Muni tentative labor contract details disclosed, up for union vote

The union representing Muni operators and fare inspectors appears to have received what it demanded at the labor negotiations table, as members are set to consider a tentative contract agreement after overwhelmingly rejecting the initial proposal in late May.

The new agreement the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board voted to sunshine Monday and released to the public in the late afternoon is a proposed three-year term as opposed to two years. Transport Workers Union Local 250-A members rejected the original plan with a 1,198-47 vote on May 30. The contract dispute led to a three-day sickout by Muni employees last month.

Under the revised memorandum of understanding reached Thursday, Muni operators and fare inspectors are being offered a 14.25 percent wage increase over three years, rather than a raise between 10.3 and 11.3 percent over two years that would make them the second-highest-paid transit workers in the country.

The 14.25 percent increase includes an up to 9.5 percent wage increase, depending on an employee's seniority, as well as a cost-of-living increase. The raise is intended to offset a 7.5 percent contribution in worker pensions, which was previously paid by the SFMTA under the contract that expired Monday.

The up-to-9.5 percent wage increase, a notable boost from the 5.05 percent in the rejected tentative agreement, according to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose, “Would offset the [pension] cost for all operators.”

“Under the previous one, the percentage could have worked out lower for some of the newest operators,” he said.

Employees would receive the remainder of the 14.25 increase through a 4.75 percent cost of living increase over three years, instead of the rejected 3 percent increase the first year and a 2.25 to 3.25 increase the subsequent year.

After talks broke down, Mayor Ed Lee provided support and asked former Mayor Willie Brown to take the lead in negotiations, said SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin.

Lee brought to the table “someone who understands The City, who understands labor,” Reiskin said of Brown. “I do believe it would not have happened without him.”

Lee spokeswoman Christine Falvey said the tentative agreement is “good news for Muni riders and honors the work of our drivers.”

TWU Local 250-A President Eric Williams could not be reached for comment, but in a statement released Friday night, he said the specific details of the new agreement would be presented to union members Monday.

“Our members are committed to providing quality transit in San Francisco,” Williams said in the statement. “And we continue to believe that best way to resolve labor-management concerns is through fair and balanced collective bargaining.”

Union members are scheduled to vote July 7 and if passed, the agreement would go before the SFMTA board July 15. Though the deadline for a new contract was Monday, the agreement approved by both parties will be retroactive to today.

SFMTA proposed MOU

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