Bowing to political pressure, the Board of Supervisors killed Thursday a proposed charter amendment that, if approved at the Board and at the ballot in June, would have extended the workweek of San Francisco firefighters by four hours.
Supervisor John Avalos was the sponsor of the measure, which was tabled Thursday at the Board of Supervisors’ Rules Committee. Avalos — who introduced and then withdrew an identical ballot measure last year — agreed to withdraw the measure after conferring with progressive allies.
Currently, firefighters’ workweeks are set at a maximum of 48.7 hours by the City Charter. Firefighters are the only class of workers whose hours are mandated by the charter, which can be altered only at the ballot box.
A city controllers’ report suggested the city could save millions by extending firefighters’ workweeks, mostly through overtime savings.
But the notion has proved to be politically untenable: city labor leaders displayed a “united front” in opposing the firefighters measure, with members of transit workers, janitors and other labor unions joining the firefighters in opposing the measure.
The firefighter workweek extension was not the only labor-related charter amendment discussed on Thursday. Charter amendments, sponsored by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, that would reform Muni salaries and the city’s pension system will be discussed later this afternoon.