Muni Driver Sickout Enters Third Day

San Francisco Municipal Railway riders should expect delays again today as an employee “sickout” extends to a third straight day, an agency spokesman said.

About 440 of Muni’s roughly 600-vehicle fleet are in operation today and all buses and trains are returning to regular routes, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

Cable car service remains out this morning, but might resume in the afternoon, Rose said.

Service has been affected since a large number of Muni workers called in sick Monday and again on Tuesday. Only about a third of Muni’s fleet was in service on Monday and about half on Tuesday, Rose said.

The employee union, Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, is in the middle of contentious contract negotiations with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, although TWU Local 250-A president Eric Williams denied Tuesday that the sickout was organized by the union.

Muni worker strikes were banned by San Francisco voters in a 2010 ballot measure.

Williams said the most recent proposal from the SFMTA includes a pay hike but would require them to contribute to their pensions and would result in a net loss for Muni workers in a city where costs of living are rising.

Members of TWU Local 250-A, which represents about 2,200 Muni workers and other city employees, overwhelmingly rejected the proposal in a vote on Friday.

Rose said under the terms of the city charter, the two sides will now go into arbitration, with the next meeting set for Saturday.

Several city officials, including Mayor Ed Lee, have called for an end to the sickout. SFMTA officials also issued a memo to workers notifying them that they will need to provide a doctor’s note to receive sick paid leave or they could face discipline.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • Justizin

    “Muni worker strikes were banned by San Francisco voters in a 2010 ballot measure.” .. backed by Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ..

  • sfparkripoff

    By WILLFULLY IGNORING most of San Francisco’s residents the Board of
    Supervisors and the SFMTA have created a master plan that makes no sense
    at all. It demands that people ride bicycles or use a transit system that DOESN’T WORK!

    How many times have our elected leaders used “transit first” as an excuse
    to bleed our wallets and disrupt our lives? Most of the changes required for “transit first” have been paid for taxes,fees, extending parking meter hours, raising parking rates, and the highest parking prices in the the nation. All of this because the MTA wants you *RIDE THE MUNI!

    Our elected leaders have made the ENTIRE city dependent on a public transit system that that DOESN’T WORK! Let me repeat that for the hundreds of thousands of people who waited for buses and trains that never came. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee,The Board of Supervisors, and the MTA have made the ENTIRE city dependent on a public transit system that that DOESN’T WORK! Lets take a moment to thank them.

    (clap clap clap clap clap clap)

    What are the lessons learned from the Muni worker ‘sickout’?

    1. The city cannot count on public transit to be there when we need it.
    2. “transit first” prioritizes paying unions salaries over the needs of transit riders. 
    3. If BART, CalTrain, or MUNI fails the entire city will grind to a halt.
    4. There has to be redundancy built into our transit system so that the city has a backup plan for commuters
    5. If the city does not have the infrastructure to support private autos then the city stops generating revenue.

    It’s become “fashionable” to proclaim grand concepts – Transit First! – without asking what the slogan really means or how it’s supposed to work. Here’s a hint. Transit First means FIX PUBLIC TRANSIT FIRST. Not eliminate parking, remove traffic lanes, and construct pedestrian plazas first.