Friday, commuters across the Bay Area awoke to the painful realization that this was day one of a BART strike.
Union representatives announced Thursday night their employees would walk off the job after a 28-hour marathon negotiation ended at an impasse.
Both sides traded jabs Friday and accused the other side of being at fault in the labor talks.
“Everyone including the public wanted the unions to move and we did,” said Peter Castelli, SEIU Local 1021 executive director. “BART made this strike happen.”
After agreeing to increased employee contributions health care and pension plans, the two sides were unable to close a 3.9 percent wage increase gap and changes on existing work rules.
The work rules currently in place provide work place protections for employees, schedules that don’t change and make it harder for management to transfer workers from location to location.
Management said it needed the ability to change those rules to keep the transit system running on time.
While the Bay Area waits to see how the impending traffic nightmare will shake out, the University is prepared to assist students affected by the strike.
They’ve provided 20 mattresses for students with late night or early morning classes who are unable to make the trek across the Bay. They’ve also set up a ride sharing platform and rented six 50-seat shuttles which will pick up students at the West Oakland BART station and CSU East Bay.
“As part of the continuity planning effort, the goal has always been to mitigate the impact as much as possible,” said Corinne da Cunha Associate Director, Business Continuity. “While we continue to encourage the campus community to plan ahead, the University has identified and is making available a number of supplemental options to the SF State campus community.”
Students affected by the transit strike are encouraged to check the school’s website for more information.