SFMTA board OKs new labor contract with 14.25 percent raise

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board members were quick to unanimously approve labor agreements for Muni transit operators and fare inspectors on Wednesday, concluding a negotiations process that disrupted transit service with a three-day operator sickout and extended a month beyond the expiration of the old contract.

Under the approved agreement, retroactive to July 1, transit operators and fare inspectors will get a 14.25 percent wage increase over three years that breaks down to a 9.5 percent raise intended to offset a 7.5 percent contribution toward worker pensions, and a 4.75 percent cost-of-living increase.

“It was a very difficult process to get to a [tentative] agreement which we got to in June,” said SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin. “From that point forward, it was a very easy process, really just going through the mechanics of putting the agreement down on paper and making it available for public inspection.”

After an initial one-week delay, Transport Workers Union Local 250-A fare inspectors on July 14 unanimously ratified the agreement, while 57 percent of transit operators voted in favor, 643-485. Muni operator Anthony Ballester, one of the few who spoke during public comment Wednesday, said he appreciated the new contract.

The agreement was complicated, Reiskin said, but it offers a pretty significant wage increase.

“I think the more people understand it – particularly some of the more senior operators, which in some cases were the stronger votes against – the more they’ll see it’s a pretty good benefit for them,” he said.

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