Contract talks between BART and union officials have adjourned for the night but will resume tomorrow as the deadline for a potential strike approaches, according to a BART spokesman.
Staff members remained on site late Saturday night, analyzing details of contract proposals, but union leaders and BART officials planned to return at 9:30 a.m., BART spokesman Rick Rice said.
“It was a productive day, but we're not discussing any details," Rice said.
Negotiators were working to forestall a threatened strike that could start at midnight Monday.
BART management began negotiating on April 1 with the Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represent which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and clerical workers.
Workers went on strike for four and a half days at the beginning of July but returned to the bargaining table at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown.
When a strike again seemed imminent, Brown sought a 60-day cooling-off period, which expired this week. The unions announced late Thursday night that they would postpone a potential strike, but issued a 72-hour strike notice.
In recent days, both sides suggested they've pulled closer to each other's positions on pensions and pay. BART said it was offering a 10 percent-hike over four years, while union reps said they want a twelve percent increase over three years.
BART says it was ready to spend $225,000-a-day busing commuters from the East Bay to San Francisco and back; expanding on how it handled July's five day strike.
And a dozen managers have been practicing train operation- poised to step in- should the board go that route.
But at dusk Sunday night, the arrivals of BART's lead negotiator Thomas Hock and General Manager Grace Crunnican seemed to imply: that it was decision time.
“Everybody talks with a great deal of respect for each other, tries to explain their position so the other side understands it,” said Hock. “We may not always agree but I think we do understand each other.”
But as the hours ticked away Saturday, union leaders were clear that a strike was still a possibility Monday morning.
“Well, the deadline's been given, given the other day, that hasn't changed,” said Pete Castelli, the executive director for SEIU 1021.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.