Muni contract talks stay off track for a second day

Union leaders representing Muni operators, who walked away from negotiations with Muni management Monday, did not return on Tuesday, saying they’re waiting for “a better offer.”

The current contract expires June 30.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is calling for stricter discipline for problematic drivers and scheduling changes, among other concessions from the approximately 1,900 men and women who operate Muni’s streetcars, buses and cable cars.

But with The City facing a budget deficit of more than $300 million, top officials for the public-transportation agency say there is nothing in the way of salary and benefit compensation to bring to the bargaining table.

“Only a handful of operators are problems and we want to make sure they are held accountable,” MTA head Nathaniel Ford said.

“We’re looking at improving customer service, accidents, attendance and customer complaints,” he said. “This isn’t all about discipline; this is about getting our service to run on time.”

Transport Workers Union Local 250-A President Irwin Lum said that when he heard Ford’s proposal Monday afternoon, he walked out of the office. Negotiations have been at a standstill ever since.

“We’re waiting for them to call us with a better offer,” Lum said.

Management is coming with a whole shopping list of things they want taken away, but they’re not offering anything, Lum said.

“That’s not how you negotiate anything,” he said. “Times are not only bad for the city, but they’re hard for the workers as well.”

In October 2007, dozens of Muni supervisors and inspectors participated in a mass sickout over a disagreement about a scheduled wage increase.

Lum said there were no plans for mass sickouts.

“I think our operators recognize the importance that this system means to The City, and I don’t expect those kinds of actions,” Ford said.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has also become involved in the talks, according to spokesman Joe Arellano.

“He believes that a deal can still be brokered,” Arellano said. “Negotiating in a tough budget year isn’t easy, but we anticipate that a mutually beneficial agreement will be reached.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Despite the pandemic, San Francisco has ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Better than expected tax revenues leave city with $157.3M surplus for this year

As the fiscal year nears an end and Mayor London Breed prepares… Continue reading

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Most Read