The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)--the rail system that serves metro San Francisco--has had a bad spell the past six months or so. BART's unions, the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Service Employees International Union, organized a five-day strike that affected 400k passengers each day. Then, a 60-day cooling-off period didn't work. Instead, another strike occurred in mid-October.
The strikes were partly due to workers being disgruntled over low pay.
- Prior to the first strike, BART management offered salary increases of 5% to 8% over 4 years. Employees would contribute small percentages to their pensions.
- The two unions demanded a 23% increase.
After both strikes, BART employees received a 15.4% salary increase.
Sounds to The Motley Monk like Europe. Workers demand unreasonable salaries, protest layoffs, stifle reforms, and strike. With no competition, the losers are the passengers who experience poor service and taxpayers who pour even more of their hard-earned dollars into subsidies for public transportation.
According to Scott Beyer whose article appears in National Review, the issue isn't substandard performance. No, BART provide an object lesson in the power of a public monopoly to soak taxpayers.
- The current average salary for BART workers is $82k, which include overtime that is added to their 37.5-hour work week.
- Fringe benefits (health care and pensions, for the most part) average ~$51k.
- Total compensation for BART employees is $130k/year.
37.5 hours/week for $130k? Now that's an Obamajob!
Let the discussion begin...
To read Scott Beyer's article, click on the following link: