The two unions representing BART workers warned last month they might take legal action after the transit agency’s governing board voted to reject a contested family leave provision in a tentative contract agreement.
The unions announced Tuesday they were suing BART following "illegitimate and unprecedented actions regarding the unions' labor contracts," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
In November, BART Board of Directors voted 8-1 to only approve a contract only if the unions agreed to remove a provision BART officials claim was included in error by a temporary employee.
The disputed provision would allow BART workers covered by the agreement six weeks of paid family leave a year. Labor leaders say the provision will cost around $6 million over four years; BART officials say the total could reach $44 million by the time the contract expires in 2017.
The unions are filing the suit in Alameda County Superior Court.
BART officials said the lawsuit is unnecessary and the unions should let their members vote on the contract without the extra paid leave.
“This unnecessary action will only delay resolution to BART’s labor contract. A lawsuit is not needed to correct a mistake. When mistakes are made in contract negotiations they are corrected administratively by the parties, acting in good faith," said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.
"This mistake would give BART union employees an additional six weeks of paid leave per year," added Trost. "This additional six weeks of paid leave comes on top of the 3 to 6 weeks of vacation, 13 paid holidays and 12 sick days that employees already receive annually. District negotiators would never have knowingly agreed to such a financially backbreaking proposal."