UPDATE: BART announced at 7 p.m. today that they have come to a temporary agreement with the Amalgamated Transit Union, and tomorrow's strike has been canceled. The following terms will remain in effect until a new contract agreement is reached:
ATU members will continue to receive their base salaries. However, among the terms are a cap on healthcare costs, elimination of BART’s contribution to a secondary pension plan, changes to employee contribution to PERS, changes to worker schedules, changes to wasteful work rules and reductions of paid holidays.
As the threatened BART strike quickly approaches its scheduled start time of Midnight tonight, BART and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) negotiators have been at the bargaining table since 11 a.m. this morning. BART board of directors President Thomas Blalock said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the two parties might come to a solution and avoid the strike, but "you never know when things can change," Blalock also said.
Apparently, the ATU negotiators have "favorably impressed" the BART negotiatiors today. The union has backed off of its insistence on a contract of less than four years, and BART is allowing them to suggest different ideas for reducing $1 million of the agency's deficit that won't affect employees' salaries and will have no net financial impact on BART.