Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 54700
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2017/11/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/22   

2013/7/1-8/23 [Transportation/PublicTransit] UID:54700 Activity:nil
7/1     BART labor union holding the transit infrastructure hostage.
        \_ Yesterday's SFGate poll showed that 11% of the readers sympathize
           with the workers, 17% with the management, and 72% with the riders.
           \_ The millions the Koch Brother's spent are paying off. Workers
              now sympathize more with their masters than.
              now sympathize more with their masters than their own
              self-interest.
           \_ The union train operators and station agents get, on average,
              $71k/yr base salary and $11k/yr overtime, and contribute $0 to
              pension and $92/mo for health insurance.
              \_ What do you make?
                 \_ I make more than that, but my employer is not prohibited
                    from replacing me with someone who would be willing to get
                    paid less and get the same job done.
                    paid less and get the same job done. -- PP
                    \_ Perhaps you should join a Union then.
                       \_ Not all unions are as greedy as BART unions.  ATU,
                          which represents AC Transit bus operators whose jobs
                          are more demanding than BART train operators, wasn't
                          as greedy.
                          \_ What do you mean? They make about the same pay.
                             \_ Driving a bus on city streets is more demanding
                                than driving an automated train on dedicated
                                rail tracks.
                                \_ http://preview.tinyurl.com/kavxpms
                                   Doesn't really seem true to me.
2017/11/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/22   

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2012/7/29-9/24 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs] UID:54446 Activity:nil
7/29    Is it really true that we subsidize auto driving to the tune of
        $5k/yr? Shit I could probably hire a private driver for less...
        http://tinyurl.com/cars-suck-ass
        \_ You might have missed the point.  Hiring a chauffeur to drive your
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	...
2011/10/10-18 [Recreation/Food, Transportation/PublicTransit] UID:54191 Activity:nil
10/10   Has anyone heard the CSX Train commercial on the radio?  I wonder why
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        comsumers.  It's not like someone can click "By CSX Train" when
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	...
2010/2/10-3/9 [Transportation/PublicTransit] UID:53700 Activity:nil
2/10    Does anyone have an authoritative URL that shows the % of people
        in the Bay Area who commute via foot, bike, car, BART, and Caltrains?
        In particular I'd like to look at trend as well.
        \_ http://www.sfced.org/about-the-city/urban-data-and-statistics/commute-patterns has some.  -tom
        \_ Guys, guys, guys, I asked a simple question. What % of Bay Area
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	...
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Share Robert Earl Bright Photo courtesy of Mark Mosher SEIU 1021 Robert Earl Bright, a transit vehicle mechanic for BART, works at the Hayward modification shop. A reprieve in BART negotiations has given the Bay Area time to breathe before the next possible strike, but a lot of public concerns and animosity toward BART still remains. So the Guardian decided to take a look at BART workers themselves (we found them through their union) and ask, "How would your life change if the unions adopted BART management's offers on safety, pensions, wages and health care?" Note: The audio interviews are summarized in this post, but give them a listen to get a fuller picture of the impact of labor negotiations on worker's lives. co m%2Ftracks%2F104192086 First we met Robert Earl Bright, a 47-year-old transit vehicle mechanic at the Hayward yards, where he's been for three years. BART trains seem tame compared to the machines he used to work with, as he started out as an Air Force mechanic working on cargo planes. It's that experience he draws from when he said BART's policies are becoming increasingly dangerous. Bright is tall but soft-spoken, and while we sat at a bench in a courtyard at Lake Merrit BART station, he talked about the shortcuts BART has taken lately, and how overtime and consolidation are bad practices for everyone involved. There used to be specific workers called Power & Way controllers who looked out for workers on the train tracks and made sure they were safe, he said, but those responsibilities were consolidated into a separate train controller position. Since then, Bright saw the death of a colleague, a mechanic who switched from a graveyard shift to a day shift and was hit by an oncoming train. Only after the death did BART take steps to ensure parts of the track where there was less clearance safe from trains were marked, he said. "The problem is BART seems to wait until someone gets killed until they want to do something about it," he said. He helps support his daughter and her two toddlers, and he supports his older brother who suffers from dementia. Bright has a home that his fiance bought, but is "upside-down," as he says, because of a predatory loan. He's one of the lucky ones though, as the military pays for his health care, and the negotiations don't impact him as far as that goes. But he does worry about his pension, and thinks he may have to cut back on supporting his elderly brother and his grandchildren. Even with those cutbacks in his life, he'll likely have to look for a part time job as a car mechanic, he said. While contemplating that future, his four-hour daily commute, and the new expectations BART asked of his crew to repair more cars in less time, he started to develop an ulcer. "They're short on people, and it's cheaper for the managers to pay for overtime than to pay for another person," he said. The stress pressed on him and one day at work he grew dizzy and collapsed, and that's when he started to be a little more zen about what BART asked of him. shop, but we got tasked with doing preventive maintenance. And that means workers who aren't trained for that particular job are pushed to fix up cars when normally they're doing an entirely different job. "We have to make sure that those trains not only run, we also have to make sure they're safe," Bright said. As far as Bright goes, he said he's seeing more people working over time at the request of managers, working longer hours that could lead to unsafe conditions -- not just for the mechanics, but for the people who ride BART every day. co m%2Ftracks%2F104191724 Phyllis Alexander Phyllis Alexander has been with BART for 16 years in systems service, which she said basically means, "cleaning, cleaning, cleaning." Alexander often starts her days cleaning the elevators and escalators at Powell Street Station, and if you've been reading the news lately, you know what that means. She doesn't mince words about it: "I clean the urine and the feces out of the elevators and make sure it's clean and smelling good for the patrons." When she first started at BART, she had little contact with them. But over the years, she's made good friends out of some of the homeless at Powell and 16th St. stations, and the latter is where she sat and told her story. People living in their cars on the streets, in their doorways. I've met a lot of wonderful homeless people, wonderful people," she said. And as the years went by, it got harder for the cleaning crew, too. She's one of two systems service folk who take care of Powell Street Station at any one time. "Sometimes it can be tough, it can get hectic, but we get it done. It's hecka huge, and there's only two of us, but we have to do the best we can do." Her daughter just finished medical school and is still living with her. Alexander makes about $52,000 a year, she said, and couldn't figure out major cuts she'd make in her lifestyle to make room for paying more into her pension or health care. She said that though people in the Bay Area demonize BART workers for wanting a raise, she feels it's simply been too long since they've had one. Devoutly religious, ultimately she keeps faith that the workers will prevail in negotiations. this thing with management, it's going to be all right," she said. It's the oldest trick in the book to dig out one or two unrepresentative and inherently sympathetic characters (preferably non-white, of course) and portray them as "salt of the earth" types who are simply "doing their job". No mention of the real issue here - that BART workers are on fat salaries and unbelievable benefits that are unsustainable. And that propping up their improbable largesse means that systems improvements cannot be made. BART should stand firm and, if necessary fire all the staff and hire new staff under new conracts that bear some resemblance to reality. Do you work for the people Do you work for the people who have been hired to publicly smear the Bart workers or are you just anti-worker? Is $60,000 - $70,000 a year a fat salary for a family in the Bay Area? Did you give up your rights to Social Security in order to have a good pension and benefits? People like you are unbelievable and your outrage is despicable. it is all about "I" have to do this and "I" don't get that. Maybe you should stop wasting your time slandering the working class and try changing your own situation if you are so unhappy. I have no view on whether 76K a year (to use the correct figure) is a "fair" salary in terms of what it can buy. I assess their income in terms of their skill/educational level, and what that is worth in the open merket ie what would it cost for me to replace them? And I am fairly sure I can find someone who can read a book while a train drives itself for less than 76K a year, and certainly without free pensions and almost free healthcare. The idea that people get paid The idea that people get paid based on their skill and education level is a talking point that deserves unpacking. I don't pay my doctor because of her skill and education level. NO ONE in this society gets paid for their skill and education level. A lot of skilled and educated college grads (yes, even those with STEM degrees) are finding this out the hard way when their employers are paying them whatever their job is worth to the company NOT based on their skill and education level. Ditto foreign workers coming here with special visas, paid less than comparably skilled American workers. If filling my cavity is worth a good salary, so is "pushing buttons" to get me to work day after day. com/salaries/bay-area 2 Under "Entity", chose "Bay Area Rapid Transit" 3 Click "search" 4 Page 1 of 138 will appear. Now a page w/the median annual salary of BART employees will appear. that legally are supposed to be paid by the employee himself but are covered by BART. They get full health benefits for themselves and all dependents for $92 a month. And worst of all, they are on defined-benefit pension plans (just like rich people are) that GUARANTEE 8% annually compounded returns. These salaries are very generous, and the pension costs are completely unsustainable. Who add...