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BART workers get raise, higher benefit costs after strike

The deal also requires employees to contribute more toward their benefits. Monthly health insurance premiums would increase from $92 to $129. And, for the first time, workers would have to contribute to their state pensions.

The rate would be 1 percent in the first year, topping out at 4 percent in the fourth year. At the same time, workers would get back 72 cents for every dollar they contribute in an arrangement called a "pension swap."

Chris Daly, political director for one of the unions — Service Employees International Union local 1021 — confirmed the basic salary, health care and pension changes. But he disputed the suggestion that workers would be earning 15.4 percent more when the new contract expires, saying higher costs for health care and pensions make the take-home increase more like 2 or 3 percent over each of the four years.

"It's a decent contract," he said. "We fought very hard, we consider it a victory, and I'm happy to go advocate it to our members."

Both unions still must vote to ratify the contract, which will not happen before next week. A BART spokesman, Jim Allison, declined comment, saying "We are going to respect the process of the union leadership going to their members."


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