San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) board approved a contract with its union employees on Thursday but cut out of it a controversial provision for family medical leave.
BART's board president, Tom Radulovich, issued a statement saying the family leave provision should not have been in the final version of the contract agreed to by the parties at the bargaining table.
He stated he hoped the "unions will take the agreement, minus the six weeks of additional paid leave that was mistakenly included in the final document, back to their members."
Radulovich added that BART couldn’t afford to give employees another six weeks of paid leave to care for sick family members beyond the sick leave and vacation time that union members already have.
"They took the cowardly way out," John Arantes, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, told NBC Bay Area TV news.
SEIU and the other union involved, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, insisted the family leave provision was correctly part of the bargain agreed to by the BART board.
The unions went on strike for four days in October but went back to work after they reached an agreement with BART on Nov. 1.