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SB-603 San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District: work stoppages.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
SB603:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 603


Introduced by Senator Glazer
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Baker and Grayson)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 28856 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 603, as introduced, Glazer. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District: work stoppages.
Existing law creates the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), governed by an elected board of directors, with various duties and responsibilities relative to the operation of a passenger rail transit system. Existing law establishes provisions regulating the collective bargaining of BART employees and its board of directors.
This bill would prohibit BART from entering into an agreement that would limit its ability to prepare for a work stoppage or operate during a work stoppage. By imposing new duties on a local governmental entity, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The public interest and the interests of transit riders is paramount in the event of a work stoppage affecting the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART).
(b) The right of employees to strike is a basic tenet of the workplace, a cornerstone to the labor movement’s continued efforts at improving the lives of working men and women. Striking for better wages and benefits is part of the rich pageantry of labor history in the United States and the State of California.
(c) Public agencies, however, have a vital responsibility to protect the public’s interest. They should never enter into agreements that interfere with their sacred responsibility to serve the greater public good—the safety of, and economic and environmental well-being of, a community. Public and private agencies, from school districts to hospitals, attempt to avoid conflicts that could lead to work stoppages, but they nevertheless fulfill their sworn duty to prepare for any possibility.
(d) BART, which carries a daily average of 430,000 passengers, provides an essential service to the bay area. It is one of the nation’s largest transportation systems and bears an immense responsibility to the communities it serves. Highway gridlock affects hundreds of thousands of commuters and forcing extra automobiles onto the road adds to pollution.
(e) Transit work stoppages can be just as crippling to the economic activities of broad regions as mass power outages or even threats to the safety of communities. Working people cannot get to jobs during work stoppages. Those who rely on BART to get to school or to receive vital health care services find themselves effectively blocked from reaching their appointments.
(f) BART has and should retain maximum flexibility to prepare for a work stoppage and to operate in the event of one. It is imperative that BART not enter into agreements that hinder its ability to train, certify, or deploy any resources, including managers, to operate every part of the system should BART’s regular workforce be unable or unwilling to do so.

SEC. 2.

 Section 28856 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

28856.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “work stoppage” means the ceasing of work by employees that impedes a necessary function of the district as a whole.
(b) The district shall not enter into an agreement that would limit its ability to prepare for a work stoppage or to operate during a work stoppage.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.