muni_driver.jpgA rumored “sick out” by San Francisco Municipal Railway operators this week, should it materialize, will have Muni officials scrambling to fill the service needs of its 700,000 daily riders.

“The bottom line is, it’s just a rumor right now, and if something were to happen, we’re prepared to deal with it,” Muni spokesman Paul Rose said today.

The union representing the operators, Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, has said an anonymous flyer being circulated that urges Muni operators call in sick Tuesday through Friday “is in no way sanctioned” by the union.

Such an action would force Muni to try to call in operators scheduled for their days off and to work with other regional transportation agencies, according to Rose. Passengers would also be advised to take BART when traveling within San Francisco.

Michael Postell, a Muni light-rail operator and staff representative for the union, said that he too had seen the flyers but doesn’t think anything will come of it.

“I think it’s a hoax, I really do,” Postell said.

In response to the sick-out threat, though, Muni officials have issued a new policy for the period between Sept. 8 and Oct. 15.

Before, Muni operators had to present a doctor’s note only after calling in sick for five straight days, Postell said. During the current period, operators will have to come up with a note after only one day calling in sick.

Rose confirmed the policy.

Any unexcused absence would result in disciplinary action, including possible dismissal, Rose said.

Ari Burack, Bay City News

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