BART management, unions, and state mediators announced last night that the striking workers have agreed to go back to work this morning. Service is scheduled to begin today at 3 p.m.
Marty Morgenstern, the state secretary of labor, announced after about 10 hours of Fourth of July talks that the parties have agreed to continue negotiations with a target of concluding a new agreement by August 4. Until then, the current contract will remain in force.
"The contract will be extended until Aug. 4, the parties will continue to negotiate just as hard as they are now, as long hours as are necessary, to reach an agreement on a new contract," Morgenstern said. "The new contract will be retroactive to July 1st, when the old one ran out."
BART and the striking SEIU Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 appeared to be near impasse earlier in the day. When asked what the prospects are of the two sides reaching an agreement by Aug. 4, Morgenstern said they were "close enough that we'll get there." Pressed about issues that remain to be decided, Morgenstern laughed and said, "I don't have that much time."
"What this means to the riding public is that the trains will be open tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock," said BART General Manager Grace Crunican. "I'd like to thank the unions for being party to this agreement."