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BART loses 2 percent of workforce for vaccine mandate noncompliance

Nearly 100 BART employees have quit or been fired in recent months after failing to comply with the agency’s Covid-19 vaccination mandate, amounting to roughly 2 percent of BART’s workforce.

As of March 2, nearly 3,900 BART employees have proven their full vaccination status, roughly 99 percent of the transit agency’s workforce.

Another 89 employees did not comply with the agency’s vaccination mandate, which went into effect Dec. 13, 2021.

Alaric Degrafinried, BART’s assistant general manager for administration, told BART’s Board of Directors Thursday that 51 of those former BART workers left the agency voluntarily, while 38 were dismissed involuntarily.

Regarding those who were fired for noncompliance, Degrafinried said:

“Those are individuals … that decided to go through a hearing here at BART and then at the conclusion of that hearing, we had to separate from those individuals.” 

The headcount of BART’s workforce has declined by roughly 250 employees since March 2021 due in part to the vaccination mandate, an incentivized retirement program and nearly 200 other miscellaneous resignations, retirements and involuntary dismissals.

Nearly 300 former BART employees took an early retirement package last year. Of those, BART plans to backfill 150 openings while eliminating the remaining 137, saving the agency roughly $22.5 million.

In total, BART has hired 320 new employees since last March and lost 571. According to Degrafinried, BART has some 700 positions that are not currently filled.

Degrafinried said of the agency’s workforce:

“We’re about flat from March of 2019 to present. … We’re definitely currently operating at a four-year low with regard to a headcount right now.”

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