Muni union, SFMTA reach contract agreement 

click to enlarge Both the union and the SFMTA would not comment on details of a contract agreement reached Thursday. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Both the union and the SFMTA would not comment on details of a contract agreement reached Thursday.

A labor contract agreement between the Muni operators' union and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was reached Thursday afternoon, according to a source close to the issue.

The agreement came a few days before Monday's deadline, and the agenda for a 11 a.m. special board meeting that day, posted Friday, includes a resolution allowing directors to reject the tentative agreement that the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A also had voted down in May.

It also allows board directors to extend the date for the final adoption of a memorandum of understanding. A deadline was not announced Friday.

"We are optimistic that we will have an agreement in place in July," said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose on Friday. "But are honoring a commitment not to discuss details at this point."

Under the tentative agreement disclosed two weeks ago that the transit agency board can vote to reject Monday, Muni operators and fare inspectors would contribute 7.5 percent to their pensions but receive a 5.05 percent wage increase to offset that cost. On top of that, they would receive a 3 percent wage increase in the first year and between 2.25 and 3.25 percent increase the following year. The maximum wage would be $32.91, making them the second highest-paid transit workers in the country.

TWU Local 250-A President Eric Williams on Friday said, "I'd rather not comment right now."

But on Tuesday, Williams and about two dozen union members showed up to the SFMTA meeting and voiced their opinions during public comment.

SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin and board members would not discuss negotiations, but Williams referenced a past meeting and the agency's message that they aim to pay operators what they deserve.

"Your team at the negotiations table has a totally different attitude, so what you are saying here is totally insulting. It is totally insulting. And it's hard for me to believe that none of you on the board knew about what was going on," Williams said at Tuesday's meeting. "This is a calculated attack on the biggest minority group of employees in the city, period. If you guys really want to help us out, really appreciate the work that the men and women are doing day in and day out for this agency, you would give us a fair contract."

Union member P.J. Williams, who drives in the green division, also spoke out.

"We all know what a swap is and we all know what a trade-off is, but after five years of no raises and they come after us and the deal includes money coming away from us, a takeaway, and you wonder why the drivers are so upset?" P.J. Williams said. "All we want to be treated like is human beings."

Two days after those fiery public comment speeches, both parties came to an agreement, ending an ordeal that came to the public eye with a three-day sickout that operators staged in early June.

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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