Trouble at BART
Randal O'Toole on the trouble at BART:
...Last November, Transparent California found that a BART janitor whose base pay was $57,000 a year actually earned $270,000 in 2015 with overtime and benefits. To get this, he supposedly worked 114 hours a week, which is more than 16 hours a day, every day of the year. But a local television station tracked this worker and found he was spending several hours a day hiding in a storage closet, while the stations he was supposed to keep clean remained filthy.
At least 49 other BART janitors also earned more than $100,000 in 2015. The reason BART probably won’t do anything about overtime pay is that it tried before and employees went on strike over the issue in 2013.
Before the strike, BART employees received paid overtime after working just 37-1/2 hours a week. Train operators used overtime to increase their pay by an average of 33 percent. Employees also got free pensions and full health care for themselves and their families for $92 a month. As a part of the strike settlement, employees began to pay into their pension funds and pay a little more for health insurance.
However, despite some changes in overtime rules, overtime remains a problem, as Transparency California revealed. In addition, according to BART’s 2016 audit, the agency had $142 million in unfunded pension and health care liabilities; not an insurmountable figure if revenues are growing but a potential crisis if revenues are shrinking...