OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Bay Area Rapid Transit agency has hired a labor consultant to help figure out how to prevent problems that led to two strikes and a contentious contract dispute.
The BART board of directors voted on Thursday to hire Rhonda Hilyer of the Seattle-based Agreement Dynamics Inc. to re-examine how the agency negotiates contracts and the checks and balances used to prevent errors.
Hilyer will work with a BART board ad hoc committee that will recommend strategies to improve labor negotiations. The consultant will be paid $225,000.
BART's two largest unions staged two-four day strikes last year. The parties reached a tentative agreement in October before BART objected to a provision about an expensive family medical leave benefit they say had been mistakenly put into the deal.
A final deal was reached in December and ratified in January.