BART’s Board of Directors on April 10 took an important step toward bringing a positive change to BART’s labor negotiations process and avoiding future mistakes.
The Board recently established a special review committee to investigate BART’s labor negotiations policies and practices from top to bottom and to make recommendations to the Board and General Manager to improve future negotiations.
Today, with the recommendation of the special review committee chaired by Director James Fang, the board awarded a contract to Rhonda Hilyer, of Agreement Dynamics Inc., to undertake the task of looking at every aspect of how BART negotiates contracts, including the system of checks and balances to prevent errors. The consultant will help the Labor Negotiations Review Ad Hoc Committee complete its review in an accurate, efficient and timely manner.
“BART still is the premier transit system in the Bay Area, it works because of the support of the public and the harmony between management and labor,” Fang said. “Obviously in this last negotiation, BART was not at its finest. Today’s hire will help ensure that such future inconveniences to our riders and the public are avoided. I am confident that the entire BART family’s desire to work together and serve the public remains steadfast, as we now consistently approach the 400,000 passenger daily trip plateau.”
The consultant will work closely with Committee members and Chairman Fang and will interview relevant parties involved in labor negotiations while maintaining anonymity of individuals interviewed; evaluate the relationships and communications amongst the parties during the 2013 negotiations; provide advice on best practices; review and compare labor negotiation practices of comparable transit agencies and local public agencies; review all relevant documents, records, and related materials; recommend changes to the tentative agreement process; provide a comprehensive summary and final report; and provide recommendations for actions to be completed in advance of formal labor negotiations.
The contract, which cannot exceed $225,000, will be paid for out of the General Manager’s Operating Budget for FY 2014-15.