A union leader warned BART riders this afternoon that employees will go on strike at midnight unless there is a dramatic breakthrough in contract talks tonight.
Pete Castelli, the exeutive director of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said “We’re heading for a strike at midnight unless something breaks and there’s a Hail Mary.”
Speaking to reporters outside the Caltrans building in Oakland, where BART management is meeting with union negotiators, Castelli advised commuters to “prepare for alternative transportation” to get to work on Tuesday in case an agreement isn’t reached tonight.
BART board president Tom Radulovich said a last, best and final offer presented by management on Sunday represents the “outer limit” of what the transit agency can offer its workers.
The offer includes a 3 percent raise for each of the contract’s four years, retroactive to July 5, but also requires employees to make a 4 percent pension contribution and a 9.5 percent contribution to their health benefits, according to BART officials.
BART has said the union has two weeks from Sunday to accept its offer.