SF Muni Operators’ Union Challenges Contract From Arbitrator

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A lawsuit filed Friday seeks to overturn a contract imposed on San Francisco Muni bus drivers and train operators by an arbitrator.

The suit by the operators’ union alleges the arbitration proceedings were conducted without evidentiary hearings before union members were given adequate notice by a panel whose composition violated the City Charter.

The arbitrator ruled the city could impose a no-raise contract in 2011, less than a week after Transport Workers Union Local 250-A rejected that contract.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

The contract was the first one negotiated after voters approved Proposition G, which removed salary guarantees from the City Charter and opened Muni contract negotiations to arbitration.

The hourly base pay of $29.52 called for under the imposed contract still makes Muni’s 2,200 operators the second highest paid in the nation, despite language in Prop G eliminating that requirement.

The man behind Prop G, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, saw the lawsuit filed by the new slate of union leaders as an act of desperation.

“More likely than not, by the time all of their litigation is over, this current contract will have expired,” he said.

The contract that expires in 2014 saved the city an estimated $38 million by freezing wages and benefits.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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