October 9, 2014

DISTRICT URGES MEDIATION TO AVOID STRIKE

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District has reached out to state mediation services to request help in negotiating a settlement with Union Coalition employees. The District has also asked their Union Coalition representatives multiple times to engage in mediation. Time and again, the Coalition has refused. The District continues to hope the Coalition will change their mind and agree to mediation so that we can bring our negotiations to a close.

Today, the Union Coalition announced a strike to shut down our Bus Division. Approximately 22-thousand people rely on Golden Gate Transit every weekday. The strike would be both inconvenient and unfair to our passengers.

As part of their announcement, the Coalition seriously misrepresented the health care component of our negotiation. Here are the key truths about our world class health care benefits offerings:

  • All plans offered by the District are optional, including the Bronze plan, which is new. The District made the Bronze plans optional as a concession during negotiations. In addition to the Bronze plans, employees can choose from a PPO and two HMOs.
  • One Bronze plan has a maximum out of pocket limit of $12,000 for the family plan, but employees do not need to pay that expense themselves. The District gives each employee on that plan a debit card with $12,000 to be used on medical expenses to cover that amount.
  • The District pays more than 95 percent of our employees’ health care benefits package, which is significantly more generous than most public agencies in the Bay Area.

We strongly urge the Labor Coalition to join us in mediation. Striking will have a hugely negative impact on our passengers, and it’s both unnecessary and unfair to our customers. This is the time for mediation, not to strike.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is comprised of approximately 850 employees. Golden Gate Transit, our bus division, is comprised of 399 employees. 265 are bus operators, 44 are non-represented employees, and the final 90 are Union Coalition employees. The Coalition employees are made up of transportation supervisors, servicers, dispatchers who are represented by the Teamsters; and bus mechanics who are represented by the International Association of Machinists. Bus operators (drivers) are represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union.

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

pclemens@goldengate.org

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

publicaffairs@goldengate.org