A three-person panel appointed by California Gov. Jerry Brown is working to help sides come to agreement on a new BART contract. Cheryl Hurd reports.
While Bay Area commuters were thankful Monday morning that BART trains were up and running, thanks to an 11th-hour reprieve Sunday night by the governor, riders could be facing the same dilemma next week if a permanent solution isn't hammered out.
Two hours before the midnight work stoppage was set to launch, Gov. Jerry Brown stepped in to avert a BART strike on Sunday, which many feared would cause a crippling commute Monday morning. It would have been the second strike since early July.
The bitter battle centers on wages and pensions.
But this reprieve is temporary—just seven days—and unless something drastic occurs, the same scenario could be played out next week, too.
Early Monday morning, many of BART's 400,000 daily riders were both relieved and annoyed about the averted strike—and the looming threat of yet another possible one.
"It's kind of stressful, because I really depend on BART," said Oakland commuter Duane Freeman.
"Did I sleep?" commuter Karen Rambaud of Alameda asked rhetorically, saying she was up at 2 a.m. checking for BART updates. "I was really anxious. This affects my health and well-being."
Rambaud and other riders said they were quite pleased regarding the temporary reprieve and the governor's help.
Here is Gov. Brown's full response:
Dear Ms. Crunican, Ms. Bryant, Ms. Sanchez, and Ms. Hamilton:
At the request of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, I am appointing a board to investigate the threatened strike that would disrupt public transportation services in the Bay Area.
This board is appointed under the authority of Government Code, § 3612, subdivision (a), because the strike will significantly disrupt public transportation services and will endanger the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
The three individuals appointed to the board of investigation are: Jacob Appelsmith, Chairman Robert Balgenorth Micki Callahan The Government Code prohibits any strike or lockout while the board completes its investigation. (Gov. Code, § 3612, subd. (b).) The board is directed to provide me with a written report within the next seven days.
For the sake of the people of the Bay Area, I urge - in the strongest terms possible - the parties to meet quickly and as long as necessary to get this dispute resolved.
Sincerely, Edmund G. Brown Jr.
NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith, Kimberly Tere, Stephanie Chuang and the Associated Press' Terence Chea and Shaya Tayefe Mohajer contributed to this report.