Muni Drivers Try to Block Service Restoration

September 2nd, 2010

You just can’t make this stuff up.

The Muni operators’ union, TWU Local 250-A, filed a brief with the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) to block the restoration of 61% of the service cuts that took effect in May.  The restoration is supposed to take place Saturday, but if the board grants TWU an injunction, the service cuts will remain in place.  SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford says Muni is moving forward with the restoration, at least for now.

One thing is clear: TWU has given up even the slimmest hope of defeating Proposition G.  Having alienated San Franciscans thoroughly by insisting on pay increases during a severe budget crisis, just as other city workers were accepting pay cuts, they’ve decided to go for broke and litigate their way to cushy jobs for union leadership and less service for Muni riders.

PERB isn’t scheduled to meet until October 14, according to its web site.  It’s hard to say from here whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing for Muni riders.

Supervisors postpone vote on Muni un-Reform measure

July 21st, 2010

The Board of Supervisors postponed until next week a vote on the controversial proposed charter amendment we wrote about yesterday.  Board of Supervisors president David Chiu said me might be willing to put off the amendment until next year, depending on the outcome of discussions with Mayor Newsom’s office about Muni service.  Postponing the amendment (or forgetting about it entirely) would be a positive development for Muni riders.

The law allows supervisors to place only one more charter amendment on the November 2010 ballot between now and Friday, July 30th.  Let’s hope it isn’t this one.

We urge Muni riders to call their supervisors between now and next Tuesday’s meeting and urge them to shelve the SFMTA amendment indefinitely.  All of their phone numbers and e-mail addresses are here.  The SFMTA isn’t perfect, but we believe strongly this measure would move the agency and Muni service in exactly the wrong direction.

Update: Greg Dewar of N Judah Chronicles has a thoughtful commentary on this issue.

Supes slated to vote on Muni un-Reform measure today

July 20th, 2010

Today, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on whether to place a charter amendment on the November ballot dramatically changing how the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni, is governed.  We’re urging our members to contact their supervisors and urge them to vote against placing this measure on the ballot.

You can read the proposed text here.

This well-intentioned proposal moves Muni in the wrong direction in several important respects:
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Notes from the 4/27 General Meeting

May 3rd, 2010

We would like to thank everyone who was able to come out to our general membership meeting last Tuesday. We had a packed room with both our membership and TWU members coming out to listen and ask questions.

Irwin Lum and Rafael Cabrera of the TWU sat with Alexander Volberding from Eslbernd’s office and Jillian Gillette from SPUR to discuss issues and ideas about Eslbernd’s proposed amendment to the city charter. Rescue Muni chair Andrew Sullivan moderated.

There were many questions asked and each party was allowed time to let their side answer.  One of the main topics of the night was Prop A (2007), which we supported at the time. The TWU felt that the voters had already spoken when they passed the salary floor formula allowing Muni workers to automatically get paid the floor of wages based on the top two paying transit agencies in the nation, and that most drivers never saw the performance bonuses outlined in the proposition. Alex and Jillian stated that there was no way that the wage schedule put forth in Prop A would be sustainable, and that the performance bonuses and MOU should be negotiated to give riders a better value.

We also discussed not-outs, lack of equipment versus lack of drivers, concerns over if the TEP actually helps or hurts the system, Muni overtime hours and how many drivers earn over $100k versus the number of managers who do, and other sources of tax revenue.

If you couldn’t make the meeting, you can still help improve Muni! If you haven’t signed Elsbernd’s petition, signature gatherers are out on the street. You can find out where to sign over at

Update: SPUR has more on this in today’s Examiner.

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General Meeting 4/27 with Sean Elsbernd on “Fix Muni Now” Amendment

April 21st, 2010

Mark your calendar for our next General Meeting on Tuesday, April 27, at 6:30 pm, at the Harvey Milk Arts Center in Duboce Park. Supervisor Elsbernd will discuss his proposed charter amendment (endorsed by our board) to revise the City Charter to remove the wage minimum for MTA operators, and also to set new rules regarding arbitration of work rules and wages. We have also invited a representative from the Transport Workers Union to explain why they are in opposition.

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