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.