Muni retirees ask union to settle old debt 

click to enlarge Transport Workers Union Local 250-A owes checks to more than a hundred workers stemming from a 1984 contract agreement. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo
  • Transport Workers Union Local 250-A owes checks to more than a hundred workers stemming from a 1984 contract agreement.

More than a hundred former Muni operators say they have been stiffed $1,880 each from their union over a long-settled contract negotiation and are threatening litigation.

That money was supposed to come to the retired workers from a deal struck in 1984, when the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents Muni’s transit operators, successfully negotiated for a cost-of-living pay increase from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Not sure how to dole out the funding then, the union elected to keep the extra revenue in the operators’ collective trust fund, to be dispersed at a later date. After 26 years of sitting on the money, 155 Muni operators who worked for the agency in 1984 were finally awarded with checks for $1,880 in December, after a deal was cut between the union and the SFMTA.

However, more than a hundred other operators — all now retired — never received those checks, and they are imploring union officials and the SFMTA to pay them their fair share, according to Claire Caldwell, a former Muni worker who is representing the aggrieved employees.

During an SFMTA board meeting Tuesday, Caldwell said current union leaders said they couldn’t locate the retired drivers, but did little to track them down to pay them their checks. Caldwell said the union has enough money to pay the 1984 workers their due earnings. If they refuse to pay, she said she would consider litigation against both the union and the SFMTA until the money is awarded.

Paul Rose, spokesman for the SFMTA, said the agency has already agreed to release the money to the union, so it has no input on any further decisions on how to split up those proceeds.

Calls to TWU representatives were not returned Tuesday. The union’s leadership is composed of four individuals who were all elected in December and have not been involved in past labor negotiations with the SFMTA.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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