Next month will be a busy one for negotiations between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s management and its operators.
The SFMTA, which manage Muni, has already established two special closed door meetings—on January 11 and 25—to discuss contract negotiations with the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, the operators’ union.
The agency’s existing contract with the union, which has about 2,200 members, is set to expire on June 30. The passage of Proposition G by voters in November gives management more leverage to negotiate issues such as hourly wages, scheduling, and benefits. Previously, operators were guaranteed automatic wage increases, with the total based on a formula that guarantees them the second-highest pay rates in the country.
Along with the contract talks, the union and management are set to meet in early January to discuss disagreements on the dispersal of cash payouts to the operator’s trust fund. Every year, the SFMTA awards the operators with about $3.5 million in payouts, with some of that cash going toward an employee health care fund. This year, the SFMTA is refusing to make the payments to the operators.
In a letter to union officials, the SFMTA’s Debra Johnson said that the agency is in a fiscal crisis, and has exhausted all of its reserves. Walter Scott, secretary-treasurer for the operators union, said the trust fund payouts are a part of The City Charter. He said the union would consider litigation if management does not allocate the payments.