Muni Operators Reject Concessions Proposal

Muni drivers rejected a concessions proposal today that would have saved the SFMTA $18.7 million over the next two years and allowed the agency to fully restore service by next July.

Echoing a vote earlier this year, members of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A voted down the proposal negotiated between TWU leadership, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency management, and the Mayor. The $18.7 million in savings would have come over two years, primarily by allowing the agency to use part-time operators and requiring operators to work at least 40 hours in a week before receiving overtime pay.

Operators rejected the proposal by a vote of 747-to-538 -- slightly closer than the 857-575 vote operators cast last February to reject another concessions package.

In a statement released this evening, Mayor Gavin Newsom said the rejection is "simply unacceptable" and called on TWU to revote. "TWU's rejection of a second tentative agreement is a slap in the face to everyone who rides Muni and to every other public employee union member," the Mayor said.

"Once again, I call upon the membership of TWU to reconsider and revote. TWU union members' vote to raise their own pay while forcing longer waits and more crowded buses is simply unacceptable."

SFMTA Executive Director Nat Ford said he was deeply "disappointed and perplexed" by the operators for rejecting what he called "reasonable concessions."

"I join with Mayor Newsom and all responsible people in challenging the members of TWU 250A to quickly reconsider their actions and to recast their votes," he added. "By doing so, they will join the ranks of their union brothers and sisters across City government who have selflessly acted to preserve jobs and to ensure the delivery of vital services to the people of San Francisco.”

TWU officials could not be reached this evening for comment on the vote. More coverage from the Chronicle. We'll have a follow-up on Monday.