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Muni Drivers’ Salaries Now Subject To Bargaining

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San Francisco Muni

A San Francisco Muni Metro streetcar. (AP)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – City voters unhappy with public transit took their anger out their frustration with Muni at the ballot box, approving a measure that eliminates salary guarantees for drivers and train operators.

Proposition G removes language from the city charter making Muni operators salaries the second-highest in the country. It passed handily with 64 percent of the vote.

View Complete Election Results

“We’ve taken away all excuses, and now we need to fulfill the voter mandate and negotiate a fair contract for the riders of San Francisco,” said Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who backed the signature drive to put G on the ballot.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Operator pay is now on the bargaining table during contract negotiations, giving Muni more leverage to change the work rules that management blames for inefficient and costly service.

The Amalgamated Transit Union resisted cutbacks accepted by other San Francisco public employee unions to balance the city’s budget.

Unions were successful, however, in their campaign against the changes to health care and retirement contributions spelled out in Measure B.

That initiative’s sponsor, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, said the city could not afford to change its benefits packages.

“If the elected officials don’t act on this immediately, then we would retool and present it to the voters the next time,” he said.

Pension costs eat up millions of dollars that could go towards other city services, he said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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