Muni Drivers Not Giving Back

Third time may not be a charm for Transit Worker Union givebacks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Gavin Newsom, center, and SFMTA director Nat Ford, left, are hoping that the third time is the charm for concessions from the TWU.

    For the second time this year, the Transit Workers Union turned down a package of givebacks.

    The contract concessions were meant to save the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency approximately $19 million, enough to roll back the service cuts from May by the end of the year.

    Instead, SFMTA Executive Director Nat Ford says that frustrated Muni passengers will have to wait until July of 2011 for service to return to normal levels.

    Mayor Gavin Newsom on Monday asked for the TWU to reconsider a third time and vaguely promised "real consequences" if the operators didn't go along with the plan.  He did not spell out what those consequences would be.

    Two measures are headed for the ballot in November to change the city's relationship with the TWU. Unlike other city departments, the wage scale is set by the city charter, and not by a collective bargaining agreement.

    In Alameda County, negotiators for AC Transit have asked the Amalgamated Transit Union for concessions amounting to $15 million in order to deal with that agency's $56 million budget deficit for the fiscal year.

    Like Muni, AC Transit has also reduced service twice in the last six months.

    Jackson West would like to note that Seattle Metro operators are also being asked for givebacks, and three is officially a trend.