For three days in a row, Justin Roberts at the Times had front-page stories above the fold based on my findings.

Robert S. Allen

Livermore

Allen was a BART director, 1974-1988.

Unions must earn back credibility

Yes, the BART board did the right thing on the proposed union contract.

They admitted a mistake and have provided the unions an opportunity to acknowledge this and earn back some much-needed credibility from the public. This is what would typically happen in the private business world, where relationships and trust is paramount.

But the BART unions do not live in the real world. Instead, it is their "Sorry, but too bad" attitude that has engendered growing public distaste of their tactics.

As for BART directors and their negotiating team: Why don't they just appoint Moe, Larry, and Curly to handle things from here on? Hopefully, there will not be a next time.

State legislators need to push the amateurs on both sides off the playing field and ban public transit union strikes. Binding arbitration is certainly preferable to the comic sideshow we have watched and experienced every four years. Enough with this nonsense!

Mark Zuercher

Orinda

Should remove all of the incumbents

Does the paper mean when the BART board caved into the union's demands during the negotiations, or when they botched the contract and later regretted it?

The BART board is much too generous with the taxpayer's money, and should all look for a new line of work, like uncontrolled philanthropy.

BART management wants to save money to upgrade the system. It don't seem to realize there is a finite amount of money available -- that of all riders and taxpayers. BART officials seem totally incompetent at managing our money. Then they go and screw up the contract, which will probably have to be defended in court by -- guess what -- our money.

I hope everyone will vote against the whole lot of them, and get some common sense in there. And a spine would be nice, so they could stand up and face the greedy unions. Remember, no incumbents.

Please go to the BanBartStrikes.com website and sign the petition to stop transit workers from their legalized extortion.

Jim Cauble

Hayward

Unions betrayed by their 'leaders'

BART management rushed to an agreement with the unions after the public relations' debacle that caused the killing of the two scabs on the tracks. However, now that some time has passed, management refuses to ratify the contract they signed on, under one excuse or another.

BART managers have sensed the cowardliness of the unions' misleadership, SEIU and ATU, who lifted two strikes for a promise in the air and without the vote of the workers. Therefore, the management comes back with a pitiful excuse to void the contract.

BART's management think they can get away with it, for they have in their corner the Bay Area News Group, and most of the media, which is acting as its mouthpiece and, also, most of the selfish BART riders, who don't see anything wrong with freezing or cutting other workers' wages.

On the other hand, the unions' leaders, instead of taking a strong position, are already signaling in their willingness to cave in, which, of course, will bring even more demands for concessions from management.

BART workers have no chance of winning this one unless they get rid of the traitorous leaders at the unions' hall.

Leo T. West

San Leandro