Transit operators at the San Francisco Municipal Railway will continue to be — by city law — the second-highest paid bus drivers in the nation, after efforts to reform their salary structures were abandoned Thursday.
Muni operators’ wages have been determined via a nationwide survey of other transit agencies’ paychecks since 1967. Transit operators are guaranteed the second-highest wage in the nation; all other public and municipal employees’ wages are determined through negotiations with the city (i.e. collective bargaining).
Proponents of the salary reform, including measure sponsor Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, pointed out that the salary survey means Muni operators receive raises even in tough budget years. Muni wages are expected to raise by $8 million in the next fiscal year; Muni faces a budget deficit of nearly $60 million during that same time period.
Elsbernd pulled his measure Thursday after weeks of opposition from labor leaders. Those same labor leaders also met with Mayor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday. Newsom gave Elsbernd’s measure a cool reception in public Wednesday; no other politician would support the measure publicly.