Neither give-back offer would have affected the drivers' city charter-enshrined, automatic
raises. But they would have involved one-time payments toward pension
plans (Yes, Muni drivers don't contribute at all toward their
pensions). The Muni drivers were the only city union that did not offer any concessions this year.
The TWU's February spurning of the concession plan rekindled Supervisor Sean Elsbernd's "Fix Muni Now" campaign to alter the manner in which drivers' salaries are calculated. Rather than engage in collective bargaining like every other union in the city, drivers are guaranteed a wage level of at least the second-highest in the nation in the city's charter. In this case, drivers are set to soon receive a 5.73 percent raise worth about $8 million.
With salary figures preordained, Elsbernd and other critics charge, Muni management has no means to negotiate away with wasteful and archaic labor practices enshrined in the union's Memorandum of Understanding. Elsbernd's charter amendment, which has qualified for November's ballot, would ostensibly change that by doing away with mandatory raises.
The Municipal Transporation Agency Board will officially review the drivers' raises on Tuesday. Yet since this raise is mandated by the city charter, this review is a formality.
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