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Outrageous BART salaries

Original post made by Midtown Resident on Oct 20, 2013

Here is a link to the database of BART salaries

Web Link

and her is one sample salary of a worker

Elevator/Escalator Worker
Power and Mechanical Mainten
Base - $74,211 Overtime - $49,510

Comments (11)

Posted by Tom Joads, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 10:05 am

Yes, that is *A* sample, though not representative. You cherry picked one with massive overtime, which, btw, is not the employee's choice. Management can always hire more workers to avoid overtime. Related: Have you looked up the salaries of the two BART workers killed yesterday? Were they "outrageous"?

Back to cherry picking: you picked one example. Sort of like picking the example of Rep. Stephen Fincher, who voted against food stamps for the poor. Fincher received millions in farm subsidies.

"From 1999 to 2012, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms received $3,483,824 in agriculture subsidies. Last year he took in $70,574 alone."

That's a cherry picked example of a GOP pig who raked in millions in taxpayer money while refusing to do as Jesus instructed and feed the poor.

Is that a good example to represent all republicans? Of course not.

Just because BART management wanted a skilled mechanic to work overtime, it's not the worker's fault. BART should make better management decisions, starting with proper staffing to avoid expensive overtime.

The BART unions have agreed to cuts. All they are holding out for is arbitration for safety conditions. Just ask the children of the two guys who died ON THE TRACKS yesterday why that is important.


Posted by Midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

@ "Tom Joads"

You must be kidding!

First, Did you look at all the salaries i posted?
Second, Forget the overtime for now and look at the base salary for a mechanic $74K? This is a job that requires some training but no particular education beyond a high-school diploma, if that. This is not a mechanical Engineer

Starting salaries for an new college graduate in a tech field (with a 4-year degree) are around $80K, maybe $90K if you have a master's degree. How do you justify $74K for even an experienced mechanic? I'll tell you how. By holding the whole bay area hostage from time to time.

Secondly overtime is one of the most abused features. I'd like to know how they make overtime decisions and how the track performance on the job. If I slack off during my 8 hours, I get to do overtime.


Posted by Midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 10:23 am

@ Tom Joads.

I missed the part about the reasons for the strike. I suggest you pay closer attention to the news. Here is a blurb from the merck

Web Link

Cecille Isidro, spokeswoman for the local Service Employees International Union, said the strike was solely over work rules. But BART said the unions were still seeking 15.9 percent wage increases over 4 years, compared to management's offer for a total 12 percent raise to add to the average union workers' gross pay of $76,500, the highest among California transit agencies. The two sides had agreed, however, on BART's offer to raise pension contributions from zero to 4 percent, and increase monthly health care contributions from $92 to $144.


Posted by Tom Joads, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

@ midtown - you're now blaming workers for management's overtime decisions. Enjoy the koolaid!

That's a two day old article, here's the current sticking points, all of which management could have sent to arbitration, thus avoiding the strike. This strike is on management. Web Link

Points of contention
BART's offer Unions' response
Pay - A 12 percent pay raise over four years. Unions want a net pay raise of 3 percent a year for four years after factoring in new contributions for health care and pension costs.
Pension - For the first time, workers would have to put in 4 percent toward their pension. Unions accepted this term.
Health care - The flat $92 a month cost would increase by 9.5 percent. Unions accepted this term.
Work rule change - Switch to electronic pay stubs. Unions prefer to keep the existing system of hand-delivering paycheck stubs, saying some members want paper records and not everyone has a computer.
Work rule change - Require station agents to file reports by e-mail. Unions did not provide a detailed response, but said this is among the reasons why an arbitrator should decide how past practices are handled.
Work rule change - Management wants more flexibility to schedule workers based on the system's needs. The unions say that workers deserve to have consistent and predictable work hours and locations.


Willy Brown on how BART manaagement hardball caused the strike:

"BART missed a big opportunity when it balked at unions' proposal to go to an arbitrator to settle their contract dispute.

I can understand why BART insisted that antiquated and often counterproductive work rules be eliminated as part of any deal. What management did not understand, apparently, was how difficult it is for union leaders to give them up.

Come union election time, a train driver or electrician won't think that much about the 3 percent raise a leader fought hard to win, or about the health care costs that didn't go up too much.

But they will never forget a change in a work rule or perk, no matter how small, that affected them personally. It will always be something they lost.

So when the union leaders proposed taking work rules to arbitration, they were essentially just trying to get cover with their own membership.

Management should have said, "Hooray, let's go." Because once the arbitration process started, BART might actually have gotten some of what it wanted.

Instead, it got something else: a strike."

Human nature. Sometimes you have to look at the fight you're picking and ask if it's worth it. BART management didn't want arbitration and picked the fight - strike.


Posted by Midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

@ Tom Joads

A few points. BTW you did not address my contention that an even a skilled mechanic should not earn $74K (+OT), at least not from my taxes which are paid on a salary that I earn after many years of college.

1. I'm not blaming the workers for their salaries and overtime. If I could get that kind of a salary without even going to college, I would. There is something rotten in the system and we need to find out why and fix it. Overtime is expensive. I would like to limit the overtime severely. I suggest BART hire more workers instead.

2. Sorry but no strikes. I AM blaming the workers for striking. People in most industries do not have the right to hold a whole region hostage when they have a grievance. If I did that at my workplace, I'd get to go home the same day. This is a capitalist country. If you don't like the pay, go work somewhere else. Safety is a different issue and there is no excuse for any lapses. The don't like the new hours? Too bad for them. I don't like my hours sometimes either but I put up with it because I can't find a better job.

3. I would not have any problems with their pay or raises to benefits so long as its commensurate with their education level and work. Currently it is NOT. The way these kinds of salaries are maintained are by blackmail with strikes, not by competition.

4. I don't know the details of the negotiations/arbitration and I have no problem with it one way or the other. All I'm saying is that the salaries are unreasonably high. I will NOT pay taxes for this kind of salaries and will do the best I can by writing to legislators to stop this nonsense. Anytime a tax increase is on the ballot for BART on other such overpaid transit workers, I will vote NO. And I will do my best to publicize the salaries so citizens who are paying these salaries can make their own decisions as to the fairness.



Posted by Tom Joads, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

"A few points. BTW you did not address my contention that an even a skilled mechanic should not earn $74K (+OT), at least not from my taxes which are paid on a salary that I earn after many years of college."

- sorry, we disagree. You and I have no idea how educated, experienced or skilled this worker is. I see no problem with tradespeople making a decent middle class wage for the Bay Are - $74K. [Portion removed.]

"1. I'm not blaming the workers for their salaries and overtime... There is something rotten in the system and we need to find out why and fix it. Overtime is expensive. ... I suggest BART hire more workers instead."

- exactly what I said - it's a bad management issue. Not a bad worker issue.

"2. ...If I did that at my workplace, I'd get to go home the same day. ...I don't like my hours sometimes either but I put up with it because I can't find a better job."

- Perhaps you should take up a better paying trade. And find a better job, perhaps one you are both qualified for and that you love to do. You'll be much happier!

- re: the right to strike, ask Ronnie Raygun: "They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost."

3. I would not have any problems with their pay or raises to benefits so long as its commensurate with their education level and work."

So says you. [Portion removed.]

"4. "I don't know the details of the negotiations/arbitration and I have no problem with it one way or the other.... "

[Portion removed.] That is the CRUX of the current situation and virtually the sole reason they went out this week.

"I will NOT pay taxes for this kind of salaries... Anytime a tax increase is on the ballot for BART ... I will vote NO. "

- [Portion removed.] Your taxes are NOT paying BART salaries, even the bloated management salaries. BART votes are generally bond issues that allow for construction of public transit extensions (not salary) that improve the quality of life here in the Bay Area.


Posted by Midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

@ Tom Joads. Sounds like you are one of the BART workers exploiting the taxpayers

"- sorry, we disagree. You and I have no idea how educated, experienced or skilled this worker is. I see no problem with tradespeople making a decent middle class wage for the Bay Are - $74K. [Portion removed.]

True. This guy may be a genius. I wonder why he's not at Caltech doing research on astrophysics now. Irrespective of this individual, go look at the other salaries. BLOATED!

$74K is not commensurate with the outside world. You can go live in your fantasy world. No I didn't go to Chico state unfortunately. I have a PhD i EE from Stanford. I earn qute a bit more than this guy thanks but refuse to pay this kind of salaries from people who didnt even go to Chico State.

"- Perhaps you should take up a better paying trade. And find a better job, perhaps one you are both qualified for and that you love to do. You'll be much happier!"

[Portion removed.] I'm quite happy at my job, thanks and am paid according to my skills which is why I can't find a higher paying job.

"- re: the right to strike, ask Ronnie Raygun: "They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost."

Not if only some people have a right to strike. Sorry, Many people are sick of these Union thugs and are legislators are looking at making strikes illegal.

"- C'mon, college boy, read a newspaper. That is the CRUX of the current situation and virtually the sole reason they went out this week. Are you SURE it was Chico???"

[Portion removed.] I didnt make any comment about the current negotiations in my first post, Are you sure you can read? All I'm saying is that the current salaries are outrageous. That is all.


"- Your time at Chico truly was wasted, wasn't it? Your taxes are NOT paying BART salaries, even the bloated management salaries. BART votes are generally bond issues that allow for construction of public transit extensions (not salary) that improve the quality of life here in the Bay Area."



Take a look at their financials

Web Link

Of their 672 Million operating sources $257M comes from sales tax, prop tax, and state transit assistance.





Posted by Tom Joads, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Midtown resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2013 at 12:37 am

Bru is a registered user.

Hey ... wake up, this is the Bay Area ... it costs a lot to live here ... are you one of the let's pay everyone minimum wage enthusiasts. One can barely rent an apartment in this area on a salary like that, and surely not buy ... what do you think someone who is doing a professional job on a system that has millions of visitors per year should earn anyway? How much are you making and what do you do?

The thugs are BART management - and most of the CA public system managers. Look at the head of the UC system and the board of regents.

I heard something telling on NPR the other day. One of the issues is that BART does not pay their hourly employees overtime ... LIKE EVERY OTHER BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA IS SUPPOSED TO DO! Why is that, and why not get rid of that?


Posted by BTW, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

@Tom Joads: It is spelled Joad, NOT Joads


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