Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District

Posted September 24, 2014

BRIDGE DISTRICT PREPARES FOR POTENTIAL STRIKE

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is preparing for a possible strike later this week, which could significantly impact transit riders.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) has been negotiating in good faith with the Union Coalition on a weekly basis since April 2014. The District has offered compromises on numerous issues in an effort to reach an agreement. There is another negotiation session planned for Monday, September 30th, and the District is disappointed the Union Coalition is considering a strike while negotiations are ongoing.

A strike would be extremely disruptive to the public. The District believes that a strike can be avoided and hopes that the Coalition returns to the bargaining table so that the parties can continue negotiations.

During bargaining, the District has offered a generous compensation package that includes a 3% wage increase in each year of the proposed three-year contract, for a total compound wage increase of 9.27%.

A salary survey conducted earlier this year indicates the Bridge District pays competitive wages. For example, the District's deckhands are the highest paid on San Francisco Bay, currently earning about 10% more than their fellow union members who work on the Blue & Gold and Red & White ferries.

The hourly rate for the District's ironworkers is approximately 10% higher than the hourly rate paid to their fellow union members who work in the private sector on high rise construction in downtown San Francisco.

District employees enjoy world class health benefits. The District’s Board of Directors has sought modest increases to the amount that Coalition employees have been contributing to their health benefits. The small contributions the District is asking employees to make to maintain these benefits is a mere fraction of the cost the District incurs and would remain less than the contributions made by most private and public employees in the Bay Area.

The District also has proposed implementation of another health care plan option while maintaining all other existing plans. These “Bronze Plans” are less costly to the District than its current plans and would allow the District to offer the same level of benefits at more affordable rates.

Notably, this Bronze Plan is optional. No employee would be required to enroll in this Plan if they don't want to. Moreover, an election to enroll in a Bronze Plan would not be permanent – employees could elect to return to one of the current plans during open enrollment.

In light of the fact that (1) our employees earn more than their fellow union members performing the same work for other employers, (2) the District is offering a 9% wage increase, and (3) the new Bronze Plans are optional, we implore the unions to call off their planned strike.

If there is strike, any questions regarding how long the strike will last should be directed to the union leadership: Marina Secchitano at (415) 420-1962 or Alex Tonisson at (415) 994-3306.

We will provide additional information on service disruptions, if any, as soon as we learn about them.

For more information, please contact Priya David Clemens, Public Information Manager.

pclemens@goldengate.org
cell: 415-317-2222
desk: 415-257-2222

For general, non-urgent media inquiries, please use the following contact information:

publicaffairs@goldengate.org
tel: 415-257-4551